Watch: Tracy’s testimony
Tracy shares about how she began to heal from the bitterness she accumulated from childhood experiences of rejection as she allowed God’s truth and presence to heal her heart. Praise God!
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I began to choose to turn away from the sinful views, judgments, bitterness, resentments, fear that I had harboured in my heart and surrender them to God in prayer.
Each time I did that, my heart felt lighter.
Hi. My name is Tracy. I grew up in a typical Asian family in Australia. My parents immigrated there to start a family. They sacrificed a lot and worked hard to raise us and give us everything possible.
I pursued a life as a non-Christian. Years and years of striving to succeed by the world’s standards and falling short. Chasing after worldly desires but never feeling satisfied. Feeling betrayed and abandoned by people I trusted. I just felt weary and heartbroken.
On the outside, I put on a brave and tough facade. But inside, I was crumbling. I felt numb all the time.
My mood will fluctuate from sadness to anger and then to a state of hopelessness, and then back to pretending everything was fine.
I thought that living this way was normal. I just had to find a way to endure.
It was during this low point in my life that a Christian friend invited me to Easter church service. I went with little or no expectations.
Surprisingly, I had an encounter with the Holy Spirit. It was during a worship song that suddenly triggered an outburst of tears. It was as though the vault of my heart burst open and the deeply buried sorrow and un-cried tears came pouring out.
I was met with this deep, tingly feeling all over my body. In my spirit, I felt a warmth resonate from deep within my heart. I knew it was God reaching out to me.
From then on, all I wanted to do was get closer to God and to receive His everlasting love. I started to attend church and various courses, and by October of that same year, I was baptised.
It was the beginning of the journey of restoring my heart and identity. Learning more about the truth of God’s character was turning everything that I had come to know from a head knowledge to a real, tangible, and personal relationship.
The more I surrendered and turned my heart back to God, the pain that used to be buried deep in my heart was lifted away, piece by piece.
A lightness and peace would come to fill the space where there was once feelings of hopelessness, disappointment, anger, fear, sadness, and resentment.
Even the triggers that would often take me back to relive the pain of my childhood wounds simply fell away, as I learned that these past wounds no longer had a stronghold over me.
Growing up, my identity was deeply rooted in how I was received by my family and those closest to me. I had always felt unwanted or unseen and had this innate fear of abandonment.
Along the way, I had formed the belief that for me to be received and to be of value in the world, I need to earn it or prove I was worthy.
In this way, I could receive love and understanding from my family and others.
In a recent prayer with some friends from church, God gave us the vision that I was sitting in a garden laughing and chatting with Him. He wanted to let me know that He can be Himself with me. And He wants me to be able to be myself too.
He never rejects anyone and never rejects His child. But He could see how much I worked all my life to be loved and accepted. He wanted to tell me that I am valued in His eyes.
The Holy Spirit revealed that locked away inside me, I was still carrying that little girl who was still crying and still carrying the burden of measuring my own value by what I can do for others — which was reinforced by the rejection I felt from my parents as a child.
I recall wanting to go to a friend’s party when I was a child and my mom would not even respond when I told her about my desire.
I would quietly study for hours each day on the weekend, just to demonstrate that I did my time to earn some freedom.
I would ask again and she would just deny me, telling me to focus on my schooling and that I did not need friends. This experience with my mum led me to believe that I’m the one who’s powerless, that I needed to please her, and hope that by being good and doing things that pleased her, that my efforts would be favourable. On very few occasions, they were but more often, I was left in tears by the unexplained, unjust “No!” response out from her.
There were other similar situations. A close family member I grew up with would play with me on Saturdays when our families met up. We were the best of friends, but only on weekends. When it came time for school, as we ended up in the same year and class, I was told that during the weekdays, I should go find other people to hang around. This messaging was confusing.
As a little girl, I felt rejected by someone that I thought was family. I felt sad and upset about the situation.
So I told the class teacher about it because I wanted someone to help me. But in the end, I got told off by my parents because they felt ashamed that I got a family member in trouble.This experience reinforced the belief that I was somehow different, that I would have to endure the unfairness of the world, and that no one would protect me, not even my parents.
These patterns continued to shape the way I saw my value and left an impact on how I viewed my purpose; that I needed to just try and fit in to be accepted.
This preoccupation meant I never got a chance to decide what I wanted in my life.
My opinions and personality became pushed aside because I was too busy proving my worth to those around me, pandering to the needs of others as it was not something that was freely reciprocated to me.
I was still holding on to all these lies I believed as a child; that I am only visible or valid if I perform. Otherwise, the consequence is that I will be ignored, condemned, or rejected. These lies that I had spoken over myself had bound me in a pattern of constant striving. This was not from God.
I needed to reject all the lies which formed sinful reactions and coping mechanisms in my heart and renounce each one before God and replace it with the truth.
For example, reject that “I only have value if I am useful, helpful, able to provide in some way to others.” The truth being that “My value is attributed by God, that I am a child of God, His beloved daughter who is loved, cherished, and fully acknowledged, seen and known by Him because I am made in His image.”
Reject that: “I only have value if I am able to do what people want me to do or be.” The truth being, “Idolising others by my actions, people pleasing, and submitting myself to the power and authority of man is a sinful reaction. I need only please God, by honouring His commandments and living out His word.”
Reject that “I only have value if I have a job that is worthy to be proud of or have relationships that others have.”
The truth being, “It doesn’t matter what title I have, job or relationship status. God doesn’t see me as any less, nor does He love me any less.
He isn’t withholding anything from me nor is He punishing me by the means of what I don’t have.” The truth is that “We are not to compare with others, and to want what they have is a trap. It goes against God and judges God for what He has provided for us so far. It is a mentality that is the way of the world and not from God.”
Breaking off each lie and replacing it with the truth was empowering, as though I was rewriting my future and allowing God’s plans for me to come to light, no longer bound by those fears or to live my life on autopilot, to say yes to every single person or demand, which was in itself exhausting and draining.
Matthew 11:28-30: Jesus says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
God revealed that when I was little, I didn’t know how to respond to my parents or those around me, and formed my own sinful ways to cope.
Thankfully, I need not go back to those ways anymore. God ultimately is the best Teacher, who will teach me in a new way to walk, to form a new habit, build a new structure that is godly and pleasing to Him.
Isaiah 48:17: “This is what the Lord says, “Your Redeemer, the holy one of Israel. I am the Lord Your God who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.””
This includes learning to recognise the childhood patterns that I have formed that are not of God, to unlearn these patterns from my earthly parents by asking God to speak into the way I should respond and go, so I can walk in the way and the path that God has created for me.
And in the seasons of waiting on God, I can trust in the timing and promise of all that is to come.
After repenting of all the coping mechanisms and sinful ways that I had developed, I asked God to cleanse my heart and help me receive the best from Him and to convict my heart if I fall off His path.
I also repented for judging my mom for forcing me to feel powerless each time I asked for permission to go to a friend’s party, and the family member for the way in which I felt rejected and hurt by their actions.
I prayed for blessings for them both, that they would receive His joy and peace, and to have the opportunity to truly experience His love, so they too could feel known and seen by Him, as I have.
Afterwards, I felt a peace and lightness in my heart. Another layer had lifted, with His truth shining into my life through His Word and His light.
After some time, I could see that I no longer wanted to say yes to everything. I felt led to ask the Holy Spirit to speak into my spirit, my heart, my mind, and my soul in what I needed and if there was anything that was required of me to take up or do.
In my church life, I felt empowered to embrace a season of rest, of not actively serving at every chance, like I would have in the past. And this has resulted in a fruitful and intimate time spent with God.
I feel even closer to Him and more rested in His presence.
I have the capacity to take up activities that I actually want to do and room to decide to say yes to what my heart is drawn to more and more, as opposed to saying yes out of fear of rejection.
With my family and relationships, both inside and outside of church, I have more peace and patience to meet them where they are, to see them the way God sees them — with greater love, kindness and compassion, and less condemnation or judgment. Even if thoughts pop up that are not pleasing to God, the conviction comes soon after, and I make a choice then and there to hold on or to surrender to God and ask for forgiveness of my sinful ways, and for God to cleanse my heart and to bless this person.
Walking in this way has allowed me to lean into those that God has placed in my life and to love them as I’m led by the Holy Spirit.
Walking with Him each day through each season, learning and receiving from Him has been the best gift of all.
My encouragement to you is to keep seeking God with all your heart, mind, spirit and soul. Prioritise this relationship because it is the most important of all and it is never too late to begin or begin again.
God eagerly awaits for you. As you seek Him, He will reveal Himself in the most amazing ways, whether it is answering your prayers in the most creative of ways, revealing the path before you via the Bible, or in conversations and encounters with people.
He will lead you back on the path He has set before you, even if you go astray.
Even if you turn your back from God, He will wait for you to let Him back in. He’s like no other. God will never leave you, abandon you, or forsake you. He is the hope you have been waiting for and He won’t let you down.
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