by Christopher Toh (above photo, middle), 27 years old
I may appear cheerful, but in truth, the sense of dejection and abandonment always accompanied me in my life. Since young, I battled with inferiority, believing I will never be good enough. I wasn’t as quick-witted as my parents wanted me to be and I also remember how my father would constantly put me down making me feel small. While it’s easy for me to see the strengths in others, I struggled to see any in myself. I remembered being laughed at in church for singing too loudly, and felt inadequate playing the guitar. When I did badly for A levels and had to go to a private university, I struggled with my self-worth and how others would look at me. I was also asked to leave a position I was passionate about and this devastated me.
As I grew older, I learnt to cast these feelings aside, and focused on what I could accomplish for others. This led me to start my first job at a Catholic humanitarian agency. Through working with faith-filled individuals, I started to long for something more, and to seek Jesus in a deeper way. Hence, in 2019 I attended Treasure 11 (a retreat for working adults) and I felt like I had finally returned home to Jesus. It was also here that I learnt about the School of Witness (SOW). One day, I felt the invitation from the Lord to attend SOW and though I felt inadequate, I signed up.
During a time of worship and ministry at SOW, I felt joyful singing and dancing. It was also the night I claimed my gift of tongues! However, when the session was ending, I had not been prayed over yet! In doubt and confusion, I wondered if I was harmlessly missed out. I tried to focus on Jesus, reminding myself that as long as I have Jesus with me, it was enough. But when I realised that we had moved to the next segment and I still have not been prayed over, I felt rejected and slowly walked to the back of the room.
It was then that I whispered to my cell group leader that I had not been prayed over. The sense of abandonment hit me like a bullet as I collapsed onto the floor and sobbed. This sense of being missed out reminded me of my past. I kept asking Jesus what this meant and if I was really not good enough for Him. The prayer team assured me that the session hasn’t ended, and prayed over me. I felt a sense of reassuring peace deepen in me. As I reflected, I realised God works in wondrous ways. I do not need to live in greater dejection and abandonment. God loves me and He invites me to really surrender my self-reliance and the habit of finding my identity in worldly things. Jesus is here for me and He remembers me.
In SOW, I also received healing. At a session, kneeling in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I just felt so unworthy to look at Jesus. But I was encouraged to stand up, for “Jesus is here to meet me.” I gathered courage, and asked Jesus to heal me of my past hurts. For the first time in a very long while, I felt the strong yet gentle love of Jesus restoring me.
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I know that this battle with inferiority is an ongoing process, and it might creep up again and easily. But to have experienced restoration and knowing that God wishes to clothe me with a new robe and put a new ring on me, I know Christ made me worthy and a beloved child of God.
My dear friends, no struggle is too dark or bleak, too big or small, too undesirable or too
deep-rooted to surrender to Jesus, Let Him revisit them with you. I am filled with confidence that in allowing space for God to work in His wonderful ways, I can continue to experience His love through healing and restoration. To anyone reading this, I want to invite you to step out of your idea of self-condemnation, inadequacy, unworthiness or not being ‘holy’ enough, and live a life of freedom in Christ.
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