someone to validate my beauty, (How I wish I knew then what I know now). I kept everything hidden. On the outside, I was a great Christian. I was at church, EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK. My parents never went, but I did. I brought my Bible to school to impress people, to hide my nasty heart and my shame. At the age of 15, I decided to give my life to Christ. I couldn't keep up with my lies, my charade, this facade that I had begun to perceive as reality. I didn't want to be a "Lord, Lord....but I," and He say He doesn't know me. I wanted to know Him for myself. I wanted Him to be my Abba Father. I had to make a crucial decision to forgive those who had hurt me. Even now, 5 years later, the enemy takes me back to that place and encourages me to hate and harbor resentment. But, I know that on forgiving those that hurt me, I am able to heal. This walk is not easy, but, having people by my side who are accountable to me and who love me, and the God inside of me, makes it easier. God is good and greatly to be praised!
I was bought up in a Christian household from the age of six. I never really worried about the way I looked until I started high school. As the oldest of six children I was the first to experience high school and I went to a high school in which i didn't know any people that came from my primary school so I had to make new friends. High school was a lot different from primary school and I felt like I had been thrown in at the deep end. I didn't like high school at all. It started at 13, I started to worry about my appearance and noticed that I was different than most of the other girls my age and I became insecure as I compared myself to others. I remember people would tease me for my height and other things and I wasn't like everyone else to make things worse. I wanted so desperately to fit in. I was always quiet but this was different. I became insecure and had low self esteem. I would always cover up the fact that this made me miserable. Covering up became a habit and as time went on it started to develop into other things such as people pleasing. I tried to change myself but I couldn't ever find satisfaction in myself because I knew how I really was and the emotions and worry I had.The insecurity began to develop and ruin other areas of my life and I felt as though there was no hope and that no one cared about my life. I felt worthless and hated myself and I just wanted to die. No one ever noticed this and probably would least expect this to be me because I always put on a front as if everything was fine when it wasn't. I became dependent on people's approval to make me feel secure. This made me feel guilty and I began to try to seek God but I was still pleasing people and seeking their approval and it gets to the point where you have to choose between the two. I felt as if I was divided between the two. Even though I would say I was a Christian there was no real relationship with God. At this time I remember I felt ashamed to tell people about God and was uncomfortable with people associating me with Jesus. Looking back I think it was clear to say that I wanted to fit in with the crowd so I was putting people above God. I was afraid to be different.
As time progressed, I felt as if God had not given up on me and that there was hope and I really wanted to seek God for good this time and I think this was the start of God calling me to Him. I was reading God's word and praying frequently and I wasn't ashamed to. However, one thing that was wrong was that I was depending
on my works to make me right with God and when I messed up I felt as if I was detached from God and I wasn't certain of my salvation and I was still trying to please people but just in a different way. It took a while but God in His grace enabled me to understand that Jesus had died for all my sins past, present and future. HE DIED FOR EVERY SIN AND HE DIED FOR ALL and yes that includes me and you who are reading this (See 1 John 2:2 and 2 Corinthians 5:15) One verse that God revealed to me was Romans 6:14 "For sin shall no longer be your master for you are not under the Law, but under grace." this does not mean that we continually try to sin (see Romans 6:15) but God will enable us and only with God's help and through prayer to free us from bondage to sin. I learned that Christ's death did not just involve the physical pain of crucifixion but He had to endure mine and the world's sin!
How could I then depend on myself instead of the sinless Savior who paid it all? If I was trying to get right with God with my own words I was saying that Jesus' death is not sufficient for me. I learned that I needed to get whole before God and pour my heart out before Him. I repented (turned away from my sin) and turned back to God through prayer acknowledging that I was helpless without Him. I turned from self to a loving Savior who was patiently waiting for me to come to Him all along. I came as I was with all my fear, insecurity, helplessness and flaws to God who restored me to Himself through Jesus His Son which is not my own work but the gift of God called His grace (Ephesians 2:8) for which I am eternally grateful. I am not sharing this to say that I have become perfect because I still battle with sin daily but God helps me to overcome sin by remaining in Him. It shows that if Christ can heal and restore a broken sinner like me to a right relationship with Him and he can certainly do the same with YOU if YOU let Him. And Christ's blood washes me and He will continue to work in me until I meet Him face to face. (Phil. 1:6)
Connect with Jaleen on IG @jellybeanz93