There was a battle today. There were no tanks, bombs or rifles but it was brutal, intense and relentless. It took place at House of Hope in a class that allows people to take a look at their lives and see if, by chance, the way they feel about themselves is not based on truth but rather on lies, fed to them when they were young and unable to differentiate between the two. I was a part of the fighting, standing with and for three war-weary ones who have felt ready to surrender. To be truthful none had parents or caretakers who meant to hurt their children. No one wanted to feed them unhealthy views of themselves. But there is a more menacing enemy in this battle who wants to take out hearts and uses untruths as one of his favorite tactics.
Things happen, and children draw conclusions about themselves. Those conclusions can be: I am lovable! I can learn. I have worth and I am happy to be on earth. Its OK to have needs. I can try new things.
Or the verdict can be: I am unlovable. I do not deserve love. It is better to not feel. I am one worthless person and I wish I was not alive. I’m too needy and I should just shut up and be happy.
The sad part is that often the child agrees with the lies because he or she is innocent, vulnerable, and oh so teachable. So those who wonder why they feel so badly about themselves, often find relief when they go back to themselves as little children and look at their life through their adult eyes, as one who wants to help, understand and rescue.
This can be done by:
- Listening to the stories
- Grieving the losses
- Repenting of siding with the enemy
- Determining what is true in God's eyes
- Start practicing the act of giving love and grace to self, something that God does for us each moment of every day.
We can’t change the past but if we continue to ignore or deny the pain and loss we feel, the past will continue to show up at inopportune times on a regular basis and threaten to take us out.
This battle is relentless because our enemy, Satan himself, seeks to destroy us. He wants us to be kept looking inward toward the hurt rather than being free to reach out and make a difference in the world with confident, joy-filled hearts.
I’ve done a full day’s work on the battlefield. I should be so tired. But why do I feel invigorated and victorious? Because God is for me and on my side, I do not fight alone. These three troopers will find freedom. God will open up their hearts and minds to understand his true intention when he put them together in their mother's womb. He is my confidence.
Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes…you give us victory… (Psalm 44:5)