Deeply Loved by God

by Claudia Tan, 20 years old

I grew up in a typical Asian household – my parents were strict, impersonal and top-down for most part. I yearned dearly for their love and affection, to be coddled by hugs and kisses and “I love you-s”, but I hardly ever received them. Even though I am now mature enough to understand that my parents had expressed their love through deed, in my simplicity as a child, all I registered was rejection. It didn’t help that my birth was an ‘accident’, the product of an unplanned pregnancy. This made me feel like I was an unvalued add-on to the family. I believed that I could not depend on my family for love and acceptance, so I distanced myself from them.

I turned to the world to prove my worth, as if I could create value for myself if I worked hard and achieved. And I did achieve – I did well in school, I was a student leader, I played several sports, won various awards and was even on my way to medical school. I placed my confidence and securities in all those successes and clung onto them tightly. I also perceived hurting as a weakness, so I refused to feel. I thought I was strong, independent, secure and had myself all figured out; and it was with this mind-set that I entered the School of Witness (SOW).

During a session, we were called to surrender our sin of self-loathing. As I waited to be prayed with, the feelings of self-hatred surfaced in me. Every moment when I had felt lonely, rejected and inadequate flashed before my eyes like a video montage and overwhelmed me with deep sorrow. It was as if in that one instant, I felt the pain of my entire existence that I have avoided and refused to process for years.

Having uncovered for the first time how broken I truly was, I received in prayer ministry the call of Jesus to let go of my pride and gave Him permission to heal me. Slowly, I began to surrender and cooperate with Jesus’ invitation to undo the lies that I’ve been chained to all these years. I’ve always felt alone in my struggles, but one night, as I rested in the Spirit, Jesus opened my eyes to see the truth that He has always been by my side. In a vision that I received, I saw the same video montage, but this time around, Jesus was in every single one of those moments. He spoke words of love and comfort in each moment that I had been so desperate for, especially from my parents. This revelation overwhelmed me, and I remember crying, overwhelmed by the immensity of His love and faithfulness.

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Through SOW, I am now convicted in the truth that I am chosen, worthy and perfect in God’s eyes! All the darkness about myself that I had believed in, the Lord has begun to wash away. I am never alone, never unvalued and never broken beyond God’s saving. He assures me that I am not a mistake, for He Himself created me fearfully and wonderfully. With Him I am deeply loved; I never have to try, I never have to earn it. With Him, I don’t have to guard my heart, because it is a treasure to Him and He will hold it carefully like a precious gem.

Since my encounter with the Lord in SOW, I have begun to live anew, to live more freely and confidently in His promises. Before, I was easily envious and viewed all my peers as potential threats to my own success, but now, I am better able to love and be genuinely happy for others. Even though I am still a work in progress and still fall back sometimes to my old ways, I no longer hesitate to run quickly back to Him.

I was dead, but now I am alive in Christ; I was blind, but now I see. I claim the little victories that God has won for me and praise Him for His marvellous work in my life. The question is, will you let Him work in you?


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