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YOU.

When I was young(er) I worked so hard to prove myself. I wanted to convince people of my importance and worth. But alas, I was a total nerd and loner. I never felt like I BELONGED.

My parents sacrificed a lot to give me a better future. They worked hard and that's how they expressed their love. On the flip side, my father was an alcoholic who was verbally and physically abusive. Many times, I thought that if I tried harder, did better and changed myself, I could make my dad happier and therefore, my family happier. I thought it was my job to fix my family. So then I worked hard to become the best violinist and achieve academically. I was at the top of the class and was considered a leader by my peers. But I was never satisfied with myself. And none of my accomplishments made my family any happier.

One thing that really killed in the middle of all the madness was that my parents never actually verbalized the words, "I love you." Never. How do you go so long without saying words that mean so much to a child? It was just a part of their culture to show rather than to speak. So I constantly worked to obtain their approval but their compliments were few and far between. The search for self-worth through them and others overtook my life and it was entirely exhausting.

all the days i knew

i would spend in seeking

wanting just a glance, just a gaze

of acceptance.

why, do I feel so alone?

What is it, that I am doing wrong?

then I was invited to a gathering of Christians where a girl (whose name I don't know to this day because she was also a visitor) took me to a quiet room to talk. I could sense she wanted to share something important. She said, "Jesus came to die on the cross for you, to tell you 'Mi Young, I love you'."

In that moment, my struggle ended and all the years of longing released. How could he love me? He didn't even know me. Did he know who I wasn't? And did he know who I really was? These questions were short lived because I had an overwhelming peace; I knew I was loved by someone who not only showed love and spoke love, but most importantly, did so not because of who I was or what I accomplished but just because. Just because. Just because he IS love. Jesus came to rescue me. and that person who just happened to be visiting that same day, rescued me.

You,