Our final three nights teaching at A-Mane English Center, my team took the opportunity to present the gospel. We created a skit that would share the story about the woman at the well (John 4). I also felt like I should share my testimony of what God has been doing in my life.
I had never shared such personal things in front of a group like this. I was so nervous!
In the skit, we acted out lies that people begin to believe about themselves and showed how Jesus wants to replace those lies with the truth. This skit felt like it was taken right out of my own life. Once the final strains of the song, “The Struggle,” ended, I stepped forward and began to share….
Growing up in a Christian home didn’t keep me from believing many lies about myself, my value, and how God saw me.
I believed I was ugly, that my beauty depended on the number I weighed on the scale. I thought people didn’t really like me and they didn’t want me around. I didn’t pursue friendships because I assumed others would want someone else to be their friend instead of me. I couldn’t see that I was valuable simply because God made me.
The crazy thing is, I knew the truth about many of these things in my head, but not in my heart.
I didn’t want to let God work in my heart because I didn’t trust Him. I was afraid that if I made any sort of mistake, I would go to hell. I “knew” God loved me, but most of the time I thought he was mad at me, just waiting for me to mess up. I didn’t see God as a loving father who encourages me or helps me when I fall down. I didn’t believe that God would help me do the right thing. And I believed that what he wanted for me would always be the opposite of what I wanted.
A big change has taken place in my life through coming to DTS! From the first day, God started chipping away at the lies I’ve held onto for so long. I felt like God was saying to me “you are my child” over and over. I can’t explain exactly how, but God began to show me that I was believing lies. I slowly realized that God is not always angry at me. I can’t earn his love by being perfect. He has saved me. He wants to just be my Dad. He wants me to trust him.
God is there to help me when I mess up. It’s like I’m a baby learning to walk. My dad wouldn’t yell at me after I fall over, but would encourage me to keep trying. Dad would help me up and hold me close. The same is true with God. I’ve realized God just wants time with me. He wants my heart.
Getting past lies I’ve believed about myself doesn’t happen overnight. Even during DTS and here on outreach, I’ve felt alone or unwanted. But last week, a wise person told me that I needed to learn to like myself. I realize just how true that is! Putting myself down is not the way God loves me. As I read scripture and pray it for myself, God is changing my perspective.
I am learning to be myself, to love people without assuming they do not want my love. When it comes to beauty, I am believing that I am made in the image of God. I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am trying to learn to even eat in a way that brings Him honor. I am a creation of God, and I am trying to see myself and my body in that way. I wish I could make all these lies be gone by tomorrow, but changing my views of myself is a process, a battle. I’m thankful that in Christ, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, we have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” II Corinthians 10:4.
When I finished sharing from my own life and telling the kids that God loves them no matter what, we did a project together about Truth. We wanted them to learn how God sees them. Some of the kids said that they understood how I felt when I was acting in the play. Some of them knew about Jesus already, but many did not.
One of the boys asked, “Do you really see Jesus?” and “Why did Jesus have to die for us?” and “So all you have to do is believe in Him?”
It was such a blessing to be able to use the work God is doing in my life, to show the kids how He loves them that much too!
by Corrie, DTS student on outreach in Bangkok, ThailandLearn More About DTS!