“You are unattractive! Unwanted! Unloved!” Believing these lies distorted my self-worth, killed my dream and almost destroyed my life.
Being born in a poor and dysfunctional family in Vietnam, I was not allowed to be in school beyond the elementary level. I was ashamed of being identified as an unloved and low-educated person. I thought if I excelled in my accomplishment, people would love me. So, I became a perfectionist myself and worked very hard to earn a nursing degree after I arrived in the U.S. Outwardly, I was proud of my achievement. Inwardly, I felt insecure, inadequate and unconfident about myself.
As a kid, I dreamt of having a loving family. The lies shattered this dream. So, I sought love from other men outside of my family in replacing the missing love from my earthly father. When I was taking a sewing class taught by a male teacher who was about my father’s age, I went out of my way to please him, trying to adopt him as my father. When I was in college, I did the same thing to the old librarian, I gave him gifts trying to make him my father. When I was dating, I pleased men trying to earn their love by letting them use me.
The most dangerous thing is that the lies told me “Nobody loves you; your life is not worth living.” Believing these lies, I took foolish action attempting to end my life prematurely twice. The first time, when I was 17, I drank rat poison and stabbed myself with a knife. The second time when I was 26, I drank a whole cup of Drano after eating a Cup Noodle. Drano is a powerful acid dissolvent. Just a small amount of Drano stuck in the gums already will cause erosion. However, God did not let me die from the Drano.
Why didn’t I die from the two suicidal attempts? Jesus was there to preserve my life even when I did not know Him. He made the rat poison ineffective and the knife dull. Before I drank the Drano, I unintentionally ate the noodles. As soon as I swallowed the Drano, I vomited it right up with the noodles. I was unknowingly being prompted by Jesus to put the noodles in my stomach first and it served as a buffer that prevented the acid from eroding my whole digestive system. Jesus did not only save my physical life, but a few years later also saved my spiritual life when I accepted Him as my Lord.
Two years ago, at the Women’s Empower Retreat, the lies were broken and were replaced by the truths of God. I was made known of my true identity as the beautiful, wanted and beloved daughter of the Almighty God. In the last two years, I have become more aware of being surrounded by the tremendous love from God and from brothers and sisters in God’s family. I no longer need to perform, please people or escape from the world for the truth of God has given me personal value, unconditional love and abundant life. If God saved the broken me, He can also save you!