Jesus heals manager’s grief over parental pressures
A didn’t realise that her subconscious need to constantly win other people’s approval stemmed from feeling that her parents do not fully accept her. Here is her testimony of receiving God’s comfort and affirmation and releasing her suppressed pain. Praise God!
Even though I was going through the motions of being a “Christian”, my intimacy with the Lord had gone cold.
Growing up in a Catholic-Christian family, I thought I had been exposed to positive values and pure influences. For the most part, I thought I was doing okay; I was baptised, attended church and served regularly. Little did I realise I had accumulated deep wounds throughout my childhood and adult years that were keeping me apart from God.
I was brought up by traditional Chinese parents who constantly preached the importance of being a “good daughter”.
Yet I always found myself falling short of their standards in every aspect. In my head, I knew they loved me but I did not feel truly accepted for who I am. Since childhood, I often felt that I had to earn their favour by getting good grades and obeying all of their commands. I was not encouraged to voice my own opinion. Instead, I was told to trust theirs because as parents, they always know what is best for me.
When I struggled to cope with difficult circumstances, I was labelled “immature” and “too emotional” for showing my emotions. I was advised to face adversity and solve problems in a calm manner.
These family practices and ideals led me to idolise my parents’ opinions and advice.
I went through life with an increasing reliance on the voice of my parents. I developed a performance-driven mentality to earn people’s favour and felt ashamed of displaying my emotions. I carried these patterns into romantic relationships, where I fixated on what my boyfriends thought of me. When something was “wrong” with me, I would be determined to fix it so that I could regain their favour.
My current boyfriend holds very similar traits to my father. Both have good intentions but are often critical about my looks, behaviour and lifestyle. His constant criticism had chipped away at my self-esteem to the point where I felt that no man could ever accept me for who I am.
Desperate to experience God’s closeness, I committed myself to go through a spiritual renewal prayer. Although I was initially hesitant to fast as part of the preparation, my desire to seek Father God and His healing overcame my pangs of hunger and fleshly desires.
In my fast, God revealed to me that my constant grieving of the past was preventing me from living the full life He has for me.
Similar to Lot’s wife, who “looked back, and…became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26), my constant focus on past hurts was preventing me from moving forward towards forgiveness. I did not realise that I had stored resentment towards many who are close to me, including my father, my boyfriend, and myself. The Holy Spirit revealed to me that I was being chained down by an increasingly growing storage box of negative memories of “performing better”, which had caused me to curse myself into believing that I would never be accepted for who I am.
The Bible states that Father God “predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will” (Ephesians 1:5-6). God calls us to follow the example of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1)
God had always accepted me for who I am and will continue to despite my flaws. I am “work in progress” in His loving hands.
I realised I needed to have this truth embedded deep in my heart and soul, not just as head knowledge. Secondly, God’s Word reminded me that the “man” that I was seeking after for acceptance was Jesus in His fullness.
Going into my renewal prayer, I am grateful that my prayer intercessors had the heart to lovingly guide me in walking through my past experiences and negative thought patterns. They guided me to repent for my sins, reject lies about myself, cut all ties related to unclean spiritual influences, cast out evil spirits and ask God to cleanse me for His glory.
I also denounced my affiliation with the Catholic church where I was baptised as a baby.
God revealed to me that the seemingly pure and positive influences that I had grown accustomed to in the Catholic church were actually fuelling my performance-driven mindset. The Catholic practices, such as praying countless “Hail Mary” with rosary beads (Matthew 6:7), and bowing to statues and imagery (Exodus 20:4-5), go against the Bible. I was reminded to beware of accepting seemingly good “Christian” teachings so easily and to always go back to God’s Word.
In addition, I was pleased to find that I was able to move to a place where I could readily forgive those who had wronged and cursed me, including myself.
As I prayed to the Lord, I saw myself seated beside Jesus in heaven. He had his arms around me and called me his beloved one.
After we finished, I felt the joy and peace that comes from Christ alone.
I am determined to not treat my prayer experience as “an exercise” but instead, to keep renewing my mind so that I can stay close to the Lord and walk with Him ever more closely.
I have been meditating on Proverbs 29:25 which reminds us that the “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe”. Although I do still catch myself subtly looking for others’ approval, this verse gently guides back to the truth of seeking God’s approval alone.
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