Yesterday morning I was gathering the items I needed for a new Bible study with much excitement when I happened to glance down at the paper with the information about the class. That’s when I noticed the class started at 9:00 a.m. rather than 9:30 a.m. as I thought. I checked the time…8:50 a.m. Ugh! I live 15 minutes from the church when traffic’s not heavy and my hair still wasn’t fixed. I was going to be late!
I fixed my hair in record time, gave my husband a quick goodbye kiss and I was on my way. As I sat at a traffic light digging through my purse for my lipstick, its various contents scattered all over my passenger seat, I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. I try so hard to be organized, not something that comes naturally to me, but most of the time my life looks exactly like that passenger seat….messy and chaotic. Thankfully God loves me just exactly the way I am.
There was a time when I wouldn’t have found myself laughing at that traffic light. Instead I would have been frustrated with myself. I would have probably said something to myself like, “What an idiot! You can’t do anything right. You can’t even get the time you need to be at Bible study right. You’re such a disaster!” And I would have believed every.single.ugly.word of it.
But then one day I heard God whisper these words to my heart. “It’s not true. Those words you are saying are not true. They’re not who I say you are.“ And I realized that if I really am a Christ follower, if I really do believe that God’s word is truth like I say, then that means I have to believe what He says about me as well.
I had to remove the lies written on my heart and replace them God’s truth. And so I began the journey of discovering my true identity in Christ. When I would catch myself piercing my heart with words of hate, I would stop myself and repeat the truth.
“You’re a disaster.” No, “I will praise You [LORD] for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14 (NKJV)
“You can’t do that.” No, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
“You can’t do anything right.” No, “[I am] God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for [me] to do.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
“You’re not good enough.” No, “He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
I learned to listen to the Voice of Truth and let the words bathe my battered heart and make it whole.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God,” 1 John 3:1 (NASB)
This was about more than just me not saying hateful words to myself on a regular basis. It was about finding my identity in Christ. It was about learning to fully trust Him as my LORD and Savior. It was about allowing Him to make me into who He wants me to be so I can do the work He has for me to do.
I still have days when I can hear those words rising up again but I know how to quiet them with the truth before they get too loud.
And, you know, I never did find my lipstick but that was okay because I knew I had found peace.
If you struggle with a heart that is battered by hateful words that you or someone else have etched on it, please know that it can be made whole again. Let God’s truth be a healing balm. He makes all things new.