God Trumps All
by Abigail Panes
Have you ever asked yourself if you are enough to be accepted or loved?
I feel you.
Some say that life is like a jigsaw puzzle. Growing up, I've always tried to find where the pieces of my life fit in this world - my very own puzzle within a puzzle. I've always questioned my identity and worth. Though I grew up ignoring God, there was something in me that still loved Him.
One day, I received a letter that said: "I want you to close your eyes and just picture God and Jesus hugging you. You are loved and valued. Things are looking up and I know that God's plan for you is prosperous." And that changed everything.
1. I learnt that I belong in Him and only Him.
Last year, I went to a youth camp and at first, I didn't really want to go; I was afraid that people will judge me because I looked different. I already assumed I would be neglected, unloved and insignificant before I'd even talked to one camp goer.
I got to know almost everyone in NextGen (the name of our youth ministry) but it took me about six months to start being active in our youth ministry. This was for two reasons:
I was still fixing my life and
I was still finding my true identity.
I associated church with the fear of being judged. When I saw how kind and welcoming they were, all those thoughts of fear and insecurity disappeared. Suddenly, I felt a sense of belonging. Since then, I barely miss a Saturday youth gathering.
A few months have passed now and I've gotten to know everyone much deeper and better. I could truly say that God has blessed me with a wonderful second family.
"Whenever you feel unloved, unimportant, or insecure, remember to whom you belong."
It's crazy how a lot of us think that we are completely alone, but in truth we are not. It's only the devil who says otherwise. Remember that God loves you and He is waiting for you. He extends belonging to and through His children. Whenever you feel the devil speaking to you, remember that God trumps all.
"Whenever you feel the devil speaking to you, remember that God trumps all."
2. I learnt that I am beautiful in His eyes.
A few weeks ago, a guy in my school made fun of my under bite. As much as I've told myself that I am beautiful, I was left crying and asked God, "why am I like this? Why do I look this way?" To be honest, this was one of my many insecurities that held me back from God or praising Him.
Through this battle, it seemed like I'd lost sight of Him.
But a few days ago, I was listening to a song called Take Courage by Kristene DiMarco. The bridge of the song hot me real hard: "And You who holds the stars, who called them each by name, will surely keep Your promise to me that I will rise in victory."
It reminded me of the time God spoke to me during a worship night last month. God asked, "why are you crying my child? You're so beautiful. My son died for you. He died for you to be living in this world. To me, you are known and you have a purpose. So why are you crying?"
From that day onwards, I decided to not let the devil speak to me derogatively. I know that I am beautiful in His eyes. Through His name, I am undefeated.
"But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength."
(2 Timothy 4:17)
We are all beautiful. He finds each of us unique, so never let anyone tell you that you are useless or that you are not beautiful. You are loved and valued by God. He's your shield and your anchor. He is your first love. Isn't all of His creation wonderful? That makes you wonderful too!
"Through his name, I am undefeated."
We all experience loneliness or feel adrift in one form or another, but if you feel like you are completely alone in walking through life, be reminded that God was, is and will always be by your side. "Cast you burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken" (Psalm 55:22). All He wanted is for you to surrender, to let go and let Him work. Trust me, it is so liberating to feel vulnerable in His presence.
With and in God, you are many things, more than you could ever imagine.
You have limitless potential.
You have ever-increasing strength.
You have a named and seated place.
You have a unique purpose.
You will never be alone.
And you are always, always, always known.
Here's a little clip I made about the Next Gen Retreat that I attended this fall. Enjoy!
about the author
Hi! I'm Abigail Panes, but you can call me Abby. I'm 16 years old. I was born and raised in the Philippines, but my family and I moved to Calgary, Alberta, Canada around December 2012.
One thing's for sure, I'm very artsy. I love photography, filming and singing.
I am a part of a Youth Ministry called NextGen which I am a part of the worship team.