Faith and Life

I No Longer Feel Self-abased for Being Short in Stature

By Jiali

My young heart deeply hurt for my short stature.

I was small when I was a child, so the elders around me often said to me, “You should eat more, or you won’t get taller if you lack nutrition.” “You see the daughter of So-and-so is tall and pretty. It’s so worthy of envy.” Gradually, I became more and more self-abased, feeling that I was looked down upon by others for being short, as if I was shorter than other people by a span. This made me feel very miserable.

After I went to school, I was the shortest one in my class. A boy who sat in front of me often laughed at me, and even gave me the nickname “Apple,” whose English pronunciation was very similar to our dialect pronunciation of “dwarf.” Once, he made fun of me in front of the whole class, saying, “Apple, how small you are!” His words were like a knife piercing my heart, so I sadly ran out of my classroom. When I got back, he blocked the door and didn’t let me in. I, who had always been unwilling to cause any trouble, no longer suppressed my anger so I fought with him. Despite this, my inner distress had become an indelible imprint. Every time I was laughed at by this boy, I would feel it was because I was short that I was bullied like this, and that if I got a bit taller, he wouldn’t dare to treat me in this way.

Because I was short, not only was I laughed at by my classmate, but I wasn’t fostered by my school. For example, I was very fond of sport. I actively took part in every school sports and practiced hard, hoping that I could be a candidate for training. And I won many championships in women’s long-distance running in my school. But I never thought that just because I was short, I failed to be chosen in the selection of long-distance runners to be nurtured in my school. Hearing the news, my heart was in so much pain, tears of grievance pouring from my eyes. Moreover, I loved dancing very much and had a gift for it. And I had very flexible joints. However, because I was short, my only portion was standing on one side as an audience when my school selected students for choreography.

Getting taller being hopeless, I suffered great agony.

I was incredibly envious whenever I saw the tall figures of the contestants in beauty contests on television. I often focused on the high technology products and medicines that could help people get taller on TV commercials. Looking at the models’ tall figures in advertisements, I seemed to see hope. Just when I was about to try to buy some products and medicines, I learned that a very rich man in my village ate many health supplements and took much medicine, but failed to get taller. I also heard the friends around me say that some people, in order to get taller, underwent operations, but ultimately became disabled. At that point, I felt very discouraged and disheartened for my only hope was dashed. I thought to myself, “Could it be that I’m doomed to be a dwarf in this life?” I felt my life was gray, full of a haze of pain.

After stepping into the world, I found many jobs that I liked had a height requirement, for example waitress, company receptionist, even saleswoman, and so forth. They all required applicants to be taller than 1.6 meters. So I could do nothing but feel helpless and impotent. When I reached the age of marriage, I found a husband who was very tall. After we got married, he was very nice to me. But every time others said that the difference between my height and my husband’s was too great, I really didn’t feel any sense of happiness inside. In order to seem to be a good match when standing with him, I didn’t even hesitate to spend much more money buying high heels of various styles. Through the summer and the fall, each time I went out to play with my friends, I would wear high heels. And thus at the end of the day, I was footsore. I frequently thought: I have clear skin and big eyes. If I get a little taller, I must be remarkable. If I was five centimeters taller, I would rewrite my life and would not be in this situation.

Guided by God’s words, I broke free from my years of suffering.

Later, I believed in God and led a church life. Through interacting with brothers and sisters, I felt they didn’t laugh at me in the slightest. Here, everyone was open and honest, and treated others with sincerity. I was moved by their sincerity. Once, I told them about the suffering in my heart, which was the first time I released my repressed feelings within my heart all these years. After hearing my suffering, a sister read a passage of God’s words to me, “Since the creation of the world, I have begun to predestine and select this group of people—namely, you of today. Your temperament, caliber, appearance, and stature, your family into which you were born, your job, and your marriage—you in your entirety, even including the color of your hair and your skin, and your time of birth—were all arranged by My hands. I arranged by hand even the things you do and the people you meet every single day, not to mention the fact that bringing you into My presence today was actually done by My arrangement. Do not throw yourself into disorder; you should proceed calmly. What I allow you to enjoy today is a share that you deserve, and it has been predestined by Me since the world’s creation.” After listening to these God’s words and the sister’s fellowship, I understood: Every person’s family, appearance, and marriage are all preordained by God. His arrangements are always suitable. Looking back on it now, although I was short, I had very clear skin and beautiful eyes. Many people liked me and I was popular. Besides, I married my husband who treated me well. The more valuable thing was that God didn’t give up on my salvation because I was short, but allowed me to accept His gospel and gain the chance to be saved and enter the kingdom. This was a huge blessing! However, I railed against Heaven and earth for being short in stature. I saw that I was really ignorant.

Also, God’s words allowed me to understand: Man’s height and appearance can’t change his fate. In the past, I always believed that only by being tall could one find a good job, be looked up to by others, and have a good future, and that those who were short would fall behind in all things. In fact, what occupation one takes up, what kind of marriage one has—all of these things are in God’s hands, and have nothing to do with outward reasons, one’s height and appearance. Many tall people are very miserable in their whole life. They suffer repeated failures and dead ends. Instead, many short people are successful in their careers and have a happy and content family life. Everything goes well for them in their whole life. It can be seen that God doesn’t treat anyone unfairly.

Seeing clearly the source of my pain, now I have awakened to sudden awareness.

Later, from God’s words, I found the source of my years of agony. God’s words say, “Born into such a filthy land, man has been severely blighted by society, he has been influenced by feudal ethics, and he has been taught at ‘institutes of higher learning.’ The backward thinking, corrupt morality, mean view on life, despicable philosophy for living, utterly worthless existence, and depraved lifestyle and customs—all of these things have severely intruded upon man’s heart, and severely undermined and attacked his conscience. As a result, man is ever more distant from God, and ever more opposed to Him.” Reading this passage, I understood: It is all because I’ve been affected and influenced by the social trend that I am so miserable. Today, the societal trend is that being tall is beautiful, so everyone judges people by their appearance. They admire those who have a nice appearance and a fine figure, while they look down upon those who are short and plain. I thought about myself: It was because I was short that I received unfair treatment, was bullied by my classmate, and was laughed at by the people around me. I couldn’t get nurtured in sport and dancing that I liked. I was limited by my height when finding a job. In addition, from an early age I often heard the people around me praise the girls who were tall and say that they were delightful. I myself also became very envious of those who were tall and pretty, and disliked my height. In order to conceal the fact that I was small, I wore high heels all year round, which was purgatory for me. Feeling self-abased when being with others, I frequently murmured and complained, living in so much pain. At that point, I felt it was so pitiful without the truth: I was incapable of distinguishing right from wrong and the way I saw things had become distorted. I was grateful to the guidance of the words of God, which allowed me to find the root of my years of suffering. I was no longer willing to live based on the mistaken viewpoints fed to me by Satan. I was willing to look at things according to God’s words and break away from Satan’s affliction.

Understanding God’s will, I had direction in life.

Then I saw in the Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life, “In the house of God, we treat people not according to their appearance, height, and education level. Those who possess the truth, reality, and humanity are good and superior people. They are respected and have integrity and dignity; besides, we add one more thing that, in God’s home, those who satisfactorily fulfill the duties of a creature of God, practice various aspects of the truth, and earn others’ approval, are good people who God likes and who brothers and sisters support. And those who are honest and live according to God’s words are respectable people. They are also people who align with God’s will. This is our views on treating people, and is also the outlook on life and values which all those who pursue the truth ought to be equipped with.”

From the fellowship, I realized: God doesn’t look at what kind of appearance we have and how tall we are. He wants us to be an honest person, pursue the truth, and fulfill our duties as a created being, so that more people can come before Him, gain His salvation, and no longer be fooled by Satan. Only living in this way is the most valuable and we can be approved by God. On the contrary, if a person is unable to perform his duty and obligation as a creature of God, lives according to the corrupt satanic thoughts, being crooked, treacherous, evil, depraved, selfish, and contemptible, and he pursues the evil ways, and all that he is thinking and what he lives out go against the truth, then such a person is despised by God even if he is tall and handsome. Today, although I don’t have a striking appearance, I can know the Creator, pursue the truth, and conduct myself and live on the basis of God’s words. This is the most valuable thing.

Thank God. It was His words that gave me the correct goal to pursue. Afterward, unknowingly, I didn’t feel self-abased when standing with tall people, nor did I feel uncomfortable when I was said to be short or not to be like an adult. Now, I fulfill my duty in the church, pursue the truth with my brothers and sisters, and spread the gospel of the kingdom, feeling very relieved and liberated. I no longer feel pain for being short in stature.