God has a different plan than I do. (#storyofmylife)
God has a different plan than I do. (#storyofmylife)
Five years ago, I penned these words, “I hope I can get to 30 and be okay.”
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He revealed how much I hold up walls against him, only fearing his judgment and anger. But instead finding, a Father whose love has no match or end. A Father that has never abandon, given up or just tolerated me, even at my very worst. (Oh, and there are so pretty bad moments.)
I work in a job that is easy to forget the joy, because it is hard on a daily basis and we need joy. We desperately need it and our students need it too! I want to be known as a the joyful one. I want to be known for my joy.
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It isn’t the answer, it isn’t the fix for the problem. The baby, the boyfriend, the success, the promotion, the accolades, your grown children’s lives. It isn’t what will make everything better. Maybe for a brief moment. But not really for the long haul.
“You are ugly.”
Those words too long held power in my life. I believed them. I believed that those words spoken by an immature, thoughtless 5th grade boy were true. At that age, I didn’t consider the source, I believed it named what everyone thought about me. For an 11 year old, fighting for some sort of identity, a place in the world, figuring out how to dress for her body type that was continually changing, these words stung.
As a semi-well adjusted almost 30 year old, I still feel like that 5th grade girl, anytime I get ready for a date, dress up for a fancy function. I fear that everyone in the room is thinking what that boy said out loud.
If I am honest, sometimes, when someone does compliment me on my appearance, I don’t even hear them. I think they are lying, just being nice, or even just humoring me. Those words from so long ago, have such a strong grip on my heart, that anything anyone would say now, falls on deaf ears.
In my head, I know that those words weren’t even true.
They were flippant words that the boy doesn’t even remember saying. (Believe me, I have asked. I now happen to be related to him. Long story.) They were words that were said out of carelessness.
However, the enemy uses this lie and others to debilitate me over and over again. The enemy knows my weaknesses, my sin, my desire for others to approve of me, to be liked, and to be enough. This lie and many others can paralyze me and make me ineffective and to hide from God.
The one that has been hitting me hard lately is:
“You will be alone forever.”
Okay, so there are obviously so many things wrong with this lie. On good days I can see right through it, and carry on. But on days, when I drive away from an event all by myself, or another friend gets engaged or starts a relationship, this lie comes to a head and I become a sopping mess.
We all do it, we have those lies that haunt us on our bad days. We have those words that we easily believe because life is hard or isn’t turning out how we thought.
Those lies hold a lot of weight when we are disappointed or rejected. Those lies grip onto our thoughts and our lives in powerful ways. Maybe, ike me, they cause you to act crazy or irrational.
Funny thing is that when I start to measure that lie up against scripture and what God has to say about my life, the lies become weak.
“I am afraid.”
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. -Isaiah 41:10
“I am not enough.”
a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. – Zeph. 3:17
“I am not important.”
“It is hopeless.”
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the rightous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. -Psalm 34:17-20
God left us with clear scripture that tells us the opposite message of this world.
The lies sometimes look like truth, sound like truth, and come from people that maybe also speak truth. The enemy gets sneaky and wants to debilitate those that would glorify the world.
As I reflect on the last couple of months, my head and heart are heavy. Not just for the lies that I have been believing but for those that are still unaware of the lies that they hold on to. My heart is heavy for those lies that are being screamed from the rooftops, through print, social media, and through each other.
Friends, let us name those lies for what they are, lies, and speak truth, life, and hope into each others life. Let us come back to God’s words to us to help us.
One final truth to leave you with.
When all seems lost and confusing,
…….He gives us direction because He loves us.
When we mess up and try to cover up
…….He knows, draws us near and still loves us.
When are drowning and feel like nothing goes right
…….He rescues us because He loves us.
When the waves keep coming
…….He gives us an anchor, because he loves us. (Hebrews 6:19)
When the darkness surrounds us
…….He gives us a light because he loves us. (Psalm 18:28)
When feel empty and have nothing life
…….He fills us up because he loves us.
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. (Psalm 107:9)
When we are alone and weary
…….He provides for us people and himself, because he loves us.
When we are trapped by anxiety and fear
……..He storms the gates because He loves us. (Psalm 18)
As my soul is thirsty to hear every day, our God loves us to a depth and width and breadth that I will never fully comprehend.
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Many are the things that tell us that he doesn’t. The world is drowning out the truth in our hearts. The darkness, the hurt, the injustice, the anger, the loss, the grief, fights to crowd out His truth, that He loves us.
We are quick to say we are sinners and deserve God’s wrath. We see the sin that we are capable of on a daily basis. We are surrounded by it.
But are we quick to remind ourselves and each other that HE, the God of the heavens and the earth, the God of Abraham and Jacob, the commander of the Sun and Moon, loves us?
Are we quick to remind each other that above all else, he first loved us?
We can quickly name off the thing in our life that say otherwise. But when we start with his love, perhaps those things will look different.
In my singleness, loneliness, I can be quick to think that God has forgotten me, that he doesn’t love me. But when I say He loves me enough to give me this time, this season to learn and grown closer to Him. To give me rest and knowledge of him so I am first His before anyone else’s.
In our unanswered prayer, we can say that he doesn’t hear us, that he doesn’t want to bless us. But when we first say He loves us, those unanswered prayers look like our dependence, our reminder that he is the giver of ALL things.
In our trials, we can say that he has left us alone and made our lives hard. But when he say he loves us enough to provide opportunities for our community to love us. He makes a way for us to see his Church as a helping hand.
Friends, are we quick to see Him as a God who first loves?