May the love of our heavenly Father be with each and every one of you reading this today. I would like to share a very personal testimony with you all. It’s something that I have kept secret for many years, up until now. I feel the Lord is pushing me to share my testimony. I pray my story helps at least ONE person reading this. I grew up and still suffer with ADHD. I knew at a very young age that I was different than the other children. I attended a very small Adventist Christian school in Orange, CA. Since first grade I knew that I was special, and not in a good way. I struggled with severe anxiety, due to not being able to comprehend the schoolwork. I would often start crying for no reason. I also could not stop talking, or fidgeting.
The teachers would always have me sit in the very back of the classroom in order not to disturb my fellow classmates. I remember the kids having birthday parties and I rarely would get invited. A very close friend of our family told my parents that I should be placed on a drug called Ritalin. This medication helps with ADHD by calming the brain. My mother is a very stubborn/ old school Brazilian woman who refused to place her daughter on any medication that could alter her brain. Her view was that’s how God made me, so that’s who I am.
I struggled for years in school, never quite grasping certain subjects, like math and science. By 10th and 11th grade, I began to enjoy certain subjects and my mind began to open and allow me to comprehend what I was learning. I still struggled, but I was at least passing. One day I came home from school, and I broke down crying and told my dad. “Dad, I will never be smart, I am so dumb, I don’t know why I am like this”…. I will NEVER forget what my dad said to me that day. In his beautiful language of Portuguese he said, “My daughter, God made you perfect. You know how to make people feel so special and make anyone laugh. You have a gift that not all the education in the world could teach, you are such a light in this world and God is going to use you in so many ways".
My father always made me feel better, and you know what, he was right! God has used me in ways I NEVER dreamed of.
I have realized that children who grow up feeling left out, have more empathy than others. I was given a true gift of discernment. I can feel others pain and I can read people very well.
I am so thankful for the woman I am today. For years I hated myself, for years I wish I was smarter. For years I HATED being Sheila! Brothers and Sisters don’t be like me! Don’t wait to love yourself. I wasted so much time doubting rather than doing! Today I am so thankful for who I am. GOD designed me this way. The enemy wants us to hate ourselves and have self-doubt.
Please know WHO YOU ARE!!! You are HIS PERFECT DESIGN! You are made the way GOD wanted you to be. I know I’m loud, I know I laugh too much, I know I am immature, but guess what? I LOVE who I am. Know that you are AMAZING!!!
Do not let the enemy lie to you! You are PERFECT!! Love you all so much!