Who am I? Who does God say I am?! And who does God say He is!?
Growing up as the eldest of six, my family was everything. From a young age I taught myself to put the wellbeing of my family and my responsibilities before myself. Through that, I neglected my emotions and became numb to them. I didn’t want to burden anyone with my problems and questions, because to me my problems were irrelevant. I wanted to be the responsible one that people could rely on, that one child my parents didn’t need to worry about. I needed to be the strong one. Through that thought process, I lost sight of my value as well as my true identity.
From a young age my parents would repeatedly speak blessing over me and affirm me of my value, but I didn’t take it to heart. I lost sight of who God says I am, and the truth my parents taught me. On the inside I was broken with scars and wounds too deep for me to even acknowledge. I would tell myself in different ways ‘Who wants someone who’s broken?’.
So coming to Maui to do my DTS I came broken and shattered, but I had become very good at hiding it with humor and servanthood. My DTS was a life-changing experience where the Lord taught me it was okay to be vulnerable with people, and that it was actually good for me to offload. And when I began to open up, I found that there were other people who either experienced the same things as me or were going through challenges of their own. The Lord had stripped me of all my comforts. He began to pour out his love every single day. Day after day He broke off lies that I thought were true, the biggest ones being that I was a burden and that I wasn’t beautiful.
Two things that I asked the Lord for before coming to Maui were a pure joy that was contagious, and genuine lifelong friendships. I was shocked to see how fast He came through for me and way surpassed all my expectations. He blessed me with some ridiculous joy, and with the best friends I know I’m going to have for life. Through all of this I would ask the Lord ‘What do you want me to learn?’. One of my good friends asked me “What if he wants to show you what He can be for you?” In that perspective I’ve found comfort, because although it was hard, He came through for me in ways I never expected.
By Sia Tamaniyaga
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