Erick Palmer is currently attending School of Ministry at the Catch The Fire Airpot Campus in Toronto.
Hi my name is Erick, I am 20 years old and I’m from Mexico. I arrived to the School of Ministry in the Fall of 2013. As I entered through those doors I was full of fear when I was surrounded by new people. I consider myself to be quiet person, but not then, then I was not just quiet, I was a person paralysed by fear. I was afraid to look people in the eyes, I was afraid of having normal conversation and but more than anything, I was afraid to be seen.
During past years I struggled with a really strong stuttering problem, which provoked not only anxiety but deep shame within me. Shame in its core says, “There is something fundamentally wrong with you.” This sank deep into my heart and became my truest identity; something was wrong with me.
These were my everyday thoughts:
“I am worthless”
“I am voiceless”
“I am trash”
“I’m not worthy to be respected”
“I will never open up to anyone and if I do, I will be rejected"
And the list goes on, in conclusion I was really broken as I allowed myself to believe these thoughts and build my identity around them. My heart had many walls and I didn’t want to let anyone see past them. As the school began I enclosed myself in my cocoon, not letting anyone in. During the first weeks I liked the teachings but my heart was unable to receive because it was closed. I remember a few days before Rick came to the school, my very loving small group leader said to me, “Get ready, because I know God is going to do something this week with you.” Despite that, I had no idea that by the end of the week my heart was going to be transformed and changed.
On the first day of “Identity Week” Rick brought a mirror to the front of the auditorium. He began bringing people to in front of the mirror. As he did this I literally was crying out to God to make invisible. Suddenly he called me from my seat in the corner of the last row, and shouted, “Who told you that! Who told you that you belong there in the corner!” and then he said, “Come grab your chair and come to the front!” I don’t know what happened, but unconsciously I picked up my chair and moved to the front. I didn't know what was happening but tears began to roll down my face. After I sat down, Rick told me to go stand in front of the mirror and looked directly into my eyes.
He asked, “What do you see?”
I replied, “I see a victim, someone worthy of nothing.”
Then he said, “Would anyone would like to come and tell Erick something?"
Literally the whole school stood up. My face was covered with tears and snot as each one of them came and spoke life into my identity. The whole room was in tears.
Something special happened that day. As each one of them passed and spoke into me I began to feel something rising up in my chest, and this phrase came into my mind, "There is Glory in you.” This phrase pierced into my heart and I knew it was the Father speaking to me. For the first time in my life I began to feel that there was something good in me. I finally began to believe the truth of who I was.
Lies from the past began to fall as He repeated the phrase over and over.
He began to say:
"You are worthy of my love.”
"You are worthy to be loved.”
"There is gold inside of you.”
"There is Glory inside of you.”
"You are my son.”
It is no understatement to say that my life was changed that day. I began to see myself as someone loveable. Not only that but I actually began allowing myself to be vulnerable and share my heart with people. I discovered I have a voice, and that voice is worthy to be heard, and that voice is important. Obviously it took time to deal with all the lies I believed for so many years, but that day a heavy weight of the deep shame I had lived with all my life was lifted from my back. That day He lifted my head and said, “You are worth it Erick.”
Now, I am allowing myself to be seen and known. I am learning how to do relationships and build friendships like never before.
It all comes down to this; if we just knew who we are, and to whom we belong to, everything would be different. If we knew we have a Father, that we are His children so many things would change. Our hearts would begin to come alive as we look to the One that calls us loved, accepted and worthy.
That is who He is, the lifter of our heads and the lover of our hearts.
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