If you have seen me recently, or even if we’re friends on Facebook, you’ll know that I have been dealing with a lot of crap recently. (And I mean that literally.) I’m just trying to keep it real here, and real talk is that I was incredibly exhausted and overwhelmed by all of it. A nasty bug had swarmed my children’s bodies for nearly three weeks, and I couldn’t heal them. I wanted to give up. I didn’t. But I wanted to. Far too many of my days ended in tears.
So, in the midst of this moment in time, I was trying to maintain our busy life while keeping diarrhea off my carpet. I spent most of the time in the house, keeping my children away from other children, because I didn’t want to wish this on anyone. I was wiping bottoms every 15 minutes and trying to keep my focus on how good God is, but I was a struggling hot mess. And somewhere in the middle of this chaotic swarm of fevers and poop, I was riddled by a voice that tormented me. Mocked me.
What makes you think you’re actually good enough? Why don’t you just give up? You think you have time for other commitments in your life, but look at this. Look around you at this mess of a house, the mess of your children, and how you’re not sure if you just put poopy underwear back on your two-year-old. What makes you think you belong anywhere else if you can’t even handle this?
…Those lies. Just reading them makes me cringe and my stomach twist uncomfortably. They aren’t from a Father who loves me. They’re from the devil who works hard to assail me.
It hit me again yesterday after I finished teaching our 7th & 8th grade Sunday school class. I had just finished telling them how deeply and vastly Jesus loved them and how he wept over the death of Lazarus in his final days. He loves us so much. He loves them so much. I wanted to grab them each by the shoulders as I said, “This! This is so important! Your King was so deeply moved by the death of his friend. He has so much compassion for us. This! Don’t you see! He loves us!” And the minute I was finished teaching the lies banged down doors and waltzed right into my thoughts like a mocking parade: So, you think you’re actually qualified for this? Do you even think they respect you?
When you hear things like this in your head, where do you think they come from? Who told you they were true? And what makes you believe them?
God didn’t tell you those things. He didn’t tell me those things about myself. He didn’t question my ability to teach. He never told me I wasn’t good enough. He never once asked me to give up. I’m quickly reminded of Jesus going to heal Lazarus, and how he, as fully God and fully man, knew that the moment he brought Lazarus back to life, he would need to die. Fully and completely taking on the sin of every man, woman, and child to ever walk this earth, he would have to raise someone to life in order to die and give us the chance for eternity. Jesus didn’t give up. He could have. But he decided I was worth dying for.
He isn’t asking us to give up because all of the sudden life gets hard. He’s asking us to stand on water that seems unstable, and to believe that He will keep us walking. We can walk on water when we believe He makes us able.
The lies I hear are carefully crafted to hit me in the tender parts of my soul, the places where I struggle to believe God. I struggle to believe that I belong, that I am qualified, that I have a purpose given by Him, or fear that I will be found out as a fraud. The quickest healing is a balm of scripture. Where I wonder if I belong, I know I am a daughter of the King and an heir (Romans 8:14-17). Where I question if I am qualified, I know that those He calls He also qualifies (1 Corinthians 1:27-30). Where I wonder if I have a purpose, I know that He created me to love Him, to choose Him, and to serve Him (Romans 8:28-30). Where I wonder if I will be found out, I know that He sees me wholly and completely, and He loves me anyway (Psalm 139).
Papa, I’m praying for Your Word to be the balm that heals old wounds and coats our ears when we’re tempted to believe lies. Remind me that I am able solely because You are able, that I belong because You hemmed me in, and that I am treasured because You call me daughter.
May we remember what You have said of us. May we forget what we have chosen to believe of ourselves in the past. May You do a work in us that ends in glory.