Do you ever find yourself hustling for your worth or looking for it in all the wrong places? You are not alone. Too many girls and women are lost and wandering, endlessly seeking security and approval in places and things that never satisfy. Brittany Maher and Cassandra Speer, authors and leaders of the popular Her True Worth Community join Allie Marie Smith for a powerful conversation to help you discover, strengthen or reclaim your true identity and value. They share their own journeys of finding freedom from the exhausting search for human approval and share how they have found their security and significance through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Be encouraged and equipped to live with unshakable confidence in who God says you are and stop measuring your worth by the world’s metric system.
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Walking In Your True Worth — With Brittany Maher And Cassandra Speer
It’s our mission here to help you live confidently in your God-given value, identity, and purpose. This is at the core of everything we do as a ministry. When a girl or a woman knows Christ and knows her value in Christ, it changes everything. Not only does it change her life but it changes the world around her. We are talking with two incredible women that I have been waiting to meet for so long.
They share our passion here to see women set free from the lies and the culture of this world and boldly reclaim their beautiful and true identity. Brittany Maher and Cassandra Speer are friends who met through Instagram and decided to make it their mission to help women uncover their true worth and stop looking for it in all the wrong places. Brittany and Cass, welcome to our community of girls and women here. Congratulations on the release of your wonderful book, Her True Worth.
Thank you so much. It’s a true honor to be here with you and to be able to encourage you.
Thank you, Allie. We are so excited to be here.
Many girls and women in our community are longtime followers of @HerTrueWorth on Instagram. If they aren’t yet, I know they will be. As I’ve shared with you before, I personally have been so affirmed and built up by the intentional content that you share, like the prayers, the verses, and the original content. It’s a beautiful thing you are doing. I love that you are reaching over five million girls and women on the internet through technology and your community. You are reaching them with biblical truth that will change their life. I love that so much.
Thank you so much. It is a true honor to be able to have that community to encourage. To be able to bring the Gospel into this space is amazing. When Jesus said, “You will do greater things and reach more people in your time,” what he was talking about is the days of being able to talk to people across the globe with a swipe of your finger. How amazing that we have the opportunity now.We're not our past mistakes. We're not our failure. We're not our greatest wins. We're not our appearance or our social media following. We’re not our jobs, our roles or responsibilities. We are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. Click To Tweet
Will you each share a little bit from your journey of discovering who you are, where your value comes from, and how it led you to both start Her True Worth together?
Cass and I met around 2018. I started Her True Worth back in 2015. I was in such a desperate place of trying to find my worth. I found myself chasing after it in the wrong places, like body image, beauty, success, and relationships. I was in the beauty industry for many years. I was a fitness trainer. I was very immersed in that culture. There’s nothing wrong with those things but I found myself attaching my value to those things.
It wasn’t until I discovered my true worth and my true value through God’s word that I ended my search for the most part because we all sometimes forget who we are from time to time. Something I want to point out is the word true in our ministry, Her True Worth. The word true comes from the idea that anything other than Christ that we attach our identities to is a counterfeit.
We named the ministry Her True Worth as a reflection of our truest selves and the immense worth and value of being in Christ. When I met Cass back in 2018, the account was a lot smaller. We had a few people on our team writing little devotionals for the Instagram feed. I randomly came across Cass in the explore feed at the time, “This girl is so anointed. God is speaking through her and using her in such a mighty way.”
I felt a draw toward her. We had a couple of phone conversations. She was writing devotionals. I felt like the Holy Spirit was doing something in this friendship and partnership. I remember specifically the conversation, Cass, that we had about partnering in ministry together. It was one that was full of amazing Holy Spirit and tears. It was such an amazing connection to be able to hear what God was pressing on her heart and on mine.
We felt like, “We need to do this together because we are better together in this message.” What’s funny is we both come from the beauty industry. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the beauty industry, makeup, hairstyles, and things like that but we were so immersed in that culture. Specifically, we were able to speak to that. Cass, do you want to finish that up?
I remember that conversation too because, to your point, we met in 2018. I had only been writing publicly for about a year at that point. Within that year, I started a blog and guest writing. My page was so minuscule. I still don’t understand how you found my words when things weren’t fully curated. It was God himself who had clutched me out of obscurity and was like, “Maybe you should read this.”
Through that, I was very excited because I understood the mission and the message of Her True Worth from the get-go. That was a part of what helped us to be aligned. To this day, it’s also why we work so well in tandem. We both have such a heart for the disheartened woman who’s wary, wandering, and tired of working for her work and looking for her identity in all the wrong places. Often, what God wants to do through you, he has to first do within you. Like what Britt said, what led her to find Her True Worth is the exact thing that led me to Her True Worth.
It’s wanting to know the truth of who I am in Christ and also confronting the lie that I believed that my life was worthless and that I could lose my worth or identity in other things. The truth of the matter is that it’s a lie from the enemy of our souls. We can’t earn it, nor can it be revoked because it’s found in Jesus Christ. It has been one of the greatest privileges of my life to work alongside Britt and point women to the hope that we have in him.
Brittany, I appreciated how you talked about sometimes we can forget even those of us who have surrendered our lives to Christ and are walking in our worth. There can be days that are harder to do than other days. It’s this ongoing journey of abiding in God day by day and breath by breath. It takes faith to believe he is who he says he is. What he says about us is true. The three of us have something in common with way too many girls and women. At one point or another along our journeys, we thought we were worthless and that our life didn’t matter that much or didn’t have that much value.
I saw that as a young woman in myself and my friends. We struggle with many different things and wander because we don’t know our worth. Ultimately, we didn’t know where it came from. The concept of our identity in Christ may be foreign to some girls and other women who aren’t sure what they believe. It would be foreign to me when I was younger as well. What is our identity in Christ? What does it look like to walk confidently and securely, not perfectly, in it?
To answer your question, that is going to be a common question that we get because it is such a large-scale concept of understanding your worth and identity in Christ. We address that in such a tangible way. In the book, we talk about the worthy woman manifesto. For us to truly understand and grapple with the concept of true identity in Christ and understanding our value in him, we have to understand what we are not. We need to be able to confront that to accept who we are.The ultimate measuring stick of our value is what Jesus did on the cross. Click To Tweet
We do that through scripture but we have to confront these lies first. We are not our past mistakes, failures, greatest wins, appearance, social media following, relationship status, the size of our jeans, jobs, roles or responsibilities. The truth of the matter is this. We are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. That’s Psalm 139:14. We confront the fact that although we are all flawed, we are still God’s masterpiece, which is Ephesians 2:10.
We go through countless scripture to counteract all of the counterfeits and to contend for the truth in a culture that’s constantly telling us, “You can earn your worth and lose your worth. Your worth is found in people, places, and things.” The truth of the matter is that the measures at which we are willing to go to get our worth and identities or the places that we find it is the exact payment that we are committing ourselves to slave away and work for our worth instead of living securely from it.
How do you even live securely from it? You understand that your true identity is hidden in Christ. That’s a very strong statement. What it means in simplest terms is that you acknowledge that although your best is filthy rags, God does not believe your trash and that God sent his son to die on the cross for you. Your worth, value, and identity are always going to be found in him and what he did. There’s nothing you could do to lose it and gain it. It was freely given.
As you were saying all that, Cass, it made me think of 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come.” How often does the enemy try to throw our past at us and our mistakes and get us to identify with those things? “If you were saved, then you wouldn’t have done this. Do you remember when you said that or committed this sin?”
The enemy is always dangling that in front of us to get us to eat it and buy into it because the truth of what God says of us is so powerful. It’s everything that we know about ourselves and everything that we walk from and live from. If we don’t know it, then we won’t walk in the purpose and the power that God has over our lives and how he will be able to work through us. That’s why it’s so important to know who you are.
I don’t know if you or anybody reading is into superhero movies. My husband and I are pretty big Marvel fans. We like DC too. I’m going to quote a DC superhero here. It’s Diana Prince or Wonder Woman. I love Wonder Woman. She’s amazing. She’s an Amazon. At some point, if you’ve seen the movie, this is a common theme in superhero movies. It always starts the story with this notion that the superhero doesn’t know the power that they have.
They don’t know who they are yet, so they are not walking in it. They get to this point in the movie where there’s this climactic point where they understand who they are. They are able to walk in that power. They are powerful. They can slay villains and all of this stuff. That’s us when we know who we are in Christ. We can take his word and replace it with the lies that the enemy is constantly trying to speak over us. We can fight them off by wearing our armor and knowing who we are in Christ.
That’s so true, Britt. Our status is ours, so they can’t give us our identity but it also presents us with a very real adversary. That is the enemy of our souls. All women daily are at war for our worth. When we are able to walk in that truth, that is how we are able to live from it.
Men too are in their regard. It’s not a gender thing. It’s all of us. A constant thing that the enemy is trying to attack is our identity.
What do you think are some of these false messages that are keeping us from walking in our worth?
There are a lot of counterfeits out there. I was sitting down thinking about this. I don’t know why but I started thinking about makeup and the name of certain makeup products like concealer, foundation, and color-correcting. It’s all an indicator to us that we are flawed, imperfect, and not enough, so you need to fix it. These types of messages are everywhere. They are on social media when you are scrolling. You see somebody else’s bet best foot forward.
It’s a painful reminder to you of where you are falling short in your life in comparison. You get entrapped in that loop of comparison where you are finding yourself working for your worth and trying to keep up with the culture and standards that you are placing on yourself based on how your friends are doing and what this person has got going on in their life. They are all counterfeits because none of those things, at the end of the day, can truly decide who you are because once you have it, you will have to keep it. You will do anything to keep the approval and the status that you are trying to land yourself in.We're not promised approval from anybody outside of Christ. And when we live as people pleasers, it can be soul crushing to come to the realization that we might not be enough. Click To Tweet
In reading through your book, you address this and unveil our identity in such a digestible way and pinpoint all these wrong places we are going to. We are trying to hustle for our worth. That defines us and our worth. The stakes are so high. If we continue on this path of choosing to live by the world’s metrics system, we are never going to measure up. We are going to be ineffective at being used by God and living out our unique purpose and his calling on our life.
The stakes are so high. You talk much about our adversary, the accuser or the father of lies. Way too many women are believing those lies. When we can rise about them through a transformative relationship with Christ and his spirit abiding in us, renewing us, and making us new, it changes everything. Only then can we live that abundant and full life. We don’t live it perfectly but we can walk in confidence.
One of my absolute favorite quotes is by Brennan Manning. He writes, “Describe yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is an illusion.” You touched upon this a little bit but I want to talk about it some more. In your book, you write about what you call a characteristic identity. It’s what Manning would describe as an illusion. Let’s talk about this more, what these characteristic identities are, and how it keeps us from embracing who we are in Christ.
First of all, I love that quote. I love using the word illusion for characteristic identity because it’s an illusion of what we think we are. A characteristic identity could be defined as the mom who doesn’t know who she is when her kids grow up or without her kids, or the student that is working so hard for their straight A’s and then suddenly, they get enough. They don’t know who they are because they are attaching their identity to how well they are performing as a student.
The list can go on and on. A characteristic identity could be how you are a daughter, wife, sister, mother, or athlete. None of those things inherently can be the measuring stick of our worth. They are the wrong tools to look at to be able to depict what our worth is. God sent his son. The ultimate measuring stick of our value is what Jesus did on the cross.
I want to bounce off of that, Brittany. First of all, we are using the wrong tool. You are reading this and thinking, “This concept is new to me. How do I know that I’ve picked up the counterfeit identity?” Do some deep reflection and prayer, and think about if there’s one thing in your life that if God was to strip away, you might not be okay.
It could be a relationship, your job, the roof over your head or any number of things like your health, “If God was to strip this away, would I be okay?” If the answer is no, then you might be dealing with a counterfeit identity. We talked about in the book how Britt and I are able to identify those counterfeits. It’s when those things are taken away. Are we okay? Is Christ truly enough?
Is he our sustainer? It’s not to say that we can’t grieve the loss of those things because there is a time and place for grief. When you are not okay, and who you are in Christ changes when circumstances change, that’s when you could potentially be having some counterfeits and attaching your identity to things other than Christ. There’s a lot to unpack there.
The best thing that happened to me in my life was when I was eighteen and graduated high school. Everything that I placed my value and my identity in was stripped from me when I found myself completely depressed in a deep, debilitating depression wanting to end my life. I was as broken as a girl could be. It was there that God showed me who I was. I had nothing impressive to offer.
I look back, and it’s the greatest gift that Jesus met me there, showed me who he is, and offered me love and belonging. I have never been the same since. I’ve struggled with my mental health on and off since but my identity is secure. Some days, I walk more confidently and securely than others. I had a day of not walking in it and believing lies. How do we know if we have taken on this counterfeit identity? What are some steps we can take to release it and instead embrace who God says we are?
I’m pulling up our Freedom Framework.
I was going to make sure that you talked about your Freedom Framework, which you lay out in your book. It’s so good.You don't have to chase after people’s approval or compromise who you truly are in order to find their acceptance. Click To Tweet
This was one of our favorite chapters to get into. It’s because it’s so applicable. When you write the lie-down, it takes away the power of it when you can write it down and identify the lie that you might believe in. In the chapter People Pleasing and the Lies We Believe, one of the biggest lies that I believe and that I’ve seen unfold in my life is that I’m worthless because I’m overweight. I’ve battled with body image my whole life from a young age. My weight has fluctuated. I believed the lie that my worth fluctuates with my weight.
The Freedom Framework that we have in this book helps us to identify the lie that we are believing. To be able to replace that lie with the truth is writing it out and saying, “What’s the lie? I’m worthless because I’m overweight. How did I act on that lie? I starved myself and abused my body. How did it affect my life? I obsess over my appearance and hide from people because I’m so embarrassed about the way that I look. The wound that it leaves is that I love the body that God gave me.”
If you see this written down, you will be able to see that it’s a loop. You will get stuck in this loop of believing a lie and how it unfolds in your life but there’s good news that God has a truth to say. His truth is that I am exactly who God made me to be, with stretch marks and all. I am fearfully and wonderfully made as it says in Psalms 139:13-14, “How I act on the truth is that I care for my body and glorify God with it. The Holy Spirit dwells within me. I honor God by intentionally caring for my body and how it affects my life. I am free from the weight of others’ opinions and the weight on the scale.”
“My value is no longer tethered to these things. My true worth and identity are found in Christ. The healing I experienced is that I love my body, and I’m thankful for it every day, even with its flaws. What a difference the truth makes.” We call this process of replacing those lies with truth the Freedom Framework. If you get our book, you can see it unfolded and unpacked a lot more. Our prayer is that this framework helps you break free from that toxic loop of a lie.
Imagine if every girl and woman who is walking in these lies were to stop, to get quiet, to shut out the noise of the culture, social media, and other people’s lies, to get quiet before her maker and savior, to help her identify these lies that are keeping her from the abundant life God has for her, to walk through that framework and meditate on that daily until it begins to saturate every part of her soul and transform who she is.
Brittany and I have a similar story in some ways. It’s a miracle that God has taken. In my life, I was my own worst enemy. I believed the world was better off without me in it. God has completely changed me as he changes each of us. He transformed each of you in a unique way and journey that is only yours and his to share. We have that story. It’s amazing.
I love the path you’ve laid out in your book, the Freedom Framework. It can be so transformative. As I was reading, I was like, “I want to take this, sit on this more, and list out all the lies.” I can agree with the one you shared about your weight determining your value. That has been a huge thing in my life and so many others. Take time to quiet the noise, sit with these lies, and ask God to transform you with his truth. It’s so powerful.
You talked so much about people-pleasing too. I want to go into this a little bit. You have a whole chapter on it. You do ask this powerful question that stopped me in my tracks. You asked, “If you went about your entire day with people hurling insults at you, would it change how you feel about yourself or how God sees you?” When I read that question, I was like, “Wow.” Let’s briefly talk about people-pleasing and what it does to our souls.
First and foremost, the concept of walking through life with people constantly throwing insults at you at a glance might seem a little farfetched but then it enters social media, where we are on display for every thought, feeling, and opinion, whether it’s right, wrong, or nuanced. When we live our lives on the screen, we are exposing ourselves to an influx of opinions. We can find ourselves trapped, trying to find approval from these people. That’s a realistic way of how that might play out.
To answer your question, I believe that in my life with people-pleasing and how we get our way through it. The effect that it has on us is that we can easily become affirmation addicts. Affirmation is a good God-given thing. We were made to look to God and to those that are near us for relationship approval, support, and love but we need to know that God is our first and most important source to be affirmed by. When we allow ourselves to fall into a cycle of people-pleasing, then we find ourselves looking for affirmation.
What can that look like? It can look like everything that you say about yourself that answers the question, “I’m enough, likable, smart, and okay.” That can leave us looking for answers in all the wrong places. We can allow every voice that we hear to feed into our lives. That is unwise when we are living our lives as people-pleasers. We are living in an open-ended question and allowing the people around us to either affirm or reject. When your value and identity are found in the approval and affirmation of others, you are a people-pleaser.
That is soul-crushing because God and Jesus himself warned us that we would be rejected. We are not promised approval by peers and anybody outside of Christ. When we live as people-pleasers, that can be soul-crushing to come to that realization, “I might not be enough, smart, and all these things,” but when we come to this lifesaving and soul-incurring truth, the pressure is off. We don’t have to please these people and find approval in them. We have already found it in Christ.The loneliness you feel in the ache in your heart to belong will not be the home you will live in forever. You will find wholeness in Jesus. Click To Tweet
I’m over here like, “Preach it, sister.” To add to that, when our worth rises and falls on the opinions and affirmation of others, we are always going to be chasing after a moving target. As you were speaking, Cass, it reminds me of Galatians 1:10, “Am I now seeking the approval of man or God because it is one or the other? Am I trying to please a man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Our encouragement to you is to go on the other side of the fence, don’t be looking to please, and work for your worth to be seen by others because it is seen by God. Our aim is to please him.
I talked to my dear friend and co-host here on the show, Christie Myers. She had a birthday. I asked her about her birthday. She was so excited. She told me that the highlight of her birthday was she went to a cemetery. She took her Bible and journal, reflected on her life, and prayed to God. She shared here on the show about how she has battled people-pleasing throughout her life. She told me, “I’m done.” It was a powerful experience for her. I’m going to be taking my journal and my Bible to the cemetery here in town. When we get to the end of our lives, who did we live for? Do you live for the approval of others or an audience of one?
I want to close before we ask you our final question that I ask all of our guests. We are talking about the gospel and our identity, worth, and value in Christ. This is a big concept. How can we make this a little practical? You do a good job in your book walking through this whole process. One thing is to get your book. That’s a practical thing you can do. Get their book, Her True Worth, at your favorite retailer. What are some other practical things we can do to live this out and apply these truths to our lives?
Number one, get in God’s word. Put his word and write it on the tablet of your heart because if you know his word, then you will be able to decipher lies from truth. That’s number one. It’s spending time with God in prayer and asking, “Lord, show me who I am despite my people-pleasing issues or my need for affirmation from others. God, I want to look to you to affirm me and tell me who I am and not the world.”
Here’s something that helps me. This might seem a little silly but I love Post-its. I use Post-it notes all the time and put them in my mirror. I’ve opened up before that I struggle with body image. It’s a daily struggle. Sometimes we have to look at our walks with Christ as a garden. We have to tend to our garden and yank out the weeds when they pop up.
I put Post-it notes on my mirror so that when I wake up in the morning and walk into my bathroom, I can see I’m fearfully and wonderfully made. I can see all these beautiful scriptures that I personally relate to and connect with what I’ve got going on in me. That would probably be my biggest encouragement in terms of how to apply this and how to walk it out.
In addition to all those things, number one is spending time in the Bible and God’s word. Shut out the unnecessary noise, unfollow that woman who is creating comparison and envy, diminish your media time, get outside, get still, and be quiet. The more still and quiet we are before God, we are more content and at peace. There’s a correlation there. That’s something that God has been teaching me. I love that you talked about your garden.
I wrote about that in my book too. That’s a theme. We are made to tend to our gardens and pull the weeds in our lives. Identify what these weeds and sayings are telling us lies and creating envy, comparison, discontent, or whatever it is because through the power of God, with him, we can pull these weeds so that we can bloom more beautifully for his glory. I love that. Thank you so much for sharing those practical things.
You go and look at your garden outside or a garden, and you are surprised when a weed pops up. I love my landscaping. I sometimes don’t do the best job keeping on top of it but when I do go outside and see a weed after I pulled out ten of them, I’m like, “What in the world? Where did these weeds come from?” Sometimes they pop up. We have to get to the soil and pull out the root. The best thing to do too, when you do that is to put the truth in it. When you pull the root out, there’s a hole there. You have to put the truth back into that so that weed does not come back up.
Ladies, I have loved every bit of our conversation. I want to finish with our closing question for each of you. If you could go back and give your younger selves some words of wisdom, how old would you be? What would you say to her? Cass, why don’t you go first?
I would talk to my sixteen-year-old self because she was wild and misdirected. I would lovingly put my hands on her shoulders and tell her, “Popularity at the cost of your identity is a cheap trade. The people who don’t love and value you as your true and authentic self don’t love and value you. You don’t have to chase after their approval or compromise who you truly are to find their acceptance.”
It makes me tear up. To answer your question, I wrote mine down, so I didn’t forget because I wanted to write it down anyway because it’s such a good question. When you sent us the email and put that question in there, it made me tear up thinking about it. I can speak for myself but Cass and I grew up in broken homes. As young women, we went through a lot of struggles.
I would tell my fifteen-year-old self, “In your brokenness, you will find yourself on the quest for love and approval but in Christ, the broken are redeemed. He sees you. He knows you down to the very number of hairs on your head. Vast are his thoughts towards you. The loneliness you feel and the ache in your heart to belong will not be the home you will live in forever. You will find wholeness in Jesus in a home with him. It won’t be easy because discovering who you are will require you to forget who you thought you were. The abuse, the hardships, and the messy parts of your story are all seen by God. He is going to send people in your path later on in life that need to hear your story so that they can see the goodness of God through it.”
I’ve got tears. That spoke to me. I have received every word that you shared. That’s so beautiful.
I love that question because it connects you with your inner child in a lot of ways. It promotes the healing that your inner child needs.
We are so passionate about the next generation of girls. We can each be truth-tellers to the next generation. I love asking this question because I want to share it with all these girls too, so they can maybe be spared from things and walk with more wisdom and truth. I loved our conversation. Brittany and Cass, thank you so much for being a part of our community. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your community at Her True Worth.
I want to encourage you to grab a copy of their book. Also, if you are not a part of our insider community, we have a free gift for you called 5 Keys to Walking in Your Worth. That’s applicable to this conversation. We would love to welcome you into our community as well. Thank you so much. I’m excited for us to stay in touch. I’m thankful for you both and the truth and the wisdom that you shared with us.
It was a privilege, Allie. Thank you so much for having us.
Thank you, Allie.
About Brittany Maher
Brittany Maher is compelled by love to empower women to simplify their identity based on one thing alone: Jesus. She is the founder of Her True Worth, a large and growing online community designed to liberate an entire generation of faith- filled women with the freedom found in discovering their true worth in Christ. She is also an evangelist with a burning heart for the broken and the lost. She and her husband, Ryan, invest most of their time in equipping and empowering God’s people for digital evangelism across the globe. They believe in the importance of using every tool they can to help bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Brittany is planted in Michigan with her husband, Ryan, and their daughter, Ariana.
About Casandra Speer
Casandra Speer is a popular Christian blogger whose heart is driven by the desire to see women discover the depth of God’s love in a superficial world through the power of His Word. She is vice president of Her True Worth, a ministry created to encourage wounded and wandering women to find their identity and validation in Christ alone. Cassandra is passionate about sharing her faith and tackling the raw and messy moments of life with a little bit of humor—and a whole lot of Jesus! She is also the proud wife of an Air Force veteran. Cassandra and her husband are planted in Oklahoma City, where they live with their three children.