Jesus renews executive’s self-image
L learnt to suppress her emotions from a young age and to please others in order to win their approval. She began to wear a “mask” until she confessed her past emotional pain and regrets in Jesus’ name. God then showed her through a vision that she only needed His approval and that she has always been precious to Him. Praise God!
I was brought up in a traditional Chinese family, where no one is Christian.
Being an only child, my childhood was full of love and attention. I was supported to learn things that I was interested in and never had to worry. I was labeled a smart, independent, and all-rounded girl.
Since young, I tried to keep up my image as a good student and a good daughter in other people’s eyes. In school, I studied hard, achieved good grades, and won competitions, not only to make my parents proud but also to enjoy approval from others. I trained in the athletic team during primary school, so this helped me develop a strong heart for endurance.
I would not let anyone know about my emotional and physical pain from a very young age.
At the age of 16, I chose to stay overseas alone to continue my studies. I felt it was time for me to be independent and I am grateful that my parents respected my choice. I promised myself that I would not disappoint them. In the beginning, it was very tough. I couldn’t tell my parents about all the tears I shed when I was talking to them on the phone. I just told them everything was brilliant and that there was nothing they needed to worry about.
Since all the students at the hostel were scholars, I became more and more competitive in my studies and always compared myself against others in terms of our achievements. During many restless nights, especially before exams and presentations, I would be so nervous and constantly worried about my performance.
Whenever my results were not as I had expected, I felt defeated and disappointed in myself.
Even though I had made very good friends in the hostel, I still tended not to ask for help even when things seemed difficult to be resolved on my own. I hid my struggles and was not willing to share my burdens. I didn’t know that I was subconsciously bearing so many hidden burdens that would affect me afterward.
My competitive and jealous heart constantly affected me, even after I accepted Christ.
I also struggled with pleasing people. I tried hard not to disappoint anyone and put others before me. I would say ‘yes’ to people’s requests or invitations even though I didn’t feel like it, because I didn’t want to be left out. Gradually, I began wearing a mask of a ‘kind’ and ‘worry-free’ girl in my social circles.
I am thankful that God sent friends and guardians to take care of me and share a taste of God’s love in those seemingly lonely, isolated days. I was exposed to some knowledge of Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit during that time. Even though I wasn’t a Christian back then, I could feel the peace mentioned in the morning prayer at the Catholic school I attended.
After committing my life to Christ, my relationship with God was ‘near’ and also ‘far’.
I could feel His presence strongly when I was serving in different ministries. But when I was back to my daily routine, my reliance on God wasn’t as strong as I wanted it to be.
By hearing testimonies about how some people built closer relationships with God by clearing their past hurts, I had a strong desire to do so too.
I knew something in my past was holding me back from God that I couldn’t get rid of it by myself. Going through the Love the Lord course helped me understand how my upbringing had affected my faith journey and all the lies that I had believed. With this knowledge, I signed up for a renewal prayer.
I had never been so honest to God and to myself.
I cried out and poured out to God all the painful moments that I had accumulated over the years that I felt that I could not tell anyone about. They were still there, buried deep down in my heart.
I believed that I had always been alone and condemned myself for making stupid choices.
I had made choices that I was too ashamed to share with anyone. Some were such painful but cruel memories that I could not even dare to ask God for forgiveness and grace, because I thought I was impure.
As my prayer counsellors prayed for me at the end, they saw an image of a pearl, and referred to the parable of pearl (Matthew 13:45-46) that God loved me so much, just like the merchant who sold everything in order to buy the pearl he found. God revealed to me that I was that pearl and that He cherished me. My sins were forgiven, as pure as a baby pearl, there was no need to let the past hold onto me.
God cut the chains off and renewed my heart, as white and pure as the baby pearl.
Following the guidance of my prayer counselors, I cut off the occult and spiritual bondage from the traditional and cultural practices that my family and I committed in the past. These had created blockage between God and me. For example, I was born in an Asian country with a dominant political system that we had to pledge our allegiance to. I learned to rebuke the lie of serving human authority wholeheartedly and proclaimed that God’s Kingdom is the one that I should serve faithfully.
I repented to God for turning to witchcraft, such as fortune-telling and horoscopes. I did not know God has a great plan for my life that I did not need to seek other powers to predict my future back then. Now, I know that God is the One in control of every second of my life.
I also rebuked all the lies about God’s character that I used to believe. I thought He could not forgive me for the sins I have committed and that God was not with me when I didn’t know Him in the past so I could only rely on myself on everything.
God broke every single lie as I proclaimed His true character in the Bible, that my God has always been a merciful, compassion and faithful Father in Heaven.
Despite all the bondage and unintentional offenses I have committed in the past, God forgave me and loves me for who I am. I don’t need to wear a mask to please anyone. I only need to please God alone, because He is the One who supplies everything in my life. His approval and confirmation should be above any other approval on earth. I realised that His love is sufficient for me to show His grace and mercy to people around me from my heart.
I had a beautiful vision of a boundless pasture. The sky was so clear. I was running towards God who was standing still in the middle of grassland, the sun shone around Him as if He was beaming.
I ran to Him and hugged Him like a child. God hugged me back, full of love and joy. I started talking to my Heavenly Father and shared my stories with Him. God graciously told me that there will be no more shame, no more self-condemnation, and no more self-reliance as I confessed everything to Him.
God was so tall that He bent over and listened to me patiently.
I was filled with joy when I had this vision. God has always been standing there and ready to listen to me if I run to Him for refuge. He told me that I don’t need to depend on myself alone anymore, because He has a great plan for me. He has been so gracious to me in the past and standing next to me all the time. He still is and will always be with me at any point of time in the present and in the future.
What I need to do is to patiently wait for His good works in me and seek Him above everything else.
After my renewal prayer, my whole body felt so much lighter. My worries about future planning were gone. The barrier between God and me broke down. I am who He says I am, an authentic daughter of Christ being born again. I cannot stop praising Him and worshiping Him day and night.
My heart was lifted it up and my gaze was adjusted to what is eternal from things that are temporary. It is a true taste of freedom that God has promised. Every cell of my body enjoys what God is working in me. Every step is a step of faith and love.
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