Many times, the enemy can plant lies in our life when we are children. Since we’re so young, we can’t process the lie, realize it’s not from God, and expel it like we can as adults. So often, these lies will simply sit in our soul, dormant, waiting for the right moment that would most effectively hurt us.
Sometime in my youth, a lie was planted that I was unworthy. At times, it almost became an actual belief, like when my sisters excelled at sports much better than I did, or when I began to notice that they were skinnier than me, so on. There have been many instances in my past where the lie almost had a hold on me. But because of my loving parents who continually encouraged me and spoke truth of God’s love to me, I feel like I was shielded from it.
Here in Barcelona, I am in an amazing girls group studying the life of David. We were watching a video tonight where Beth Moore explained the different levels of relationships that we are to have: with the world, the church, a small group, 2 or 3 close friends, and mano y mano with God. Obviously, the smaller the group gets, the more intimate and transparent we are to become with our friends. She explained the desperate importance of meeting with God alone, and how extraordinary and significant we should feel that the God of the universe was calling me, and me alone, to meet with Him alone. “Why won’t you let Me help you?”
I found myself crying at this point, and by the grace of God, no one saw since the video was still playing. I realize that although I had the other relationships, I hadn’t been one on one with God in a very long time. He revealed to me a lot about what I had been stuffing down for so long. The lie that the enemy had planted so long ago was finally allowed to take root whenever I came to college. There were a series of events and a few people that had basically watered the seed of unworthiness in me. I was made to feel insignificant, awkward, and inadequate by those I had vulnerably trusted and been transparent with. Their harsh words soon encompassed who I was. But instead of aligning my soul with Christ’s truth, I allowed those lies to actually mold who I was. I retreated, started being less relational and open as I used to be. It was an ugly slippery slope because the unworthiness caused me to care less about what I did (began to gain weight, never dress nicely, did poorly in school), which then turned into self-hatred and shame, because I wasn’t shaping up and being a “better person”. So I would try again, try to be better, get my life back in order. But because I hadn’t dealt with how the vicious words of these people affected me, I simply couldn’t succeed. Inevitably, my internal life spiraled deeper into a pit while I put on a good face and continued to live “normally”.
But it is impossible to put on a good face for too long. Not forgiving myself meant not accepting God’s forgiveness. It is impossible to hate oneself and accept the love of Christ. You either deal with your troubles, or they start to leak out like a poison, affecting everyone around you.
I became vicious. I had a wicked tongue that masked itself in “humor”, and while everyone laughed at my extreme sarcasm, there was always someone left damaged. I found weaknesses in others, and exploited them whenever I could.
The sick part is that I saw myself doing this, it was almost like I was watching myself act this awful way. I KNEW that I wasn’t that person, but unfortunately it would just add fuel to the fire because I would turn to internally bashing myself for being a horrible person… the self-hatred spiral again. It hurt me that my friends around me only saw me as an obnoxious, insensitive girl that made everyone laugh once in a while.
Because I had been hurt so much, I placed very thick strongholds to “protect” me, rejecting my friends and even God.
This summer I finally identified the problem. It has been a long process of slowly forgiving those original people who hurt me, friends who chose to label me a jerk instead of seeing me in pain, and of course, myself for allowing sin into my life. This semester in Barcelona was perfectly timed and ordained. I am excited/terrified to be alone with God, to have to meet with Him completely stripped and vulnerable. I know it sounds ridiculous, but the thought of being that exposed to anyone is frightening, but I hold to the truth that God adores me as His child. And anytime I ponder on the significance of Christ coming to this earth and dying for me, I am overwhelmed by His grace. And usually start crying. My current state. Christ’s love is almost unbelievable. Even a small glimpse of how He sees me can completely wreck my soul. I am ready though, ready to be wrecked in these next months so that He can build me up again into the daughter I was meant to be.