Her demeanor was the first signal. The way she averted her eyes when I looked in her direction. Then, as we walked past her on our way out of church and my husband bid a friendly goodbye, her silence confirmed it—she was upset.
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Today, men and women are elevating the heroic achievements of women, and others are bringing attention to the debate on gender roles and equality. Some will say we’ve made progress, and they will be right. Others will focus on how far we have yet to go, and they will be right too.
On International Women’s Day, inspiring stories abound of women who have changed the world. For most of us, these stories and achievements probably sound unattainable. We live ordinary lives; our quiet hurts, flaws, and brokenness invisible to most of the world.
I didn’t realize until I was in my third year of college that I had forgotten about the friendship I could have with Jesus. I had become so calloused to the tender side of His relationship with me that it often felt more like I was His spiritual employee, rather than someone He delights in.
Who am I? What am I here for? I used to think these two great questions could be answered once, then put aside. As we prayed for direction, discovered our gifts, and pursued our passions, we would find the one big thing we were meant to do with our lives. Now I’m not so sure.
People often ask me how I knew God was calling me to be a missionary—to be honest, I didn’t know for sure if He was. Moving to Taiwan from my home in the US was an intimidating decision. So, in the absence of clear direction, I took small steps of faith.
I come from a loving family, and have great friends, but there have been days where I’ve felt like I was living under their shadow. All of them seemed to enjoy success in the areas of work, relationships, and ministry, while I seemed to keep losing out on academic and personal achievements.
As the daughter of an Indonesian billionaire, Jessica Tanoesoedibjo, 25, could have spent her time and money on throwing lavish parties or jet-setting around the world to enjoy herself.
Instead, she uses her birthday to raise funds for social causes such as anti-slavery, clean water, and disaster relief.
She referenced me by a racial slur and made it clear she didn’t like me, or other light-skinned black people. I was shocked and hurt that she would say those things right in front of me, but with this realization, everything started to make sense.
YMI (which stands for Why Am I?), is a platform for Christian young people all over the world to ask questions about life and discover their true purpose. We are a community with different talents but the same desire to make sense of God’s life-changing word in our everyday lives.
YMI is a part of Our Daily Bread Ministries.
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