Wednesday in the Word
Hello everyone :) I hope everyone has been well during my short hiatus. I have been spending a lot of time just resting, reflecting, and alone. Plus, I've been keeping myself busy with other stuff, which is great :) I guess I've just been thinking a lot about my idea of self worth.
As an Asian American growing up in a pretty traditional Asian household, I grew up being told my dreams are selfish. Whenever I talked about something I wanted to do, I was told I can't be selfish. I was told my place is in the family, and my future is for my family. I was constantly reminded that everything I do, I must be 100% successful, as a thank you to the family members who gave me the opportunity to succeed. Anything less than success was shameful to my entire family, and I would be punished. 100% is hard to achieve, and I began to walk around in shame, feeling like I am unworthy of help, care, and love. I wouldn't believe that I'm good at something, because I never felt like I was good enough. I put myself and my desires on hold, because it felt selfish to pursue something that didn't financially benefit my family.
When I came to Christ, surrendering myself felt easy. It felt like nothing really different from what I've been doing all my life. Needing a new phone vs buying my sister a prom dress? Prom dress. Sleep or helping a friend out with their final essay? Final essay. I always put myself behind others, not because I'm selfless, but because my self worth was so low that I would feel guilty for even considering putting myself first. Praying for others came so easily, because I've had years of training in worrying for others. It was when I tried to pray for myself that my mind drew a blank. Of course there were desperate times when I needed something, like money or a job, but I had such a hard time requesting or praying for it. My prayers circled around everyone and everything else before I would even try to touch upon my own needs physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It took a long, long time for me to be able to build an honest enough relationship with God to be able to come before him about my desires and wants -- my hopes and dreams, and my selfish thoughts.
I was sorely reminded of this when I was asked a series of questions by a coworker. He asked me if I'm smart, if I'm good at writing, and so forth. I answered with generic "I'd like to think so" and "I don't know, you be the judge" type answers. He told me that I'm not what is pathetic, my answers are. He asked me why I can't say I'm smart, if I graduated a 4 year college. He asked me why I can't say I'm good at writing if I published several novels. He told me that I need to believe that I am good at something. At first, my reaction was anger: how dare he? As a woman, we are told we must be modest: we cannot be good at something, because it's snooty. We can't be bad at something, because that makes us airheads. Therefore, society has trained us to be neutral about whether or not we're good at something: who is he, as a white man, to tell me that my well-thought-out neutral answers are pathetic? Furthermore, Asian teachings always tell us that there's a mountain higher, so we better not say we're a tall mountain, or we'll just be humiliated (rough translation). However, as I thought more about it, I began to understand what he was saying. It was weird, realizing that despite being able to be more honest with my wants and desires, I still do not see myself as a worthy individual.
In Genesis 22, Abraham is asked to sacrifice his son, Isaac, whom his wife was finally able to conceive despite being infertile. Rather than curse God, Abraham tells Isaac that the Lord will provide, and He provided -- in the same way that He gave Jesus Christ to be the Lamb slain for our sins. For me, this passage means to remind me that I AM worthy. I am worthy of the ultimate sacrifice: do I not believe? No, I may not be the best at something, but I am worthy of something. Dare I renounce that? Dare I renounce that my Father has given me the best of the best? Dare I renounce the gifts He has blessed me with? Why am I so unconfident? Still, I must pray and reflect more, but I just thought I'd share this with you all :)
Hope your week has been going great <3