When I was growing up, I was taught to bury my pain. Phrases like you’re too sensitive; I was just kidding; you’re ugly because you’re not skinny; and you’re a disappointment were regular occurrences in my hearing. Because no one wanted to acknowledge my pain, I learned to run away at the slightest hint of it. These are all of the unhealthy ways to face pain, at least, according to author of today’s devotion.
I thought I was doing better with this. I thought I was doing well with relying on God and the others in my life as I faced painful issues. But, the lies have come again. They’ve come almost too fast for me to fight. I’m ugly. I’m a dis-appointment to everyone around me. I’m poor. My thoughts and dreams don’t matter. I’m not traditional so no one wants me around. I’m a woman who doesn’t like traditional womanly things. God only wants me because I’m part of a married couple, and I wouldn’t matter to Him if I was alone. I’m not part of a Christian family that reaches back several generations. Lots of lies, as you can see. Some with a basis in truth, some not, but still, lies from the enemy. I feel like I’m walking through a valley with no exit which reminds me of Psalm 23:4. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
So, God is with me as I’m walking through the “shadow of death” valley. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like if I was gone. Would anyone miss me? (I mean, besides my family who is supposed to miss me. 🙂 ) I don’t know. But, God is with me. I know this, and I trust in Him and in His love. I know He will never leave me or forsake me.
But, other people, that I don’t know. Sometimes, they’re the ones using the words I hear in my heart. Using words that are cruel, vulgar, and unkind. The words that have debilitated my confidence again and again. I went to the grocery story with my older son yesterday, and he parked his car far away from the store. When I asked him why, he said it was because he didn’t like people very much. I think you know what he means–rude drivers, rude people who don’t park properly, etc., etc. I thought about it a moment and realized there are times when I don’t like people much either. I don’t like how they can be cruel or demeaning or ugly, and they can show God that He really don’t need to be bothering with this world. We’re already too far gone, me included.
God did bother though. He sent His Son to die on the cross for me and for all of us though it might be something I have to say to myself until the day I die. He considers all of us to be worth it, and He loves all of us which means we need to love each other. With that said, I want to go back to the true statements the author wrote in the devotion. The statements that we can use to combat the lies of the enemy. Statements that show the truth of God’s relationship with us. “God made me on purpose. God loves me unconditionally. God doesn’t make ugly.” (100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs) May we all remember these truths as we go through our day and relate them to others as well as to ourselves.
Praying God’s blessings on you all today!