In my primary years right through into my early adulthood years, I was always trying to identify with who I was. Not being skinny and underweight was one of the most difficult things I needed to deal with. In school and my working career, I was nicknamed, surfboard, ironing board, and a whole lot more. I would laugh and make it seem that I was part of their "joke," but deep down inside of me was a different story.
Being a darker-skinned person and being judged by family and friends was disappointing. I could see and feel how differently I was treated by others, especially at special occasions or celebrations. This made me think that I wasn't good enough. My identity was questionable. I didn’t know who I was or why I looked this way.
I wasn't very academic in school either, and I battled to focus on school work and found it challenging to read the theory and memorize content. In one of the parent meetings in primary school, one of my teachers told my mum and dad that I will most probably not make it through life.
All these challenges contributed to how I felt. I would describe it as me wearing a coat of hopelessness. This coat grew heavier and heavier over the years and resulted in anxiety, lack of self-confidence and always second-guessing myself. The enemy of my soul was to question my identity.
Through this journey, I am thankful for wonderful and supportive parents who encouraged me and guided me the best they knew how. When I was saved by Jesus Christ I began to saturate myself in the Word and books. My sister in Christ, Debbie, encouraged me and shared the Bible daily with me. Slowly but surely I began to unlearn the negative thoughts about myself before fully accepting why God created me. I had to let go and give God this battle to fight for me.
My turning point came when I read Jeremiah 1:5, which states, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart […]."
Of course, yes! This was the light bulb moment. It gave life to my spirit, it gave me a renewed hope. This verse along with other verses and affirmations, I began to see who I was in God. I gradually removed my coat of hopelessness and started adorning myself with love and light!
Family and friends can no longer change my identity because I now know not only who I am, but whose I am in Christ Jesus. I am an image-bearer for the Lord.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I am His creation; beautiful, gifted, talented, and confident. I am who God says I am!
"I press on toward the goal to win the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14, ESV).