If you had known me in High School, I hope you would have understood me and seen where my heart was on a lot of issues. I was interested in mentoring younger girls and really seeking to encourage them to pursue purity and a deep relationship with Jesus. I really wanted these girls to understand the deep love the Lord had for them and to build their lives around Him.
Over time, I wrestled out conflict with several girls the Lord had put into my life back then who had told me their perspective of my intentions towards various people back in high school, how I came across and how I had messed up their lives.
You know, I believed them.
Without even realising, I had allowed Satan's lies to soak into my soul and taint what the Lord had been doing in and through me back in High School. I began to try and forget about those years and just claim I was young and inexperienced, so of course I had hurt a lot of people through whatever I had done. I could no longer remember any good coming from my life during those years.
I came into contact with a girl from my youth group recently who thanked me in a conversation for mentoring her while in High School. She told me what a great role model I was and how she had appreciated my intentional friendship more than she could explain.
Girl, I fought back tears while she told me those words.
I finally saw that I had allowed those few people to rob me of my identity in Christ from those years ago. I had let their words define who I thought I was back then. I had refused to listen to truth about what God had seen and done through me and chosen to believe Satan's lies.
I am not claiming that everything I did was perfect. Oh goodness no. I am young and I am sure that several girls were hurt by some insensitive things I did back in High School. From my recollection, I never purposefully meant to hurt any of them. My heart for them was just to be like an older sister and point them to Jesus. To share with them the way that He had changed me and how loving Him was the best decision they could ever make. But I allowed those lies to creep in and settle in me.
If I was honest with you....I battle these lies everyday. As I am sure you do to some extent. They may not always look the same, but they are of the same origin. They are lies. Not God's truth.
Some mornings it is the fact that noon has come and gone and I feel already overwhelmed at how the morning has not gone according to plan. I did not get up seeking the Lord, praising Him for another beautiful day. I snapped at my family for something small and silly like something being where it shouldn't have been (dirty laundry on the floor). I ate an unhealthy snack and then felt guilty knowing I was trying to eat healthier. I tried to write an encouraging blog post but the words wouldn't flow and I can hear the lies telling me.....
....I am a failure.
I begin to think maybe God can't really use me, simply because I couldn't do it all.
Then I can choose to tell myself the truth.
'For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.'
'My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.16
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.'
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I can choose in those moments to remind myself of what God thinks of me. I can take a moment and just soak up His word hearing His truth. Telling myself not to believe lies but instead to know what my worth and value are in God's eyes.
To remember that acceptance and love from Jesus is not about what we do.
It honestly is ok not to have it all together.
Know that God wants to know us & He wants us to know Him.
Emily Freeman beautifully wrote:
'You are not accepted because you are good.
You are free to be good because you are accepted.
You are not responsible to have it all together.
You are free to respond to the One who holds all things in his hands.
You do not have to live up to impossible expectations.
You are free to wait expectantly on Jesus, the One who is both author and perfecter of your faith.'
(Grace for the Good Girl, p.137)
I'm choosing to reject the lies friend, and embrace truth.
Will you join me?