By Alicia Searl, Crosswalk.com
This morning, my teen asked if she could do something that quickly prompted me to reply in my standard mom response – "no!" After the usual grunts, groans, and "bruh," I was told I don't know how to have any fun and that I'm just old and boring. Hmm. Yep, I guess you could say that. But, just for the record, this boring "old lady" still knows how to have fun. It just generally revolves around a cup of coffee.
After that fun and feisty teen left for school, it just got me thinking about how many times a quick-witted remark, sharp judgmental glare, or simple (yet oh so complex) negative thought can easily change my entire demeanor. Before too long, I find myself going down this ugly trail of thought and start believing all kinds of crazy things. Then the floodgates open as the past begins to resurface, painful memories unfold, and this tight feeling in my chest slowly starts to choke out any clarity, exposing lies upon lies. And sadly, I entertain them all.
I really hate how lies sneak in and demand to be heard. All the while forcing us to put on a brave face, pretending that all is good, when the battle rages on inside, capturing our thoughts, ransoming our hearts, and staking claims to our souls. Friends, we have to fight, and it starts with a simple word - no!
No, we will not entertain the enemy and let lies today.
So, will you join me today as we seek to call out some of the most common lies women believe and how to combat them with the Truth? And, who knows, if you sit here and read this with a cup of coffee, you might even have fun or at least find enjoyment knowing God's Truth will always defeat the enemy.
And that right there is worth celebrating!
1. The Lie: I'm Unworthy
I'm going to cut to the chase here – there are so many misconceptions in our modern culture today that take away a woman's beautiful and strong attributes. The confusion wrapped up in this awful lie has the enemy written all over it! As women, we crave to be seen, understood, cherished, and valued. It is a part of our DNA make-up, as God designed us that way. But instead of leaning on God to tell us who we are, we can so easily get caught up in the stigmas of this world as it twists and turns the meaning of language and words, destroying our hearts. Ultimately, this can lead us to feel invisible, overlooked, mistreated, or misunderstood, making us believe that somehow, we must be unworthy to even be loved. Sweet friend, let's seek Truth.
The Truth: Jesus Made Us Worthy
Jesus shows us throughout the New Testament that His love is unfailing, and He highly values both men and women. We can see that on display during the tender interaction with the Samaria woman at the well in John 4. Jesus goes against societal norms, making a special trip into the city walls to meet with her specifically. It was no accident that His mission was to take this poor, lowly-hearted woman who had been ridiculed and cast aside and changed the script, making her feel worthy. The Truth is God has a heart for the defeated woman. The one that has forgotten her worth and value. He says this: I made you in a special and unique way (Psalm 139:14), I rejoice over you with gladness (Zephaniah 3:17), and you were bought with a price and are my most-prized possession (1 Corinthians 7:23).
2. The Lie: I'm Not Enough
This lie loves to creep into our workspaces, callings, motherhood, and so forth. It's loud yet brings with it a deafening silence that keeps us stuck rather than moving forward. It sometimes starts simple enough as you gaze upon another mom who seems to have it all together, or the sense of overwhelm builds up to a point where it eventually takes you down a dark path of secretly wanting to give in and give up. But there's a catch here, my friend. The lie says you have to be enough and do it all. You must be performance and perfection-based, even if it is mission-based, and led with a good heart. The lie forces us to look within and at our tasks and potential, whereas the Truth flips that all around.
The Truth: Christ Is Enough
Our Creator crafted us to be flawless images of perfection. But sin entered this world, and that image sadly came crashing down. We will never be enough – on our own account. Even on our best days, when it feels like we're killing it, a toddler can quickly stroll in and declare that this motherhood gig is tough and we can't do it alone. The Truth is we will fail, mess up, and never be enough, but that doesn't mean we wave the white flag of surrender and should just give in. What it does mean is we surrender our own view of what enough is and place them at the feet of Jesus. We invite Him into the crevices of our hearts and ask Him to fill us up to be enough through Him! He tells us that His grace is sufficient, and His power is made perfect in our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9).
3. The Lie: I'm a Product of My Past
My husband and I have vastly different childhoods. While I was raised in a very loving and nurturing home, he came from a very broken and abusive home. While the resurfacing of those memories comes up from time to time and can trigger and churn up many emotional responses, he has never harbored bitterness. He has always been gracious and humble when talking about his past. Maybe you have some past experiences or a childhood that has made you believe the lie that there is no escaping the hurt and pain. Maybe it has a way of training your thoughts to see the negative while directing your choices to align as such. Well, my friend, let's see what God says about our past.
The Truth: God Uses Our Past for a Purpose
While the past does have a way of shaping us to a certain extent, we have a choice to make. We can slip into the pattern of becoming a victim or rise up and be a victor. The Truth is that our past mistakes, failures, or childhood experiences may want to take us down, directing our choices and making us feel that we are just a byproduct, but that is not the life God intended for us. He doesn't want us stuck in the past; He wants to continue to grow us, reminding us that He has hope for our future (Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 3:5-6). The enemy will use our past to bind us down and make us relive those grueling memories over and over so we can't take the next step. Our God uses our past to pave the way towards our future – with purpose.
4. The Lie: I'm Alone
The feeling of loneliness is a harsh reality for many, myself included. We can go through seasons of life where it seems as if we are a lone man on a stranded island, both physically alone and encompassed with loneliness. Other times, we can be surrounded by people, maybe even those we hold dear and love, and feel completely lonely. Living in a trance of going through the motions but inwardly crumbling into a state of hopelessness. Loneliness captures our hearts like no other, whispering that nobody understands and that our lives don't matter. Eventually, we can feel as if God must have forsaken and forgotten about us. We eventually stumble through life in a fog, feeling lost, lonely, and alone, leading us right into the enemy's hands!
The Truth: God Is Always Searching for the Lost Sheep
Satan wants you to think you are alone and nobody cares about you. That's because when we are a lonely lost sheep, we lose sight of our tender Shepherd and can easily fall further and further away from
the flock that keeps us safe (Luke 15:4-7). Friend, we must remain vigilant of this evil tactic. The Truth is God constantly searches after the lost sheep, trying to lead them back to His unfailing love and goodness. We can fight the lie of loneliness by knowing and understanding that the enemy is on the prowl, constantly looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8), stick with the flock (body of believers, Proverbs 27:17, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12), and hold on and lean into our Shepherd (Psalm 25:16).
5. The Lie: I'm Overly Emotional
I've been told a time or two that I am quite the emotional gal. I do tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and am quite transparent and vulnerable, maybe even to an uncomfortable level for some. Because of that, I have believed the lie that I am just overly emotional and that my emotions are just way "too much." Maybe you can relate? Do you carry some rather big emotions, too? The enemy wants us to fear our feelings and believe something is wrong with being emotional. But friend, that couldn't be farther from the Truth!
The Truth: We Are Emotional Beings, Like Our Emotional God
We serve an emotional God, and being that we are created in His image, we too, are emotional!
Throughout Scripture, we see God display a wide range of rather big emotions, from joy to sorrow, and laughter to righteous anger (Psalms 37:2-13, John 11:35, Numbers 11:1, Exodus 14:4). While God's emotions are pure and stem from His righteousness and flow out of His love for us, our emotions can tap into our flesh, leading the way to our natural sinful nature. But that doesn't mean our feelings are bad or "overrated." Instead, as believers, it means we must cultivate Christ-like emotions such as love, compassion, and righteous anger and understand that faith can be "felt," and it can be a beautiful thing!
You Are Chosen and Loved
Next time the loud war cry of lies wants to stake claim over your heart, just say no and then combat them with God's beautiful Word. Because you, dear daughter, are chosen, dearly loved, and a crown jewel to your Father. And that is the Truth!