I can’t say that I generally have a fantastic relationship with people of my age or older. Yes, Shun Xian, Daniel, Jonathan and Hui Ting, not to forget Queenie, are exceptions to the norm. For most others, however, I can at best be friendly/amicable and at worst fearful, even dreadful at their very presence.
The origin of this fear was an entire childhood of being looked down upon by older kids. Whether they meant it when they teased or not, I interpreted it as condescendence. As I recall these hurts, trust me, my heart feels pierced with pangs, not too many as God has and is continuing His healing work in me.
- Why do you look down on me?
- Am I too young and immature for you?
- Am I not as smart/sporty/large-sized/capable as you?
- Am I never cool enough for you?
- Am I always wrong in your eyes?
I guess I could ramble on if I felt like it, but I never felt worthy enough to be around them. I felt like a little kid who knows no shit and can’t be anything more than a burden to the community. I was rarely, if not never, respected.
This, perhaps, explains my overwhelming warmness to younger people, since I was determined never to make similar mistakes that they did. I respect and honor each junior I meet, and show them they are worthy by the grace of God and I’m not out of their league. I’ve walked down the path of intimidation and I was determined to prevent any other junior from doing the same. I decide to be intentional to know my juniors perhaps because my seniors were rarely intentional to know me.
The root cause would, I suspect, be a spirit of inferiority. Perhaps the knowledge that who I am and how much value I am worth is found in who Jesus is and how much value He is worth has not fully sunken into my heart, leading to insecurity and fear that have haunted me for 19 years. Even now I generally still feel intimidated by strangers older than or as old as me, despite having being convicted by the gospel of grace 5 years ago.
After Birthday Jam, on my way home, there were some large-sized and older people who teased me for scratching my sweaty itchy scalp on the bus. They chortled incessantly, but I chose to ignore them by blasting music. In the corner of my eye I saw them joking about me (and unknowingly making a huge nuisance on the bus). Just as I got off, I turned to see them, only to find the ringleader scratching his scalp as mockery to my eccentricity.
This shit is enough. I stuck my middle finger out as a sign, “STOP MOCKING ME,” before I strode off the bus. A pang of guilt filled my heart.
- That wasn’t God glorifying.
- That was not grace.
- You claim to be a fervent follower of Christ.
- Why didn’t you turn the other cheek?
That’s when God showed me that this hurt has not been dealt with. I’m still struggling in this area. And Shun reminded me that just as God has healed me physically, so shall He heal me emotionally.
His grace has brought me safe thus far; His grace will take me home
Through the emotional healing, God’s grace avails much. Yes, I will falter, but His grace will pick me up and work through me to glorify Him. My request from the reader is prayer, for emotional healing in this area. For boldness to face my fear of worthlessness. For practical steps to walk out of this difficulty, in the power of the grace of God.
Thanks for this moment of being vulnerable. Help me keep accountable. Thanks. ☺️