Growing up with three brothers wasn’t the easiest. For years, I believed the lie that I did not belong in my family and that God had some how made a mistake by placing me in it. So in turn, I isolated myself from my family.
Going to school from elementary to middle school, I was teased and bullied because of my small body frame. The words stung and embedded deeper than I realized. It took me years before I truly dealt with the internal emotion, characterized as low self-esteem. Instead, I did the bandage method. I covered it up, yet it was visible in the way I carried myself and the way I dressed.
Looking back at pictures, I gaze into the eyes of who I once was and no longer connect with that identity.
In the eighth grade, my best friend went to a new school. When I found out the news, I was heartbroken because I didn’t feel I had any other true friends. So I cried out to God as a last resort. I had just found myself the year before that. I discovered I had academic potential and I didn’t want to take any steps back after I had moved forward.
As I drew near to God, He drew near to me. I discovered the difference between religion and relationships. He showed me true love. Though I didn’t love myself, He loved me in spite of me. He showed me that the pain of my past was worth it because He was going to make what I felt was a tragedy and make it my testimony. He gave me a platform through my pain.
Since then, I have been invited to speak to teen girls three times on various topics, such as self-esteem and bullying. He helped me to understand that life is not about me, but the people He wants to reach through me.
With that understanding, my favorite scripture is Romans 5:8 because it reminds me of the depths of His love–when I was in sin, He loved me. Though I rejected Him many times, He loved me in spite of that.
Out of my love for Him, I have dedicated my life to the passion He instilled in me to encourage girls to live a life of purity and commitment to Christ. Now, as I prepare to attend college in the fall, I plan to bring His love with me!
God is love and He has shown me the depths of His love! I am not the same since that encounter!
Written by PI Girl Victoria, one of the winners of our real-life love story contest.
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