What I Learned About Lies, Truth, & Stress In 2011
Editor’s Note: Today’s post was written by Crystal Gettings. She tweets at @CrystalGettings. If you are struggling with stress, depression, or lies that bounce around in your head, I highly recommend the book, Waking The Dead: The Glory Of A Heart Fully Alive. I would not be half the woman I am today if I had not read this book last year, and I never would have launched the Good Women Project. It is worth your time and money. – Lauren
When I reflect on 2011 in years to come, one major lesson will surface in my mind: How I finally recognized the lies I had believed and accepted the truth I needed so desperately.
For years I accepted the “stress” that constantly flooded my body and mind. I told myself that it was was just that: stress. Everyone experiences stress, so I wasn’t special. Little did I know that it was only the symptom of something deeper.
It took me getting up the courage to resign from my first professional PR job at an agency; to working from home with another organization for several months; to finally taking a step back from all jobs and forcing myself to just be a young stay-at-home mom, in order for my healing journey to come full-circle.
During this time, I was determined to figure out why I felt completely out of control. So many nights I woke up shaking feeling hopeless; other times evil dreams and thoughts attacked and called my name. Anyone that knows me will have a hard time believing this because I am naturally a happy-go-lucky, positive, and extroverted person. I am pretty confident. But all of that was all thrown to the wayside when I was listening to the lies. This is what can happen when terrible lies form in our mind and we accept those thoughts as truths, allowing one little lie to grow and gradually choke away that which is healthy.
For a while, I felt so helpless that I could not bring myself to clean my bathroom. It sounds pathetic, but when these feelings surrounded me, boxing me in, I would walk up to my dirty bathtub and stare at the black grime that had so clearly made its mark. It may well has been a still shot of how my inner being felt – dark, hopeless, helpless, blemished, and in serious need of a good cleaning.
There were so many lies that haunted me; I cannot count them all. But the greatest underlying lie was this: I will never be good enough. Behind every lie I believed, there was that voice whispering that I could never measure up. So many people, whether man or woman, believe this lie. Some are aware of it and others are not. It is extremely dangerous for those who do not yet know it is a lie.
I am so thankful that God allowed me to experience some dark days in order to get my attention. With pain, came anger, as well as a strong desire to change. Pain motivated me to act; so for that, I am grateful.
I allowed myself to get angry at how the enemy had tried so diligently to take over my mind. Since I had been “living well” – married at 22, close with family and friends, trying to love God and do the right things – perhaps the enemy thought, “If I can’t control her actions, I’ll slip into her mind.” That may sound crazy to some, but the reality of it hit me as I realized how twisted my thoughts had become. What good are we for God if we do not have a sound mind? 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Over time, I had become spiritually crippled (I will point out that I continued to function normally through the mental struggles) because of the lies I allowed to take root in my mind. It was when I sought help that my thoughts, which I had accepted as truths, came out of hiding and presented themselves as what they really were: lies. And where do lies come from? Liars. John 8:44 tells us that the enemy “was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him” and “when he lies, he speaks in his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Honestly, I was relieved when God taught me that I was drowning in lies. It took the burden off of me; it meant I wasn’t a failure and all those other terrible things I had thought. Instead, I had simply been listening to a liar. The greatest liar of them all.
I think it is also worth pointing out a few definitions of the word “lie” from a few online dictionaries:
1. A false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
2. Something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture.
You know what I get from reading these definitions? The fact that a lie is meant to deceive. There is a purpose to each lie. There is no “neutral lie.” Lying is the enemy’s “native language” and the oldest trick in the book (literally – The Fall of Man in Genesis 3 – check it out).
Thanks to the Lord for never giving up on me. He was always there with His hand outstretched, waiting for me to reach out and ask for help. And to stop beating myself up daily and giving in to the lies that plagued my mind.
He was so willing and able to rescue me. And He’s willing and waiting to do the same for everyone.
We must first recognize the lies that have manifested in our culture, in our homes, in our hearts.
Then we must give those up, consciously choose not to believe them, and accept a new truth – God’s truth – instead. If we hold on to the lies, then how can He fill us up with truth?
There is not enough room for both. We cannot serve two masters – whether it is the love of money vs. loving God, or believing lies vs. accepting God’s truth. Either way, we pick a side. Whether we realize it or not, we are doing one or the other. If we do not choose truth, we accept lies.
Let’s choose to acknowledge our thought patterns and actions that are greatly affected by those thoughts. Only with true recognition comes acceptance of what has transpired, and only then are we able to move forward and change with God’s grace and guiding hand.
Dear friends, the lies can begin vaguely and slowly. Please take the time to recognize what your mind is thinking and what you are choosing to dwell on daily. Remember Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
If you know Jesus, you are free. But it is a decision we have to make each day – whether we will live in the freedom that Jesus has already graciously given us. It’s when we drift away from Him that we can begin to feel enslaved again. Thank God that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Cor. 3:17)
I am free – free at last!
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