by Melodi Ng, 28 years old
I am an only child born to my parents who tried really hard to conceive and had me in their late 30s. I lived most of my childhood years doing everything that I’m told to avoid getting scolded. I also didn’t cry because it would result in another beating by my father or lament from my mother on being so emotionally frail. Over the years all I heard from my parents was that I was not good enough and a disappointment. As I grew up, the brokenness of my parents’ marriage became clearer to me as I was often the victim in their couple arguments.
Since home wasn’t a home, I found ways and means to be desired and needed by others. I began maintaining different personas that would prove my worth. When things got out of control and relationships came crashing, I would despise myself for not having done enough, having to bear the consequences of the emotional mess of being forsaken. I eventually spiralled into a depression but was healed 4 years ago, marking the start of my walk with Jesus Christ.
I started having a more active faith life and believed I was achieving a new intimacy with God. Despite going for many retreats, it was at the School of Witness that Jesus revealed the depth of my brokenness and wounds of abandonment. As the weeks went by, Jesus’ constant invitation to me was to confront the ways I have been coping. I resisted out of fear that everything I had known was a lie. Subsequently, when given opportunities to express myself in music, creativity and writing, I failed miserably at them and began doubting myself. I began despising what I used to enjoy. I also struggled to even articulate, “Who is God?” as I began questioning who I am. Without my love of these interests, my lifelines of “experiencing God” were as good as gone. I couldn’t fathom being bare before the Lord with nothing to offer.
Just like blind Bartimaeus in scripture, whose entire life and home had been the cloak he was living with and holding on to – I had grown comfortable in my sufferings and pain. I hid behind my gifts and talents, using them as a distraction. I thought that by creating something different each time, it was a way of moving forward. When I struggled with articulating why my life seemed to be going in circles, I simply isolated myself to dissociate. This behaviour continued at SOW, as I struggled to be present despite all that was going on.
Despite avoiding Jesus, He still relentlessly sent brothers and sisters in SOW to bear His face and speak His truths about who I am to me. Every simple “Melodi, are you ok?” somehow unraveled me, slowly removing the layers of my pride and hidden anger at God. I never knew that I was permitted to feel angry and cry, and to not be told off, but instead held lovingly and encouraged to try again. The gentle yet firm love of Jesus didn’t waver as I began to learn to respond out of real obedience, firstly by entrusting my parents to Him. Subsequently, as I learnt to call upon the name of Jesus boldly, I finally threw off my spiritual cloak and ran to Jesus, asking Him to let me see Him again for who He is, and who I really am.
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There are still days of frustration where I struggle to understand what Jesus is trying to say. However, I now allow myself to be interrupted by Him and trust that He is constantly speaking to me through every interaction, even with my parents. Little by little through each affirmation that I received from the community, Jesus continues to reveal Himself in the ordinary of life where there’s still pain and brokenness. As I learn to better recognize His presence and be gazed upon, He tells me, “You are my beloved and delight- you are enough.” I find myself returning His gaze with a new hope and strength to continue running towards the light.
My brothers and sisters, will you let go, and let God tell you who you really are?
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