Popular New York fashion blogger Christine Petric turned low self-esteem from racism, injury and a broken relationship into a story worth telling
Adopted from South Korea at a young age, Christine Petric always felt out of place because of her different appearance growing up in Texas, USA.
"I grew up in a predominately caucasian community so, being this little Asian girl, I wasn't exactly the norm," Christine explains.
"It's really hard growing up in a situation where you know you are different from everyone else, and sometimes I would ask God 'why me? Why was I the one who has to be different?'"
Like any young girl, Christine says she just wanted to "be like everyone else and feel normal" but encountered many situations where she was made to feel like she did not belong.
The one place she could escape these differences was on the soccer field where she excelled and dreamt of making it to the Olympic team.
That was before a serious leg injury at university derailed her sporting hopes and left her to find solace in a dating relationship.
"It was perfect timing for a guy to walk into my life and come rescue me," she says.
"I wanted a release from struggling with soccer and not being on the field. It helped me not think about it so much. It helped having something that seemed to be good going on off the field."
Then another crushing blow came the day Christine's boyfriend pulled her aside with a brutally honest confession.
"He basically told me his family did not approve of me because I wasn't white," she explains.
Christine remembers standing there in complete shock and confusion because she had never met his family in person.
"I was literally judged off of a picture because of the colour of my skin. It made me secretly hate myself for the way I was. I don't think I have ever felt worse about myself at any other point in my life."
The end of that relationship was one of the lowest points in her life but Christine says God used the situation to show her that "nothing works" without keeping Jesus Christ at the centre of her life and choosing to obey Him.
"I realised I was living for me and I was being pretty selfish about it," she admits.
Christine learnt about the sacrifice Jesus had made in giving up His life for her at a young age and she knew that God offered forgiveness of her sins and eternal life if she surrendered her life to Jesus.
As she let Jesus take control of her life, Christine recalls, "My heart started changing and I didn't really know how amazing God was until this [relationship breakup] happened. If this hadn't happened I don't know what would have brought me closer to Jesus," she says.
When she gave all of her worries, hurts and selfish desires up to the Lord Jesus Christ during this time, Christine says He lifted her up and filled her with love for herself and those who had hurt her.
"It took a while but He mended my heart of any anger or resentment," she says.
"This experience was really the first time I was thankful for being unique. One thing that the Lord taught me is that He made me different for a reason. He is so proud that I the way I am and I look the way I look and there is no one else out there like me."
Rather than be ashamed of how she looks, Christine is now all smiles for the camera as she develops a web presence on her popular fashion blog called viewfrom5ft2.com.
Yet, instead of finding her identity out on the soccer field or in her high fashion trending, she says she finds it in God's love for her.
"My mark is what I leave in terms of spreading God's love, His Word [Bible] and His truth. I can look back on my experiences, good and bad, and smile because I know they were all for a reason [to bring me closer to God]. I am really happy and excited to see what else He has in store for me!"