Stigmas & When your pain becomes God’s purpose.

I can attest that there have been seasons of pain in my life that have been self-inflicted, meaning that it was caused as a result of poor choices I have made.

Other chapters of my life, there was pain that was inflicted upon me by others, their choice of words or actions.

In other unique situations there was nothing I did, or anyone else could have done to make the pain happen to me but God’s good and perfect will. And even though the pain didn’t feel good at the time, I was still able to trust in my faith that if God put me in that painful situation, I trusted that HE would bring me through. Now I’ll be honest it wasn’t easy in the heat of the moment. It wasn’t a walk in the park, and the words I write here are way easier to type in an effort to encourage someone reading this, more than it would be to actually lift their spirits up if their in a painful situation. However, I am using my pain to fulfill HIS purpose which is to hopefully inspire someone.

What am I referring to? My pained moments, memories of trauma, hardship, loss and battles of victory. I’ll elaborate on those situations that only God could have ordained. In hindsight, I see the purpose, His glory. HIS glory became a part of my story.

These are just some of the pains I have faced, endured, and overcame. The abandonment by my birth mother only to be adopted into a dysfunctional home. And growing up with stigmas and negative comments from a world of cruel people.

My middle-to-high school years were pretty bad. People of other racial backgrounds in high school assuming I was smart just because I’m Asian. They would always try to copy my answers for tests. I didn’t do well academically but they assumed otherwise. People thinking my family was wealthy because I’m Asian, and I always had the latest kicks or fits, yet not knowing I was adopted. They were always cracking jokes, asking if I eat dog or cat? Murmuring stupid phrases like, “ching-chong, hing-how” as if that meant something to me. Making fun of my eyes, pulling theirs back with the tips of their fingers to imply my eyes were slanted. Calling me “flat-face.” When some of them learned I was adopted they would ask if I got here by boat and refer to me as a “boater”. (I was flown here with a stewardist.)

I remember a time I was in a grocery store in the meat section with my boyfriend at that time (now my husband) and some girl, pointing at what was a cow’s tongue and laughing at me, saying, “you eat that?!” Little did she know I hadn’t the foggiest idea what it was until I read the label due to curiousity. Other times people would shout out to me while standing at a bus stop, “hey you gook, go back to your own country!” And if I was with my boyfriend, it was, “you need to stick with your own race!” Or shouting out to him, “You need to get rid of that Chinese girl and get with someone your own kind!” Yet again, I was adopted and didn’t know anything about my heritage or culture and I’m not Chinese.

I just knew I was in love with a boy and I wanted to be with him for the rest of my life. And I just happen to be “Asian, and he just happen to be “Black”. That’s how others saw us, we just saw us as two young people in love. This was in the early 90s before it was established to see interracial couples like you do now.

At 19, I became a teen mom. That was before it was commonly seen or heard of, like now. Now we have teen moms being paid on reality shows to share their lives publicly. I was stigmatized for that and only because my baby’s daddy/boyfriend/now husband of 21+years is black. People said we wouldn’t make it. They talked so negatively of our relationship. Their telling me, he’s gonna leave me and he’s no good just because of who he is in his own skin. Their telling me I should kill my unborn baby and abort it, because it’s gonna be devalued as a mixed race. I nearly died when giving birth to my first born, hemorrhaging severely and in need of a blood transfusion.

At 26, after giving birth to my 4th child, our son. He died twice at nearly 3-months of age. Made medical history as being one of the youngest to receive a heart defibrillator. Suffering from ventricular tachycardia, seizures and later developmental delays.

Age 39, one of my son’s experienced a mental break which lead to him being hospitalized for treatment on his exact 15th birthday. This was actually harder to endure and caused my heart more pain than anything prior. To watch your own child battle and suffer through trauma that they have no control over leaves you feeling completely helpless and heartbroken.

At 43, one of my daughters suffered from a mental break as well. She also required mental health treatment and was hospitalized. Then later suffered her first seizure and became diagnosed with a form of epilepsy. This too was another hard painful chapter of my life and with very little in between to breathe or come up for air.

In spite of all these traumatic and horrible memories, God is what has kept me. Even before I came to acknowledge HIM for who HE is. And the wonderful parts of these tragic beginnings are that they have each had purpose that I could not see “during” my tribulations.

My youthful self couldn’t see my adult self. I didn’t know that everything that caused me pain would push me into the purpose I have here to write articles for others to read. And even if its only one person that I can inspire, so be it.

What I learned as I matured, you have to ignore ignorant people. Hurt people, hurt other people. You cannot allow others words, stigmas, name-calling, put-downs, or their static/noise to interrupt your quality of life or take you off your course.

Sadly, the racist stigmas still exist and although its not as intense as it used to be toward myself personally, I still feel it at times and I don’t like it. But I thank God for strengthening me.

My younger son may have some delays but he is definitely not denied by God. He is a remarkable young man. Intelligent, humorous, inquisitive, strong-minded and self-confident. He is God’s gift to others because he truly is a witness for the Kingdom. He has a unique worship and prayer life. But sadly, what some others see are often his “differences” rather than who he is. He is healed from seizures and no need for a device which was removed in 2008. He is not on any medications. He was once wheelchair bound and now he walks on his own. He used to sign for communication and today he talks. He made medical history for being one of the youngest to receive a heart defibrillator in that year and his story was aired on several news stations and papers.

My other son, has persevered, overcame so many struggles, won so many battles, beat so many odds, dumbfounded people who thought of him otherwise. He may have been diagnosed as having bipolar, and needed mental health treatment as a result of the symptoms taking precedence over his own abilities at those moments in time, but he never gave up on God or prayer. He dealt with his battles silently, meaning, that he used to be ashamed to speak of it. So I became his voice, his advocate, his protector in those moments he could not speak. He accomplished so much in spite of the trauma. He graduated with honors. He achieved state champ for his sport. He was awarded a unique financial package for his academics to a 4 year college where he attends. He dreams of becoming an Olympian. He is inspired by the mysteries of God, having been on the “battlefield” himself. Yet he is victorious because of God.

My daughter graduated when she didn’t think she would. She overcame her struggles with depression and battles of anxiety. She is an aspiring visual artist and has already sold some of her artwork. She is a very positive person considering she has been unfairly mistreated by others in her younger years. She is a motivational speaker to some. And she is the most kind-hearted giving, compassionate person I’ve witnessed being around.

My boyfriend became my husband some twenty plus years ago. He is the natural father to all four of our children. We are happily married and dedicated to our moral beliefs. He has stuck with me through all the early years of our being ridiculed from both sides of the fence. He is a wonderful supportive father and provider for our family. He is well established at his employer for over twenty years. Beating all the stigmas of a young black man that was spoken against him so negatively.

I shared all that, to drive home my experience that having faith in God can work in your favor, but patience with the process is key. Because God works in time and purpose.

I hope you will choose to see the person standing in front of you for who they are, NOT the stigmas you’ve heard about on tv, media, or misrepresentations of those living with special health care challenges, mental health challenges or just because people are exactly WHO THEY ARE!

I don’t know much about my culture or heritage to speak on it, but I do know, I personally do NOT eat animals that I see as pets ONLY, nor do I eat cows tongue. I did not come from a wealthy family, just one that had a lot of debts and liked to spoil their adopted child. Not that it matters, but for the record I am Korean, not Chinese. I consider myself a 100% human female.

My children are each their own individual selves. They don’t view themselves as “disabled” or “handicapped” or “special needs” or “mental”. They are productive, respectable, intelligent, energetic, knowledgeable, successful, unique, different, capable, God-fearing, victorious, warriors and so many more great attributes.

I like to say, “we have been battle-tested yet we are God-approved”.

Thank you for reading my short story and for being here once again. I hope I opened some eyes and could inspire just one person to hang in there. Life is full of choices. It’s up to the individual to decide what’s right.

If I can speak for my son, Erik, I would say on his behalf, “Love me for who I am and not for who I’m not”. #Advocate #Mom

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