by Melissa Foo, 25 years old
For most of my life, I struggled with loving and believing in myself. I constantly sought validation and affirmation from others, which stemmed from the lack of trust in God and in who I was.
I used to overwork myself to prove that I was capable. I struggled to keep boundaries at home and at work. Even if I was tired and overloaded, I still felt the need to accede to work requests out of fear. As a result, I broke down quite regularly at work. If I failed in a task or disappointed someone, I would feel like a total disgrace and weighed down with guilt. At the age of 25, I could not assure myself of truths such as, “Mel, you are doing well. Mel, you are lovable. Mel, you are good.”
In School of Witness, the Lord revealed to me that I was falling into the sin of self-condemnation and wanted me to bring this area to Him. Different prayer teams shared with me the same image of me being stuck in a tomb in complete darkness. God showed me that this darkness represented the weight of the negative scripts I carried for a long time. Since young, I was told to listen and not to talk back as there would be consequences. Thus, every word spoken to me (including the negative ones), I listened and believed.
During an inner healing exercise, I recalled some of these negative scripts such as “Mel, you are sickening, unproductive, unfocused and problematic” and a memory of being in a powerless situation. I realised that being told these scripts again and again have led me to believe that I was a bad person and goodness did not exist in me. This was my wound of shame. As these scripts came from people who mattered to me, I felt hurt and this pushed me deeper into my tomb.
We were then told to look through a list of bible verses and identify the verse we struggled with the most. For me, the verse was 1 John 3:1 – “And it is my desire to lavish my love on you”. I struggled seeing myself as someone lovable, what more being lavished with love! I could easily believe that God loved others, but not me. As I received prayer, the message that pierced my heart was that “I have a God-shaped heart that only He can fill and that I deserve to be loved as I am”. As cliché as it sounds, there was a deep intimacy with my Creator. I am loved for the person I am and only God has sole authority over my life. This is the way the Lord resurrects me from my tomb – He is the light that shines in the darkness of my self-hatred, and darkness cannot overcome it. There is no condemnation in His love.
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The healing of my shame is just beginning but I now believe that the lavish love of the Lord is enough to anchor me in my identity as a child of God. I am being resurrected from my tomb every time I say yes to the Lord against my self-condemnation, and I can begin rejoicing in the creation that I am.
Now when negative scripts are said to me, I stand not in shame, but in a greater conviction that I have a God who is for me and not against me. I am growing my bank of truths through Scripture, so that I can speak them over the lie that I am unlovable. I am also learning to let go of the desire for others’ affirmations to prove my worth, for the strongest affirmation I can ever receive comes from Jesus Christ Himself. He has given me a greater freedom to be loved and to love. How blessed am I that the God I have come to fall in love with does not leave me dead in my tomb but pays the heavy price on the cross so that in His resurrection, I may live.
My dear friends, Jesus desires to resurrect you from your own tombs. How then do you want to respond to His saving love for you?
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