Seeing Myself Through God’s Eyes
I’d like to share about a pivotal time in my life and my relationship with God in which I had to relinquish my opinions and perceptions, my control, and how in their absence, God rushed in. After experiencing deterioration in my academic progress, I came to trust God and others in my life in a way I had been too proud to do before.
The past year or so has seen some big changes for me, which were spurred on by God and resulted in me leaning on God in a way that I hadn’t before- even though I have known God all my life. Admittedly, this reliance on God would previously have made me feel embarrassed or not ‘put-together’ enough, as I am not fond of feeling like I am not in control of my life. Since experiencing this, I’ve felt stirred to share what has taken place in my life and in my relationship with God.
A couple of years ago, having essentially been hard-working and studious all my life, I started not doing well with my university courses. This came from lack of motivation and inability to focus, as well as difficulty memorizing things. Because this was uncharacteristic of my previous academic ability, I didn’t involve many people in the onset of my struggles, not even my family, because I felt embarrassed. After having staked much of my identity and value in being someone who succeeded academically in school, I was afraid this grade deterioration was simply a ‘reality check’ to my overestimation of myself.
It was a clear and loving redirection, one which wholly redefined what I understood about God’s grace.
In the midst of me failing my courses, being secretive of my failures, and feeling like I had hit rock-bottom, I remember a certain Sunday church meeting in which all of us in the meeting divided ourselves randomly into small groups, intending to pray for one-another if we felt to do so. During this time, someone prayed for me and said, among other things, that God sees me as a ‘bright light’. No one present, other than God and I, were aware of what had been going on in my life because I had been so secretive, and I immediately felt so unworthy of this. It was a stark and loving reminder of the contrast between how I see myself and how God sees me. It was also a reminder of the responsibility of representing God in my life, one which I was not fulfilling if I was being secretive and closed-off to other people’s perspectives, whether their perspectives confirmed my feelings of unworthiness (which I was unfoundedly afraid they would), or not. It was a clear and loving redirection, one which wholly redefined what I understood about God’s grace.
After involving my family and talking about what I was feeling both physically and emotionally, we decided to go to the doctor to see why I was having those symptoms. I underwent some testing and was told that I had a predisposition to Diabetes III and, if I didn’t make some lifestyle changes, I could expect to see more symptoms pop up. I felt overwhelmingly blessed to have a doctor that was being so thorough, and to finally have an answer for what I had been experiencing – especially one that didn’t require any medical intervention!
I felt unbelievably touched and cared for by a series of what felt like second chances.
Throughout this time, I strongly felt God’s hand in my life, as if He was picking up pieces of my life that had fallen apart in my belief and desire to handle things myself, keeping them in my control. I felt unbelievably touched and cared for by a series of what felt like second chances. I was in a precarious position with my university academic standing due to the courses I had failed, but, after being prompted by my family (because I felt too embarrassed to do it), I spoke to an academic advisor. After hearing what had happened they told me about a ‘grade rehabilitation’ program (this program is basically just an enrolment in classes as normal, with close supervision by the course facilitators) that I could enter without being required to withdraw from university. Having expected the advisor to confirm my fears about having to withdraw, I could not believe my luck when I heard about this program, and instantly recognised God’s hand in it.
After changing my diet and activity level, the ‘mental fog’ I had been experiencing started lifting. The rehabilitation program was also a success, resulting in the improvement of my GPA. Soon, I was able to enrol in normal classes again, and I am especially thankful for the help I received from the facilitators of the program, who were so caring and lovely to me and such a blessing. Even if I hadn’t experienced an improvement in my health and my academic standing, however, I would still have been in God’s will and still have been experiencing God’s love and involvement in my life – He has always been with me, whether I recognised this or not.
Since then, my dad and I (he had also been diagnosed with Diabetes II around this time,) lost 25kg and 55kg, respectively, and we both reversed our diagnoses! It was really special to be doing this with someone so close to me who was going through the exact same thing.
I felt God highlight things in me that were inhibiting deeper relationships, such as my pride; a lack of empathy that stemmed from a sense of morality that wasn’t God’s; and not seeing the importance of involvement or valuing relationship in the way that God does.
I also felt grateful for a growing richness in my relationships with everyone in my family (this was partially also spurred on by the lockdown during that time), especially with my older sister before she moved from our home in Vancouver, Canada to Toronto. I felt God highlight things in me that were inhibiting deeper relationships, such as my pride; a lack of empathy that stemmed from a sense of morality that wasn’t God’s; and not seeing the importance of involvement or valuing relationship in the way that God does.
What grew from this were really sweet changes in my relationships, because of God’s grace and the value I now place on relationships with my family and church community. God revealed His softness within me, His belief in me, and the futility of trying to fulfil my calling as His daughter without Him. Through this experience it’s become increasingly evident to me that God has no need for us to eradicate or hate our humanity; in fact our desire to still keep looking to Him, despite being so steeped in our tendencies, is an infinite victory for Him and therefore an example of God’s glory – even if to us it feels humiliating or humbling. In recalling the events of the past year or so, it’s clear to me that during some of the most difficult and challenging times I have ever experienced, God was there with me whether I felt particularly spiritual or not. Though I was not often consciously aware of it, I was in the midst of His will, being refined and honed by Him through the circumstances and love and support of those around me so that I could now, in turn, be with Him.