When I was a little girl, I used to walk around in dresses and tiaras declaring that one day I would be a princess that would help every single person in the world. My dream was always to make everyone as happy as they could be and to build castles for everyone that didn’t have a home. As I began my journey through High School my dreams faded and insecurities started to rise.
One day after school my mom came to pick me up and told me that we had to rush to the hospital. My dad had a stroke. I did not even know the meaning of this until that day. My world was shattered and I could not understand why God would allow something like this to happen (little did I know that He would never do anything to harm us, but works out all things for good).
A journey of recovery followed. My dad had to learn to walk, talk and even breathe again. It broke my heart seeing him suffer like this. After being announced disabled he was no longer able to work; I lost all motivation for anything else and just wanted to take the role of a caretaker in my family.
I was so used to getting affirmation and meaning from the words of my father that seeing him crumble broke me. I did not know or understand where to get my confidence or identity from. I felt lost, confused and no longer understood the purpose of life.
During High School I was faced with verbal and physical abuse. I was told that I am not good enough, not worth loving, a mistake and should of never have been born.
I was emotionally and physically hurting and turned to food for comfort. Within the blink of an eye I found myself on the verge of type two diabetes. I was desperate for change, but not for the right reasons. I wanted to look like the skinny girls that I saw in magazines. I went to drastic measures to lose weight. The problem is that I became scared of food and actually ended up in the hospital due to not eating enough and not getting the right amount of nutrients into my body.
I was completely broken. The worldly attention I was craving was given to me. I was finally accepted by crowds of people and started to rely on compliments daily. To my surprise all the attention actually shattered my confidence even further. I did not understand why I was only accepted and liked by people now that I was 30 kgs lighter than I had been before. I once again felt worthless and as if who I was on the inside was of no importance if I was not perfect on the outside.
I developed a massive fear for people and their opinions. I feared rejection more than anything else . I was so insecure that I could no longer look people in the eye and avoided every mirror that I walked past. I would compare myself to anyone and everyone and constantly convinced myself that I was not worth loving, or caring about.
The broken state led to suicidal thoughts. I had no idea how I was going to go on or have the strength to face another day. But deep inside I knew there had to be another way.
Later that year, I attended a women’s conference and could never imagine the impact it would have on my life. For the first time I understood the Love of God for me and the concept of Him being our Father. He loves me just as much as I wished I could be loved by my earthly father. I surrendered all my insecurities to Him and knew that I no longer had to face life on my own. God showed me that the words others speak over us does not matter as we can find our identity in Him and what He says is true. I felt loved and cherished for the first time in my life. After years of avoiding mirrors and people I could look at myself in the mirror and say, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” and actually believe it.
God gave me the courage to dream again. He brought back the dreams that I so easily put to sleep and awakened a love and passion inside of me for people and building His Kingdom. Also, dreams of changing the world through worship and creativity, helping others, feeding the hungry, empowering women and traveling through Africa and the rest of the world to reach out to the broken was birthed in my heart.
I believe that He strengthens us to strengthen others. He took my brokenness and made me whole. He gave me the strength to heal and as the journey continues I know that with His love we can overcome any challenge that comes our way. Challenges do still come but I know that I never have to face it alone. His peace and unfailing love carries me through and always brings me out stronger on the other side of any obstacle.