Anna is a very happy, free, and fun girl. But that was not always the case. She used to worry a lot about what people thought of her. This really made her an unhappy person. She tells her story and how all of this changed.
“I used to think ‘What do they think about me? They probably don’t like me,’ etc. I would fear people’s reactions when I did things. I wanted them to like me. Even in simple things like an Instagram post, for example.
Jesus became my friend
“One day at church, I heard a message that really made me listen closely.
"The speaker said that God wants us to have a happy life. He read from Romans 8:28 (NLT), ‘And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God.’
“I had heard this verse many times before, but now for the first time I really saw how it applied to my own life. I had been looking at things all wrong; my happiness wasn’t dependent on other people at all. If I loved God, then there was nothing to fear from what others thought of me. God always wanted the best for me, and all things would work together for good!
“I made the decision that I was going to start living my life for God alone. I started to read in the Bible and Christian literature as much as possible.
“Jesus became my friend, and I could really trust Him, rely on Him. What other people think of me has no meaning in my life anymore. There is so much wasted time in thoughts like that; it can actually be very self-centred.”
“It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you are safe.” Proverbs 29:25 (GNT).
An individual in God
“I began to see that it’s very important that you have your own personality, and that you live your life for God. People are different – they dress differently, they act differently. God wants me to be an individual in Him. God has a plan for all of us. When I saw that, I came to understand that He created me according to His plan for me and my life, and that He can use me just the way I am!
“For example, I’m not really good at sports, and it’s easy to think that I should be, because lots of others my age are. But I do like music and media. God has given that to me, and He created me that way, so why should I worry about not being good at sports? The important thing is to find your place and to use what God has given you to be a blessing.
“So I decided that I wanted to be the kind of person who is always in a good mood. Not just outwardly, but to have a true and lasting joy deep down inside my heart. I knew that this was only possible when I live my life for God, and I found that in living for God, I can also be a blessing and do good for others.
Nothing can steal my joy!
“It’s just awesome how God works; He has already done a miracle in me. I’ve changed a lot from who I was before. Now I can be happy all the time. Nothing can steal my joy!
“I am still tempted to worry about what others think; tempted to want approval from people instead of from God. But now I fight against these temptations and don’t allow them to have power over me or rule my life.
“Not to give in - that is really my goal. I often think of the verse in Isaiah 40:31 (GNT): ‘But those who trust in the LORD for help will find their strength renewed.’ We can always have a connection with God through our prayers, and we can always get power from Him. When I’m tempted to worry about what people think, the first thing I do is pray, then I get power to come through the situation. You have to pray and believe.
“It’s true joy! I’m not faking it, I’m really happy! Right now I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life!
“I once heard someone say, ‘Maybe you are the only Bible that people around you are reading.’ My goal is to be this ‘walking, talking Bible’. That through my life, everyone around me can see what it means to have a life with Jesus.”