I came to church in 2017 when my classmate, Owen invited me. Growing up, my family focused a lot on academics and skills and I believed that I needed these to be seen as worthy. My mom often emphasized that I should get a B grade and above for all my subjects and would often compare me with my siblings as well. I saw this as unhealthy comparison and the pressure given from my mum was very overwhelming. For my PSLE, I scored below expectations and my mum told me to use it as a 'wake up call' and study harder in secondary school.
In secondary school, I studied harder so I could prove my worth to my mum. Though I did well in some subjects such as Biology and Chemistry, my mum brushed it off and told me not to be complacent even when I thought I wasn't. She would nitpick on subjects I couldn't ace in such as A Math and Chinese. This led me to have doubts about myself as I thought I had to be good at everything before I am appreciated and valued. At that point, I felt unworthy. Consequently, these hurts from academics caused me to doubt my gifts. Even when friends told me I was gifted in areas of my life, I never took it as truth because I had high expectations of myself and played the comparison game.
Needless to say, comparison also followed me into the area of serving in church. When I auditioned for the Worship band as an electric guitarist last year, I often had negative thoughts of doubt, such as "They don't need me", "I'll never make it" or "Wow, I really suck". Even in lifegroup, whether I served in Icebreakers or Hospitality, I questioned my abilities and wondered if I was meant to be in those ministries. During this period, I did not notice the burdens I carried.
To gain more validation for myself, I served in more areas at a larger capacity. At one point, I was even serving in every ministry the lifegroup had, alongside with Cafe and Worship Ministry in church. However, that did not work out. I constantly felt tired and drained, and I didn't realise it showed on my face until everyone around me started to ask if I was okay. I remembered that once, someone asked me: "If God took away all your ministries suddenly, how would you feel?" At that point, I knew that I was not serving to build His Kingdom, but to feed my own pride. I was functioning on auto-pilot the entire time, and all I did was not a privilege, but a routine. I needed change.
That change happened when I started to uncover lies which has accumulated in my heart during discipleship sessions. I had to replace these lies with truths like, "God made me who I am", "God never makes mistakes", and "God is faithful". I also opened up to some of my lifegroup members regarding this area and they were very supportive and affirmed me whenever possible.