Born in a rather well-to-do family, I was privileged with moderate luxury during my childhood – had a chauffeur driving me around, weekly family outing to the movie or beach, all-rounded mother whose attention to detail pampered me extremely well, etc. Considering I lived in a relatively close society of a village size, where almost everyone knew each other, my extended family was among the respectable ones, whom least of the worst was expected from their members.
Perhaps just like you, I struggled hard growing up, figuring out who I was and discovering confidence in myself. God has beautified me with a birthmark on my right eye, a unique gift not many have. Worrying I’d grow up excluded from any circles of friends, many adults encouraged me to have my mark removed. Despite having constant doubts on the possibility that they could be right, I had strong conviction that God gave me such uniqueness not without a reason; there should be a divine purpose behind it. Moreover, I felt completely guilty to remove what God had entrusted upon me, “A trust of God is a treasure of invaluable worth!” Hence, I had been ignoring such advices. Consequently, I had to put up with people who mocked me, underestimated me or looked down on me.
Slowly but surely, these mockeries seemed to mean nothing to me. I excelled in what I did best, doing great in school. Throughout the twelve years of schools, I did great in more than 65% of the academic period – excelling in, not only academic subjects, but also extracurricular.
Still though, during my early teenage days (about 35% of this period), I had to prove to my own uncles and aunts that I could in fact have a boyfriend. I.e. someone actually thought I was a worthy girlfriend material. I needed to show that I could actually receive a love letter from a boy; that I shaved my armpits; that I looked good at home and in school; that I could be fashionable on formal and casual society events. What a vanity! Not confident with my own self, my grades lowered; I was no longer number one.
Thank God, I grew out of it again during my high school days when I began active in organizations, managing events, and again, excelling in my studies. My confidence grew stronger when I secured a spot in the top university in my country.