By Jennifer / Walking With God
When I was little, my mom would make me sit at the table on evenings and solve math equations out of a workbook. Coming from an Asian background, academics was very important to my mom. She would often get frustrated and yell at me when I failed to do it correctly. I was always bawling my eyes out every time she got angry. The more I cried, the angrier she got. Growing up, I struggled a bit in school. I always needed help from teachers and other students because I couldn’t do things right by myself.
Thinking logically and rationally doesn’t come naturally for me. My brain has a difficult time slowing down and processing thoughts. People would constantly tell me, “Think, Jennifer, think!” “Use your brain!” “Why are you always making this so difficult!” It was really frustrating every time I struggled or people assumed I wasn’t trying when I was.
Eventually I wore a mask called “apathy” and became very lazy. I felt so incapable, helpless, and weak. I convinced myself it was pointless to try. I cheated off of homework assignments from friends and let my teammates do most of the work during group projects and boss me around with doing easy tasks. In the meantime, people would compare me to my brother who was more natural at making good grades and didn’t have to apply himself much. Some would say, “Seriously? You’re his sister? You’re supposed to be real brainy like him! What’s wrong with you!” When someone would try to correct a fault I made, I’d get very angry or discouraged and walk away. Sometimes I’d lash out or throw an object at them or on the ground. I felt like I was constantly being attacked and looked down on.
I became a victim of my own pity parties that I threw myself all the time. I started questioning God, demanding why He made me the way I am. It didn’t seem fair to me that I struggled with this while everyone around me was more self-reliant, capable, intelligent, and strong. The hatred I harbored towards myself kept rising and the more I hated myself, the more I hated God.
Just two weeks before my high school graduation, I tried to commit suicide. I didn’t think I would be able to graduate from high school and head to college. I felt like the world was crumbling down on me. I wasn’t sure how I was going to survive in the real world. It made more sense to take the “easier” way out. I feared being alone in my limitations and failures. I told God that it was pointless to keep me alive and He should replace me with someone more capable and strong to fulfill His grand purpose. However, my plan failed and I ended up staying in a mental health facility for a little while.
If you’re wondering why God made you the way you are, it’s because He has a special, unique role for you! I don’t know how it will unfold for you, but we all have the same purpose: To love God and share His love with others.
“But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?”-(Romans 9:20). In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul illustrates the importance of everyone belonging to the body of Christ and how each part has a function. Verses 22-23 says, “On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts we consider less honorable, we treat with greater honor.” I’m certainly not the strongest, smartest, wisest, most talented, and skilled person. I’m terribly weak, but because I’m so weak, I have to depend on God so that He could use my weaknesses to showcase His awesome strength. That’s the only way I can positively impact people’s lives through words of encouragement, insight, wisdom, and bridging the gap to resources and other people to help their spiritual growth. It’s only THROUGH GOD I am capable of what I do. Instead of viewing my single-mindedness and utter dependence as a curse, I now consider them a blessing. Thus, like Paul, I will boast evermore in my weaknesses(2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
That being said, whatever “flaw”, “imperfection”, “failing”, or “weakness” you consider yourself having, I want you to embrace them as gifts to impact your calling in this life you were given. I heard a story about Amy Carmichael(1867-1951), who wished her eyes were blue instead of brown when she was younger. She hoped and prayed that God would change her eye color, but became disappointed when He didn’t. Little did she know that many years later, God would use her to save countless lives of children and women from sex trafficking and rituals performed in Hindu temples in India. Her brown eyes allowed her to blend in as she disguised herself with mud to look like the Indians and help them escape. Many came to know Christ through her as a result.
I want you to know and accept that who you are and how you were made is no accident. God didn’t make garbage(Genesis 1:31). Just because you don’t “feel” that way doesn’t mean that it’s not true. You are beautiful, adored, cherished, and dearly loved by God. And you each have something valuable to share with others. So celebrate that instead of feeling sorry for yourself. Feeling sorry for yourself only stifles your gifts. Don’t let anyone (especially the devil) say otherwise. Everything will work out the way it’s supposed to as long as You continue to trust Him and center your identity in Him.
Romans 8:28, “And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.”
Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Psalm 139:14, “I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.”
Psalm 139:15-16, “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
I’ve compiled two separate lists at the bottom to help you embrace how God made you and walk out your identity in Him. You can print them out, journal, or copy and paste them into Word, Evernote, OneNote, etc. Look at them and rehearse them out loud to yourself daily. Or just keep them somewhere where you can pull them up when you need them. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. Just as long as they help you to see yourself in God’s eyes. Because honestly, it’s His opinion that truly matters.
Jennifer writes at: Walking With God