Rough Around the Edges

Nicole Lam | April 15, 2021

“For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.” ~Psalm 149:4

Humble – having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.

Delight – great pleasure; give joy or satisfaction; takes delight in me

Who is this that delights in his people? Who is this that crowns the humble with victory?

Reflecting on this verse gives me flashbacks of my humble beginnings where I was not the star of my own play, but rather the underdog the audience always seems to pity. But that’s often how the true hero of the story emerges...

Unlike my sister, I wasn’t the sweetest baby growing up. She usually had a smile when I had a frown. She attracted relatives and people around her. I repelled them. She was cute and adorable. I was not. My teacher wrote that I was “aggressive.” Smart, but rough around the edges. I developed a tough exterior shielding me from the lack of favor that turned into a lack of self-esteem and zero confidence. I was angry and hard-hearted. Whether or not I knew it, I pushed my way around, especially with those that I could, like my sister and people I neither know nor cared about. (I hope my story doesn’t depress you. I promise it will get better!) If you haven’t gotten the point, I wasn’t very likable.

In contrast to my lack of people skills, doing well at school was easy. It felt great. I had friends there, and my grades made me feel important (even if I didn’t realize it till now.) I was also astute enough at eight years old to know how to “succeed” in my cultural context, even though I was still a rebel at heart. Then, my family decided to move to America where my accent, dress, hair, and language were not valued. NOT AT ALL. Moving to America was humbling and my saving grace was the classroom. That is, until high school when I couldn’t rely on my smarts and actually had to study, which I didn’t know how to do. I was humbled by my circumstances on all levels and in all areas: family, friendship, relationships, and grades. I hit rock bottom. But rock bottom was the best thing that could have ever happened.


This rock bottom is where I met the Man that loved me the most.

It’s been a while since that time. After years of knowing Him, He’s softened my hard heart to feel, cry, and experience joy and laughter. He’s turned my heart into one that loves and can be loved. Free of bitterness and resentment. I can feel sadness for others and empathize. He knows all the wrong I’ve ever done, forgives me, and takes my shame away. He calls me beautiful. This was huge! He’s given me confidence in Him just as I am, apart from what I can or cannot do. He secures me in Him, just as I am. I am enough. Not lacking. He shows me favor. He trusts me. He’s not afraid of me. He believes in me when I was and am ugly to everyone else including myself. He has good for me and can see my fullest potential. He doesn’t give up on me. He is always with me. He always encourages. He always hopes. He gives me strength. He enables me to do good things. This love humbles me because it isn’t about me, but about the Giver of this love. This love also humbles me because I still mess up, forget, and seek other loves, when I know full well that all others pale in comparison. He doesn’t give up. After years of seeking more of this love, my life has dramatically changed. I’m still a little rough around the edges but not so much. He’s turned my frown into a genuine smile. Why? Because He delights in me. And I’ve let him. As a result, he’s given me victory.