In this post, I chose to open up a bit more and be transparent. In the midst of chaos with the covid-19 virus and other issues of life, I’ve gotten a chance to be a bit more introspective.
Over the last 2 years, my life changed dramatically when I started attending my now church home. It allowed me to see an aspect of Christianity that I was never exposed to before. I had never heard a pastor actually apply the Bible to life. When I say life, I mean the full human experience here on Earth. Anything you could think about he spoke about it openly. The best part is that he does it without condemnation. The messages always make me think deeply about my life and gave me a conviction to genuinely want to do and be better.
Being exposed to these powerful lessons and becoming best friends with the Holy Spirit forced me to constantly look at the woman in the mirror and to be honest, I was not happy with what I saw. I saw so many things that I thought did not make me a suitable representative of God. I saw unforgiveness, self-condemnation, rejection, fear, perfectionism, rage, none of which represented what I claimed to be as a follower of Christ. The messages taught and lessons I learnt from my leaders at church forced me to dig deeper to find the root of my issues.
Why was it so hard for me to forgive others? Well, maybe because I didn’t really forgive myself. Why was I so hard on myself? Because I didn’t think it was acceptable to be anything less than perfect. Why couldn’t I forgive myself for messing up? Because I thought I deserved to be punished. Why did I think I deserved to be punished? Because I was suffering from rejection and fear. The root of my issues lead me right back to the beginning, my childhood. Things which many people may think are no big deal can affect us greatly and childhood is usually where it all started. The words spoken over children matter, issues in the home that parents often try to hide matter. They may cover it up well but the toxic residue is passed on. This period in everyone’s life is crucial because children are sponges and will absorb the energy in their environments, good or bad. I’m by no means saying this to blame anyone, I’m simply making the point that sometimes we get stuck with habits, mind sets and personalities because of things we had no control over from the very beginning. The unfortunate result? Dysfunctional adults.
It was just a little over 2 years ago that I truly began my journey to self discovery. It was also on this journey that I began to change from the inside out and truly know what it meant to be a Christian after over 10 years of labeling myself as one. I learnt that I found it hard to forgive and accept others because I did not truly believe that God was able to forgive and accept me as I was. I felt too messed up. The whole basis of being a Christian meant that I should believe that God suffered, died and rose to life again all to forgive me! It’s kind of a requirement…
I had to come to terms with the fact that God loves me no matter what. He doesn’t see my mess when he looks at me. He sees me through his lens as the person he designed me to be, even though I’m not exactly there yet.
It took me getting to the root of things and learning to forgive and accept myself, flaws and all, to truly forgive and accept others. So let’s get into the real story…
I’ve played a major role in a school owned by my mother since it’s inception in 2008. I guess you can call it our family business. Over the years I saw her robbed by employees and taken advantage of by some parents who had kids attending the school. She had a few wonderful, helpful parents who were a part of the Parent & Teacher’s Association (PTA) but they naturally came and left once their child graduated and moved on. About 5 years ago, there was a particular parent who became too attached to the school director (my mom). Being the overprotective person I am, I was not happy about it. I immediately labeled the lady as a leech, opportunist and user. You couldn’t convince me that she had no hidden agenda for wanting to be so close to her. I disliked her and it was not a secret. You’re probably wondering why? What did she do? The honest answer is nothing… At least nothing significant that I can remember.
The truth of the matter was that:
(1) I didn’t want anyone to betray my mother again because we lost a lot from dishonest people in the past.
(2) I was insecure because it seemed as though this lady was taking all the time and attention from what really mattered, our family.
Like I said before, the root of all this went back to my childhood. I won’t get into the details right now, but that was essentially the problem. There was a root issue inside of me that had nothing to do with the poor lady. I prayed for this lady to go away, just like the others, but for some reason she never left.
It wasn’t until 2 years ago, when I made peace with my past and myself, that I had a change of heart. I chose to forgive and accept myself and my past, and I literally prayed for this lady until I saw and loved her as God saw and loved me. Everyone already knew I wanted nothing to do with her back then, but a significant change happened inside my heart. I knew for sure that the change was real because in my quiet time on several occasions I would hear the Holy Spirit tell me to hug this lady the next time I saw her and I actually wanted to. I was presented with that opportunity last year and I did exactly that with sincere love in my heart.
The cool thing about it was what happened after. That same evening, my mother told me how that hug meant more to this lady than I could imagine. Apparently, she couldn’t stop talking about it and didn’t even want to take a shower to savour the moment of what happened that day lol. It was so funny because to me it seemed very simple but to her it was such a big deal. I came to learn that this lady suffered from a lot of rejection in childhood by her own mother, and this was the reason why she looked up to mine as her own. My mother became to her the mother she never had and all she really wanted was love and acceptance. Wasn’t that something…
The teachings and discipleship I have received over the past 2 years from my pastors and leaders broke something inside of me that kept me in bondage and pain for years. The consequence of that was a change of heart. A heart that could see the flaws in others but love them anyways because now I truly know and accept that God did the same for me.
Love & Blessings,
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