N is a designer who built up her own retail brand. In spite of her success, she struggled with a deep inferiority complex that began as a child. Here is how she learnt to start a new life in Christ, free of accusations from her past. Praise God!
Growing up, I always felt like I needed to be punished.
A feeling of inferiority followed me all through my childhood. I wasn’t the brightest, the prettiest or the most outstanding academically. My cousins and classmates were always better than me and I never got any encouragement from my parents, my teachers or my friends. I just felt like I was second-tier.
I describe my childhood as my “dark ages”.
A few years after accepting Jesus as my Saviour, I joined a small ladies fellowship group. The leader noticed that I would often say that “it is very hard to love people because they don’t appreciate you”, and asked me what might have happened to make me feel this way. This thinking was so natural to me that it didn’t occur to me that it was unhealthy. Isn’t it true that people are hard to love?
She explained that Jesus has set us free to love others with His love and not on our own strength. Perhaps I would like to go through a renewal prayer to run through my past and uncover anything that was holding me back from loving others unconditionally? I agreed and spent time writing down my life history and met her for a time of prayer.
The process of letting go of the past is not easy. There are things you have buried that you don’t want to dig out again.
Digging up tons of wounds was like gathering smelly rubbish. It was quite painful for me but I am thankful that I did it because now I feel so refreshed and free.
One of my deepest and most painful memories was my grandmother locking me up in a bathroom, which had many cockroaches, to punish me for something minor. I was locked in there for what felt like a really long time and I was terrified. My uncle worked in a police station and every time he came home, he would ask me lots of questions; “What did you do today? Did you do anything wrong? Do you need to be punished?” He inspected me every day. At school, my teacher once punished me for my poor grades and asked the rest of class to treat me as if I was absent. No one talked to me and they set me apart. I was very scared and lonely.
Most of all, I yearned for my father’s love and protection, but he was busy building his business.
During the prayer counselling, we went through all my painful memories, gave each one of them up to Jesus for healing and pinned the lies about myself to the cross. I invited Jesus to make my identity new again and He did!
My feelings of inferiority are now given to Jesus. I know that anyone who challenges me in this life will not be the one who has the final judgement.
I am free because I know the final Judge and He has excused me from my past. There is no punishment when we confess.
I didn’t realise that I had been subconsciously trying to get my father’s approval. After I finished training, I focused on building up my business, all the time yearning for his recognition. My relationships would always fail, probably because I was always exhausted and distracted from over-working. Now, I am less burdened about earning my father’s love and approval. I have God’s comfort and reassurance, He knows everything about me and yet He calls me “daughter”.
I also seek to honour my grandmother and uncle because they disciplined me and taught me perseverance. This has helped me in a tough business environment. I know how to appreciate them even though I suffered.
Jesus has given me a new heart to be able to love them.
When I got married, I didn’t know the standards for marriage because there wasn’t a very good model when I was growing up. In the past, I found it hard to trust men because my father showed me was that men are inherently “bad”. My father would always put work first and ended up hurting my mum.
Now I see that I am in a “triangle” relationship: God-husband-wife. I don’t have confidence in myself to maintain my marriage but if my other half is a real Christian, I don’t need to worry anymore. It doesn’t matter if my husband doesn’t love me perfectly. People will fail each other. The focus is not on how much my husband loves me, but how much he loves God. I can now trust my husband because I know who is ultimately taking care of the relationship.
It is important that we have the same faith, the same values and the same God. God will make our marriage work.
I now feel so free and unburdened. Healing is knowing how gracious God is in healing, forgiving and forgetting our mistakes when we confess. No more punishment! I know I cannot forgive and heal myself, only Jesus can.
Don’t wait to go to heaven to review your life. Put down your burdens now and walk more lively now.
We all need to go through a renewal prayer. It is so powerful to walk through your own life again and unburden all your hidden emotional wounds and false accusations to Jesus right here and now. Why wait?