Monday, 16 July 2012
By Cheryl Chen, guest posting for Tom Zuniga
I distinctly remember looking at an older boy in my church youth group and thinking that he would be a good person to have a crush on. He was a strong leader, I was envious of the way he played piano, he was funny. He was popular with everyone in the group and had quite a few friends. I remember thinking to myself, “I should like him.” And so I did. I decided to like him and the next boy and the next boy because not only did I like the thrill of a crush, but having a crush gave me hope that maybe, just maybe he would be the one who would come alongside me, take my hand, and say, “You’re beautiful.”I had just turned fifteen, and this habit had been continuing for a few years. My feeling of self-worth had become more damaged and sickly the more that I accepted the notion that my self-worth was determined by whether or not a boy liked me. I became increasingly aware that the moles on my face and the bulge of my stomach made me less attractive.
Then one day, I remember realizing what I was doing and being so disgusted with myself. I couldn’t stand the up and down emotional roller coaster I was putting myself on for the sake of a boy who barely knew I existed. I remember earnestly praying, “Okay God. I’m going to put my dating life in your hands. I will trust that you will bring a boyfriend into my life at the right time, even if I’m twenty-five.” I wanted my words to be true so badly, yet I still found myself hesitant at my prayer. Twenty-five? Really? I would be willing to wait a whole decade for a sense of fulfillment?
God helped me let go. While I walked tentatively through this new trust, God slowly said, “Let me show you how beautiful you are.” It was a process. I continued to struggle with my image and wondering if boys thought me attractive. But God slowly worked at my heart.
About three months after I prayed that prayer, I met my future husband.In retrospect, it was like God was telling me, “Cheryl, beloved, as soon as you stop trying to find someone for yourself, I will give you what you need.” God wanted me to want Him first and a boy second. Once I did that, He used that man throughout the seven years we dated to show me the true source of my beauty. One year into marriage and I’m still learning.During times of wandering in my life, even now I still forget to go to God first. I do the searching on my own, determined to find what I am looking for. It isn’t until I figure out that I can’t do it on my own that I turn to Him. God, probably laughing and shaking His head, says, “Daughter, why did it take you so long?” Then He gives me what He promised: what I truly need.