Let me set the stage … not to paint a picture of myself or how wonderful my world can be … but to show how out of place the lies are in what the Lord has given me. I hold dearly and cautiously the gifts of people and relationships and the depths of those with great care. I know they are precious and I am overwhelmed at the fact that I have such gifts in such abundance. I don’t take for granted when I walk into a store that they call me or my family by name. I treasure that we host wonderful gatherings in our home. I am humbled with the heart sisters I have in my life. I can’t fathom the love that my husband has for me. I should not want for anything in the relationship and acceptance department. I have more that I deserve. So much more. But, there are days that apparently I want more. (refer to the age old want/need lecture). I don’t look for it … nope, it sneaks up on me in a simple, sly, ugly, terrifying way.
Some would think I have it all together … and give a good old pffft when I admit to dealing with “self esteem”. Well, they say the proof is in the pudding…so grab a spoon…I am about to serve up a big bowl. Here it is … the raw truth that no matter what it seems you have … you still only NEED One Thing … One Person.
More often than I wish, I start a downhill spiral … a war in my soul. And it’s ugly. Real ugly. Like, “oh please don’t let anyone know my thoughts” ugly. And then the cycle begins. A lie from satan turns to truth in my heart, my heart grieves and pouts, regret sets in, I go to my sweet Jesus with real truth, He restores me and sets me on my way … and I am walking with Him again. (so grateful for Him… so grateful!)
Of course the ugly begins when I don’t purpose myself to walk with Him. You see, when I don’t walk closely with Him, I am not listening closely to my Jesus. Enter other voices. (Not schitzophrenic voices …well, not that I think).
Let me give you a couple of examples. Within a twenty four hour span, I had my feelings hurt twice … you know, “ junior high/first world girl” hurt. It was not the first time and I am no fool to know it will not be the last.
*Disclaimer: I will “change the names to protect the innocent” … because, they are innocent. It’s that dang devil that is the cause … and me, for giving ground to his whispers. Good thing I am forgiven. Not so much for the $(*%&# one. dang devil.
Deep breath. Here is the ugly, crazy, sinful things I think. (at least some of them)
Scenario: Group of moms going to tube while kids were in school. (in our town, we float down a river in an inner tube for recreation: we go tube)
Satan’s whisper: They didn’t invite you because they don’t want to be seen with you in a bathing suit.
Oh my. You have no idea how that pains me to even write. That I have to admit I listened to that lie AND that there is NO WAY ON GOD’s GREEN EARTH that this dear, heart friend of mine would EVER think that. EVER. Its lunacy for me to believe it. But he whispered it and I let it linger. UGH.
Scenario: A group of girls are gathering for the fall. A gathering I thought my daughter would be involved in. And she wasn’t. And well, it hurt.
Satan’s Whisper: Well, they don’t care about you as much as you thought. I guess that relationship wasn’t two sided. Why even try with relationships?
Vomit. Reading those words makes my jaw drop … but yet, I give those thoughts permission to penetrate my soul.
My soul that God inhabits.
These scenarios are in a stack of many ridiculous thoughts that I give attention to. Why don’t they return my text? If she thinks she is fat, what does she think about me? I am not doing enough for that family. Do I even make a difference anywhere? And the list goes on and on and on.
And I imagine it goes on and on in your heart too.
While wrestling with these emotions with Jesus, I asked Him (with a mixture of desperation and whining), “Why am I so needy?”
Why am I so needy? Why. Am. I. So. Needy?!
Because that is how we are created … in need of a Savior. And He is the only one that can fulfill that need.
He met my first need at the cross and hasn’t stopped since then. I just fail to listen to Him and be reminded of that.
So, I dwelled on this truth from Psalms 23 (thank you Lord for being simple).
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
I shall not want for the relationships to fulfill me. I shall not want those whispers to become truth. I shall not want for my happiness to rest on circumstances. I shall not want to be dependent on my looks or acceptance.
I shall not want, because He is my Shepherd.
A shepherd leads his sheep into good and safe places … at whatever the cost. We have a shepherd that is for us and with us every step. What more could we want for … really!
And today, (and many more days after this) I claim Jesus’ True Words.
He is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
Yes, satan’s whispers can seem scary and powerful and destructive. Read what John 10 has to say about that. But God’s Words are all we need. They breathe life into us. They remind us of who we are. We are His. And nothing can change that.
I can’t find a verse to back this… but please remember this: Satan Sucks. We don’t.
We don’t suck because we belong to Jesus Christ. We are His sheep. He is our Shepherd. I am going to believe that. It’s a process and a discipline. And it is better than needing to believe the lies. So. Much. Better.
*I feel fairly strong that men don’t get this “fully” and I need to be okay with that. And be so glad that the Lord balances marriage that way.
*Hurts like this can make us feel like a “victim” or a “Victor”. I get that all too well. The hurt and disappointment can be comfortable in a weird way. Don’t dwell there either. Just don’t. The “bruised” feeling goes away … eventually. ;). Victims camp with the enemy. Victors camp with our Savior. Easy choice.
*A year after this “downward day”, I can tell you with a deeply grateful heart that the relationships that Satan used to whisper to me … are stronger and better and each of them point me to Christ daily. So, take that “evil one” … it didn’t work. (stick tongue out here)