Zinnias are my favorite flower. They carry personal meaning that life’s goodness lies in simple things. I plant a handful of seeds late spring and look forward to watching them grow in my front flower bed all season long. Somehow, someway, they manage to not only survive, but thrive through the grueling heat of Arizona summer.
Several months ago, I discovered a bright and beautiful hot pink little zinnia creeping up through the crack in my front sidewalk. The tenacity of that tiny flower caught me by surprise and delight. I watched it bloom where it was planted and grow taller and stronger, despite less than ideal circumstances. Over the course of a few weeks, it had developed from a small bud to a bouquet of gorgeous round blooms.
That flower inspired me. Each time I would check back on it’s progress, a new lesson would come to my mind: Know your worth. Look to the light. Grow in grace.
Know your worth. No matter our external circumstances, we can be confident to the very core of our souls that we have infinite worth. We are children of God, created in His image. The knowledge of who we really are can ground us and nourish us. Acknowledging that we have been given unique opportunities and gifts (on purpose!) can empower us to grow and become in ways we never thought possible. A strong conviction that we are loved by a merciful Creator can serve as a strong root system through trials and disappointments. Knowing our worth helps us to slowly and surely bloom to our divine potential.
I have certainly had seasons of my life where it was difficult for me to recognize my individual worth. I have struggled to overcome personal insecurities and fears of not measuring up. A solid testimony of my inherent worth has become one of my most treasured blessings as I have used the following steps to rely on my Savior:
Step 1: Dig Deep – Take some time to just be still. Ask yourself “who was I before the world told me who I should be?” That might seem like a silly question, but pondering it often helps me to peel back the superficial layers of worldly expectation or outside sources influencing me. Examine your heart and your spirit. Think about what brings you true joy. Why do you think that is? Asking ourselves these questions can help us to pinpoint talents and spiritual gifts we possess. Make a list of thoughts or ideas that come to mind. Think of our Savior and his infinite love for you. Why do you think he created you with your specific set of gifts? How can you use them to bless others?
Step 2: Express Gratitude – For me, expressing sincere gratitude has been the key that unlocks the enabling power of the Atonement in my life. As I kneel in prayer and thank my Heavenly Father for my body, my soul, my life, my blessings I feel Him close to me. Recognizing His hand in all that I have shifts my perspective of myself and the world around me. Candidly sharing my insecurities with heaven, followed by heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity to grow through Christ, helps me to feel yoked to Him – like we’re in this process of discovery together.
Step 3: Practice – Developing a testimony of your worth takes simple faith and imperfect practice. Practice really believing you are a divine child of God and strive to live accordingly. Continue practicing using your unique talents to bring goodness and love to this world in small and simple ways. “Feelings of worth come when a woman follows the example of the Master. Her sense of infinite worth comes from her own Christlike yearning to reach out with love, as He does” (Russell M. Nelson)
Look to the light. Somedays it may be hard to see things as they really are. Doubt, comparison, apathy, heartache, grief, fear, and other very real experiences and feelings can cloud our view of ourselves and others. In dark moments, look to the light. Ask in sincere prayer for light to come. In time, Christ will illuminate our understanding. I have found that light comes in a variety of small mercies – through the service of a loved one, the sun shining in a happy way, a new thought or idea coming to mind, the kindness of a stranger, a wave of perspective or insight is brought to my remembrance, or I receive a prompting to help someone in need. Tiny day-to-day mercies shine in dark moments and remind me that heaven is indeed listening and that we all matter to Him. We can look inward and know of this too because His light is central to our eternal makeup.
“The Light of Christ is as universal as sunlight itself. Wherever there is human life, there is the Spirit of Christ. Every living soul is possessed of it. It is the sponsor of everything that is good. It is the inspirer of everything that will bless and benefit mankind. It nourishes goodness itself.” (Boyd K. Packer)
Grow in grace. Like a simple seed sprouting and growing to a perfect bloom, we develop in a similar pattern. It is a process – line upon line, grace for grace. Our true identity is found as we actively trust that we are lovingly cared for by the master gardener. Trusting is vulnerable. Developing our “trust muscle” is a lifelong, daily pursuit. It requires us to continually forsake and give up our desires to look or be a certain way– and truly submit to His divine plan for us. Through that process of trusting, releasing, forsaking and finding rest in Christ, we grow.
Christ provides all the nourishment, assurance and strength we need to be successful. He accepts and cultivates our offering, no matter how seemingly small it is. His grace is our fertilizer – it enables us to create unique beauty and inspire growth in the surrounding soil.
No flower is alike, and we wouldn’t want it to be! Delight in your individuality and uniqueness. Grow to know your worth, one step at a time. Flourish in the truth that you are a cherished child of God. ♥
A big TSS thank you to guest writer, Angie Dunn. Angie lives in sunny Arizona with her husband and 3 girls. It is the little things in life that make her heart happy. Planting flowers, creative journaling, and family nights are her favorite things. She feels her Savior’s love the most when she is expressing sincere gratitude. Discovering and acknowledging His hand in all the details brings her true joy. Connect with her @angieinpink.