The big discovery that answered the question of my identity and ultimately my self-worth – was knowing that God created me to be His child. It had nothing to do with my ethnic background, beauty, bank account or the level of education I achieved.
The key to true happiness – true freedom for me began with knowing that I am a child of God.
That was the beginning point. It’s been more than 20 some years since that discovery, and I‘m still on this journey to fully know my Heavenly Father and to know who I am in Him. I’ve lost my way many a time, but God has never given up on me.
I’d forgotten how it felt to be an outsider until I moved overseas to Central Europe. Now, the idea of living in Europe was never something I imagined for myself growing up. I know how hard it is to uproot and be a foreigner. I lived through it as a child and I had no intention of repeating it as an adult.
But one day my whole life changed. It was the happiest day of my life – the day Jesus came into my heart and filled me with His love.
I’ve followed His leading since then, and He led me here to Czechia. When the idea presented itself at first, I told Him that it was crazy to even think of it. I know Spanish — why not go to South America? But Eastern Europe – to a former communist country? Why would anyone there listen to me? I can’t even speak their language.
But when God calls you – there is no point in running away. Just ask Jonah. And as I’ve learned, you will have no peace or joy until you do.
Fourteen years later, I can see how this was His good plan for me. I still don’t understand all of it but that’s ok. Only in Heaven will any of us truly fully see.
Being a foreigner again – this time as an adult has helped me to face the question of my identity in a deeper way. Yes, I know in my head that I’m a child of God but why was it so hard to live it out here? Why did the shame I thought had long been lifted all of sudden engulf me with such a tight grip?
I’d thought I’d overcome and won these battles but the voices in my head taunted me.
You have no business being here. You’re just wasting your life, Hulda. The people here look down on you because they think you’re just a poor foreigner. That’s why everywhere you go, people are rude to you.
While it wasn’t true that everyone was rude, I made a judgment in my heart towards the locals and after a while I expected it.
Without fully realizing it, I began withdrawing. Rejection is painful … especially when you experience it almost daily. I avoided going out unless it was necessary.
And that is how my invisible cage came to be …. to be continued.