It’s been a while since I’ve written on this blog. And to me, it feels like an eternity. Things have been so hectic and I’ve been dealing with my insecurities for the longest time.
From the start of the year, I’ve been feeling like I wasn’t enough– that I wasn’t a good writer, that I wasn’t pretty enough to be liked, and that I’m not popular enough for my blog to be noticed. My husband has been encouraging me, telling me to keep at it and not mind my insecurities.
But it has been a constant struggle.
There have been times when I wanted to give up and to keep myself away from the public eye. But this is not an option, especially in the industry I am in.
Thankfully, I found friends – good friends. Friends who actually accepted and appreciated my worth. Friends whom I could rely on with all the things in my life and tell them my thoughts without getting judged or worry about being betrayed.
For the longest time, it felt like that. And then I lost them.
I kept asking God “What did I do?” and “Why do you put me through this again and again?”
This has happened so many times in the past– from my high school to my circle of closest friends, from my own relatives to my friends at work.
I’ve felt bullied and unappreciated. People have gone out of their way to make me feel like I wasn’t enough.
Why does this keep happening to me, God? I don’t think I am not that bad of a person. I am not perfect but I am trying my best to be a good friend and relative. But why do I keep getting betrayed?
The last time I felt unappreciated was by our group in church. I even wrote about it here and shared some thoughts that went through my head at the time.
I stopped blogging about being a Christian because I felt like I wasn’t being sincere. How could I keep giving advice about being a Christian, when I couldn’t even do it myself?
I know that I believe in Christ and I trust in Him. The only issue I had was with mankind, or to be more specific, the other Christians I knew.
So when I found a good circle of friends here at work, I felt relieved. I felt loved. And most of all, I felt safe.
Somewhere along the line, I knew it was wrong. I knew that I had to put Christ in the center of everything– and that included my relationships with other people. But if I wanted to fit in, I had to tone down the Christian talk, even though nobody had enforced me to do it. I knew nobody wanted to hear it so I had to set Christ aside for now and just keep Him in a corner.
You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you. Exodus 34:14
I realize now that Christ had warned me of putting my trust in man over Him. Yet I did not heed to His warning. I let myself be consumed with excitement of finally fitting in and of finally finding a group that appreciated me.
When time came that one of them betrayed me, I felt so shattered. I felt like I had lost myself. The very person that I trusted and was close to for years turned to be someone who would betray me in the end. Although I do not know for sure whom the other person is (and I don’t intend to find out), I feel betrayed.
The word I used to describe our group– safe; it turned out to be poison for me. Instead of seeking safety in other people, I should have looked for it in Christ Jesus.
Coincidentally, when I started to turn my attention to Christ and let Him be the one to heal me, his still voice started become strong again. I started to see His glory once again and feel the love that I encountered when I first came to know Him. I opened my heart out to Christ and He slowly started to comfort me.
I found comfort in Him through the smallest of things. And this reminded me that these are ways Christ speaks to us:
I decided to read my Bible one day and randomly opened it to this passage:
Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely,
the one who shared my food, has turned against me.
I wanted to shout and start to feel sorry for myself all over again but Christ was quick to give me comfort:
Lord, have mercy on me.
Make me well again, so I can pay them back!
11 I know you are pleased with me,
for you have not let my enemies triumph over me.
12 You have preserved my life because I am innocent;
you have brought me into your presence forever.
13 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
who lives from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and amen!
Whenever I would feel bad about being excluded from the group, the Holy Spirit would give me lines to songs that I had long forgotten. I started listening to these songs again and found great comfort and peace in His words:
- I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back. (Christ Is Enough, Hillsong)
- In Christ alone, I place my trust and find my glory in the power of the cross. In every victory, let it be said of me. My source of strength, my source of hope is Christ alone. (In Christ Alone, Brian Littrell)
- When you call, I won’t refuse. Each new day again I’ll choose. There is no one else for me. None but Jesus. (None But Jesus, Hillsong)
- In the moment of my weakness, you give me grace to do your will. (None But Jesus, Hillsong)
- All my delight is in You Lord. All of my hope, all of my strength. (None But Jesus, Hillsong)
- Even when my strength is lost, I’ll praise you. Even when I have no song, I’ll praise you. Even when it’s hard to find the words, Louder then I’ll sing your praise. (Even When It Hurts, Hillsong)
- Times of refreshing, here in your presence. No greater blessing, than being with you (Times of Refreshing, Marty Nystrom)
- What a beautiful name it is, what a beautiful name it is. The name of Jesus Christ, my King (What A Beautiful Name, Hillsong)
- As we see your glory, we sing you’re holy! Hope will rise inside us. (Hope Will Rise, Every Nation Music)
- In Christ is our redemption. All sin and wrong forgiven. The empty grave our guarantee. (Hope Will Rise, Every Nation Music)
- Christ is enough for me. Everything I need is in you. (Christ Is Enough, Hillsong)
The most astonishing experience of all is that when I first heard Victory Worship’s newest single, Safe, I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t particularly enjoy it and didn’t fully understand it.
But when I started to listen to it after I was betrayed, I felt so comforted by Christ. It was the very message I was looking for: Safe.
I thought I was safe when I trusted my new friends. I told them my secrets and some of them betrayed me. And although I could hold a grudge against that person forever, I find that it is better for my soul to forgive and let go of the hurt.
No one else can make me feel safe, other than Christ. Remember that, Christine, the next time you start spilling your secrets once again.
I am not fully okay right now but Christ is comforting me like the father He is. And I just had to share how He’s doing it so that you too, you that’s reading this right now, may find comfort in Him too.
Thank you, Lord for reminding me to trust in you, to keep my eyes on you. For reminding me that you are the center of my life and that I should not seek the approval of others. Thank you, Lord for forgiving me as I have also forgiven those who hurt me. I trust that whatever it is I’m going through right now, may your name be uplifted and glorified through my circumstance.
Photo by Yaoqi Lai