As a young twenty-something woman, one of the greatest challenges I’ve faced throughout my life is appreciating my own worth. Over the years, I’ve found validation in how busy my social calendar is, my romantic relationships, and my accolades in school. I am constantly seeking the next thing to make me feel valued and worthy.
During high school and much of college, it was tempting to look for self-worth through flirting eyes and charming boys at bars. I found myself engaging in conversations for the sake of the attention or going on dates simply because it felt good to be liked. My Christian faith has always taught me that your worth could not be found in the things of the world, but I continued to ignore this and seek my worth in these material things. Over and over again, I would find myself feeling depressed and unsatisfied by the attention and affection of those around me, but I continued my search for worthiness.
Recently, I have had the amazing opportunity to work with Freeset, an organization that helps to create safe and sustainable work for women in the sex industry. The women they employ are often sold into the sex trade by their own family with little to no hope of escaping to a better life. My heart was drastically changed by working on this project because it opened my eyes to the importance of discovering true self-worth.
So many women look to sex to find worth. But, through my own relationships, I have grown to understand that sex is not a place to find worth, but rather a way to express committed love. The women who are trapped in the sex trade live in a world that only values them for their body and they are taught that their worth lies in their ability to exchange sex for money. Not only are these women trapped in a cycle of abuse, they are also being deprived of the opportunity to discover just how worthy of love and dignity they are.
Not everyone is trapped in the sex industry, but many women feel that sex is the only way to find worth. My heart continues to long for all women to have this same, simple freedom to discover their true worth and the true beauty of sex.