I grew up in a family that always assured me that I am beautiful, wanted and needed. All my life, I never struggled about having low self-esteem and insecurity. I have been an achiever since I was in kindergarten – winning draw and tell contests at a young age, coming in the top ten of the honor list, and won awards and competitions in writing. It even came to a point that I became the smartest girl in my batch, placing second from my male classmate in the honor list. I graduated in college without honors, but even that, I had no failed subjects to taint my records. I got the job that I thought I wanted and though I may not be the best in the field, I was somehow doing okay and more than okay at some days. I took pride in everything I am and have achieved and called it self-worth instead.
Until my seven-year on and off relationship finally ended with the only guy I have ever loved and hated. Not only that, he got into a new relationship just less than one month after he ended ours. I was devastated, angry, disgusted, hurt, felt rejected and bitter.
I started checking the girl’s Facebook profile and threw nasty comments inside my head and with closest friends. I started questioning my worth, my achievements, my identity, my being. I thought, “I am way better than this girl, how could he let go of me? I look so much better and I’m pretty sure I am so much smarter.” I started grumbling and throwing questions ‘whys’ to God. Social media became my best friend. I started posting quotes that would shot him bullseye with the goal in mind of shaming him and his choices. I wanted everyone to know that I was the victim, that I was the one who have been wronged and that it was his loss. I was playing the pity party. All those thoughts and emotions were starting to poison me. It wasn’t healthy and I knew my heart was becoming dark, bitter and heavy.
One day, I got so tired. I could feel the ugly feelings creep into my heart and I knew God didn’t want any of that for me. I had to talk to my former small group leader and she shared to me her personal experience. I had to stop questioning why these things happened. I had to stop asking why he chose her and not me. I had to stop whys to God because the more I do, the more I feel like I’m insulting His greatness – Him, being all-knowing.
I had to look at this season through His eyes – as a child of God. He allowed these things to happen because He only wants the best for me and that includes my heart and my growth as His daughter.
God is on the move of crushing my pride.
I masked my pride by calling it self-worth, but these are different words with different meanings. Self-worth is the sense of one’s own value or worth as a person. Pride is a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired. They may come together because Mr. Pride will feed Ms. Self-worth.
Through this season, God showed me that I am indeed a proud person. I took pride in my beauty, in my achievements, my skills and even as a Christian. I became self-righteous, condemned him and thought he doesn’t deserve God’s blessings when in fact he does. God loves him too and as much as God wants the best for me, He wants the best for him as well.
I realized that if people would choose who to love based on earthly requirements of being successful, then he would have definitely chosen me, but he didn’t because love is not based on these things. I should know because I chose him without considering his resume or college transcript of records. Who am I to judge and feel as if I am better than any of them? God, who is holy and almighty loved and accepted us even when we are sinners.
When I got so convicted of my sin, I prayed and asked for forgiveness – for myself, for him, and even for the girl. I accepted that his choices, no matter how painful it was to me, would not define my being, my worth and my identity. I was humbled to the point that every time a why pops in my mind, I would keep still and hold my breath and allow God to crush it. God showed me that I am nothing on my own and I have no control over everything. So instead of trying to take control and worry about the whys and the many more W questions for the next months to come, He tells me to just keep moving forward while fixing my eyes on Him.
I started laying down my pride moment by moment and decided to deactivate from Facebook. I flew to my hometown to spend some days with my family, to refresh my mind, and to just get away from my daily routine.
Because of this painful experience, my walk with the Lord has never been the same. It became a daily surrender. Everyday, I wake up feeling grateful, humbled and blessed. There are still days that I struggle with the whys and the maybes but I now know that God is teaching me something and that He’s already on the move of crushing the pride even before it pops up again.
My small group leader asked me before, ‘Would you ever exchange this moment with God that you have now than go back to that relationship?’ I knew I answered her a slightly yes before, but right now, I can totally answer her no.
This is a season that I should embrace. I want to see what God is doing rather than what He is not doing. I want to see how He will continue to transform and restore me. I want to see How He will crush not only my pride but everything there is within me that hinders me from getting more intimate with Him.
Let me leave you with a verse that shows how little our knowledge and faith are to a God who’s big and mighty. You can start from Job 38 to be amazed by God’s glory and all-knowing character.
Job 42:2-3 says “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.”
Indeed, for every season, God is at work!