Every person is put on this earth with his or her own path already planned out to his or her own destination. God has prepared each one of us to be someone in this life. Our visions and dreams are God’s way of giving us a compass to guide us to that destination.
My vision started when I was six years old. I remember wanting to do big things with my life. Although I was not aware of how I was going to do it or exactly who I was going to be, it was at that very moment when I started slowly pursuing my dreams. I had no idea of the obstacles that would lie ahead of me or the challenges that I would face.
There were many times that I doubted myself. It was a daily battle when you are growing up in a surrounding that is constantly trying to pull you down. I remember when I won my first pageant at age six, and I felt so thrilled! It was a breath of fresh air that I finally succeeded at something and the kids at school would stop bullying me because I wasn’t a loser. Instead, my success at the pageant did the exact opposite. My classmates became jealous, and grew even more hostile towards me. The comments they vocalized to me were “You only won because they felt sorry for you,” or “Deaf girl is just trying to get attention.” Their comments made me run to the bathroom, cry my eyes out, and wait for the bell to ring. This meant I could finally go home. The majority of my school years were spent being taunted.
Some teachers would often become frustrated with me, even though I couldn’t help my lack in understanding due to my hearing impairment. Some teachers would fail me because they didn’t want to take the time in helping me fully understand the material. They had lost interest thinking I was not trying and looking for a free handout instead of realizing I really did not fully understand the concept. Some people I should have been able to count on the most, my educators, let me down in the worst way possible. They gave up on me, so I felt as if I should give up on myself.
It can be very difficult when you are pursuing big dreams while constantly hearing that you, “can’t” or “won’t”. I knew that if I were to ever survive in this world and actually accomplish my dreams, I would have to grow thick skin and a strong backbone. However, growing thick skin isn’t something I obtained overnight. You think that the older you get, the easier people would be because they would have a better understanding of your situation. However, as I grew older I learned this wasn’t the case. As I grew older and wiser, things started to get tougher on me.
I remember how hard I worked to prove people that I was worth believing in. I can remember going out of my way to gain friends because I wanted to desperately be accepted. There were days I would find myself comparing who I was to other girls or wondering what did they have that I didn’t? My confidence was a constant roller coaster ride. I would achieve something and it would boost my confidence then something would happen or someone would say something, and the confidence went right back down. I was always looking for a moment of clarity where I would know the feeling of accepting myself and no longer needed the approval of anyone else.
There was one day last year, to be exact, when I finally woke up and realized the true reasons why I was constantly battling with my self-confidence. I was sitting on my bed late one night reading my bible and praying for God to help me. I was so tired of having to go over and beyond encouraging people to accept me for the person I am. This verse clicked with me when I was reading that night and it was by Jeremiah 17:7 saying,
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him”.
The verse taught me that our confidence needs to remain in God because He is the way to our future, not people. Our society has portrayed us into thinking that we need to turn to people to gain confidence, approval of who we are, feeling achieved, beautiful, or that we are enough in general. In reality, that’s why we often feel empty. Learning how to take the negative things in life and turning them into a positive was one of the greatest things I learned to do. My relationship with my Father grew stronger and closer because of this. Who we are meant to be in this life will happen regardless who likes you or believes in you because your path was already planned out for you. You have to believe in yourself before other’s believe in you.
The dreams we have for ourselves in who we want to be or where we want to go in life is yours! Don’t allow anyone or anything take that away from you. I realized that it was up to me to determine how I would handle the obstacles I had to overcome or the opinions of people on me. I am thankful I learned the true meaning of the journey towards my destination. Don’t be afraid to appreciate the past for making you who you are today, living in the moment of present, and being excited for what the future has in store for you ahead. In the end, we were all born to stand out, NOT blend in.