Recently I was chatting to my friend Ankia Clidaras about what God was teaching her in her walk with Him.  As she shared her heart with me, I was so blown away by the truth of her story, that I asked her to write it down, so that I could share it with you. It is a long read, but so worth it.   It is a way of thinking that has many of us caged up in a life that we do not want to live.  Her decision to change the way she was thinking, changed her life.  Here is her testimony.  Please encourage her by commenting on what it means for you.

Love Michelle

This year I was challenged to grow in my workplace and in ministry.  I had to take on new responsibility and one of these was interacting more with people.  Not really my strong point!  You see, I’m more of a behind the scenes prayer warrior, quick to enter into a spiritual battle and put the enemy in his place.  After all, our Jesus already defeated Satan at the cross and therefore, I have confidence for these battles.

In the spiritual realm I am bold.  Courageous.   Fearless.  I am seven feet tall.

The reality of the world we live in is quite different.  In this world our acceptance is determined on how we look, carry ourselves and how others perceive us.  Often, a person’s acceptance is based on the perception they have of you, so once a perception is created, it is very difficult to change that perception.  Their perception defines your character and how they will treat you and before you know it, you end up behaving exactly the way they expect you to.

In this world I am a grasshopper.  I realised this when I saw Numbers 13:32-33 (NKJV)

32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants

[a] (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

When and how did I start perceiving myself as a grasshopper?  For as long as I can remember.  Teachers telling me that I would never amount to anything, not even a street sweeper.  Even though in reality I was distinguishing myself in Maths and Science, I was failing Biology and I was classified “a failure.”  School, peer pressure and life in general was tough.  I found myself bullied by giants.  Girls that just had that gene pool working for them: giving them the confidence to act and behave as accepted, because they were.  Not only were they accepted but they were sought after by the other girls dying to belong, to be IN.  All that striving to be accepted by what society deems acceptable.

Ac·cep·tance defined:

 1 The state of being accepted or acceptable

2.. Favorable reception; approval.

I am a Grasshopper!

But the truth is : I am not.  I see myself as a grasshopper and therefore others see me as a grasshopper.

My hair fizzes up and my teeth are stained.  I don’t dress smart and use slang to express myself. I am overweight and therefore perceived as being lazy, having no discipline.  I lack confidence.  I lack beauty.

I am a Grasshopper!

It wasn’t just my appearance that was affected by my grasshopper perception.  It affected every area of my life.  I was unable to present new ideas in my workplace because of fear of rejection.  I was unable to present new vision and explore new dynamic strategies, facilitating change because of my fear of not being accepted by those that make decisions.  I became what I needed to be, waiting for others to direct and determine my destiny.

how_to_be_a_giant_wip_by_bonka_chan-d33kcc5I don’t know about you, but I choose to believe my living God.  I had to change my game plan and as I realised how I was breaking myself down and expecting failure, I also realised that the more I saw myself as a failure – others would see me as failing.

The Truth: 

Genesis 1:27  (NKJV)  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Psalm 139:14  (NKJV) I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvellous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

You see, my soul knew something about me that I didn’t know.  And You, most beautiful son or daughter, of God, are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are a marvellous work.

But the truth made me realise, that in order for me to grow from this grasshopper into the giant I was called to be, I have to change the way I see myself.  I have to learn to accept myself, to see myself being received with favour and approval.

But still, even armed with this knowledge you might feel you don’t belong.

The Truth: 

Isaiah 43:1 But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.

You and I belong to God.  Why would we believe the father of all lies, Satan when he says:  “You are not good enough.  You don’t have what it takes.  YOU ARE NOT ACCEPTED.”

I changed my strategy.  I started taking every thought captive and speaking God’s given truth, scripture, into my situations.  I began to grow from a mere grasshopper into a giant.

In every situation I face today I imagine myself as David.  Not the fearless, praised warrior king but the ruddy young boy who boldly walked up to his own giant Goliath and declared:  “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand.  (extract from 1Sam 17)

The spies returned from Canaan and reported that they will be unable to defeat the giants that walk there.

But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying:

“The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” (Num 14:6-9)

How beautiful is Joshua’s faith and trust in God, when he boldly declares:  “ If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us.”  Joshua knows and understands that God will provide for him and God’s people and in this case the enemy’s protection had departed from them.

I stand today:  No longer a grasshopper but a dynamic, proactive, wise and incredibly capable woman.  I have no limits expect those I chose to place on myself.  I stand today: No longer rejected but wholly accepted, I am a giant.

I am no longer a grasshopper!

If you want to read more on acceptance, follow these links:

Change and Acceptance

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Be Kind to the Future Me

That She-Woman