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Archive for the ‘lies women believe’ Category

Sitting in the pew during another Sunday morning service. The sun is shining through the glass windows, the music ushering in an environment of worship, the pastor beginning his sermon in a voice that commands attention . . . but I am distracted. Looking around and wondering, “What would they think if they KNEW?”

Looking at myself and my family all in our “Sunday best”, and feeling shame as I admit, “I am so fake.”

Lost in my own thoughts, God begins whispering to my heart. Thoughts that I know are not my own, gently challenge me.

Telling me its OK to be authentic and to let go of my exhausting fascade.

Pointing out it is not only “on the other side of my trial” that I can be a testimony. .

And in my usual ME manner . . . I question Him.

Asking, “How do I be authentic to what I am feeling, but not be controlled by those feelings?”

I am scared . . . of so many things.

He answers my question with His own question and in that “still, small voice” asks me, “How can you be a testimony if you are not authentic?

“How can your life and experiences ‘count’ if you can’t be honest with what is going on?”

There is healing and humility in authenticity.”

Trust Me.”

“I will bring you through.”

“Let. Me. Be. Your. God.”

Antonym of Authenticity ~ Hypocrite. One who bases their actions on external pressures – the pressure to be a certain kind of person, the pressure to adopt a certain mode of living, the pressure to ignore one’s true self. One who ignores crucial facts about their own life in order to avoid uncomfortable truths. (Wikipedia)

Lord, help me
Live without pretending
Love without depending
Listen without defending
Speak without offending

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What would you give your spouse if you could give her anything?” our marriage counselor once asked my husband. His answer: “Financial freedom.”

“. . . Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and although yesterday was payday, I will only have $75 left after paying the bills. And that will be needed to put gas in the car for the next two weeks. We have no food for tomorrow and as I walk down the aisles of the supermarket, I am so drained, I could cry . . . not from the lack of funds in my checking account, but from the weariness of feeling so alone . . . ”

This is what I wrote in my journal November 2008. I can’t help but feel that same weariness as I remember my husband’s answer to our marriage counselor, as well as that walk down the supermarket aisle and realize that much hasn’t changed since then.

My husband recently told me that he feels I am the “parent” in the family and he is the “paycheck”. He feels like I don’t appreciate him for providing for us financially – I feel like he doesn’t realize just how dearly I have paid for his provision.

While my marriage has not changed much since 2008, and my heart is wounded just as easily by my husband’s words and actions, I find strength and comfort in a different Source.

“The Truth has the power to set me free and to protect my mind and heart from deceptive thoughts and feelings. The moments when I feel besieged with emotions or thoughts I know are not of God, I need to run to the Truth for refuge.” (Lies Women Believe – DeMoss)

When we are weary, looking at the future is draining and discouraging, but His mercies are new each day – we need to do what is right for today. Weariness leads to discouragement. When weariness sets it, go to the Word and wait (with expectancy) on the Lord to renew your strength.”    (J. Osteen)

My purpose in life is not to pursue all the health, wealth and happiness I can obtain but to glorify God in whatever circumstances I may be.

Isaiah 35:4-6 & 10b . . . to those who have tired hearts, “Be strong and do not fear for your God is coming to save you.” And when He comes, He will open the eyes of the blind and unstop the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer and those who can not speak will shout and sing . . . Sorrow and mourning will disappear and they will be overcome with joy and gladness.

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“Whenever I speak on the subject of forgiveness, invariably, someone will say, ‘I’ve never been able to forgive myself for what I’ve done.’ Interestingly, the Bible never speaks of the need to forgive yourself. What these women are really saying is that they have never been able to feel forgiven for what they’ve done. They are still carrying a sense of guilt and shame over their failure. Though they know God can forgive them, they find it difficult to accept God’s mercy.”
(DeMoss – Lies Women Believe)

Lie: God won’t forgive what I’ve done.

In my case, I feel like I am confronted with the consequences of my sins / mistakes / choices on a daily basis. And it is that, which leads to thoughts of self-condemnation . . . “If I didn’t ________, then my life would be different and maybe I’d be in a better place . . . “

For others, they choose to believe the lie that they have no need for forgiveness. They’ve done nothing wrong . . . Or at least, nothing as bad as their “neighbor”. I’ve been there, too. Having a Pharisee mentality when I hear of someone’s struggles and think, “I may have problems, but I’m sure glad I don’t have their problems.”

And then there’s the ones who can’t / won’t forgive. Those people who can never remember their own mistakes but keep the mistakes of others fresh in their memory. Victims who seem to always be licking the wounds inflicted on them by others. I’ve known one or two of them in my life and could quite possibly even be accused of being one myself.

Forgiveness is:

A process
Admitting that we hurt/hate
Not saying it didn’t happen or didn’t hurt
Realizing that we have a choice to release
Not something we can do with our own power
(taken from my pastor’s Sunday morning sermon)

What was it about Jesus that enabled Him to be big enough to take the blame for our sins? – to own sins that were not even His to own? The sins of the past, the present and the future. The sins of the victim and the perpetrator? . . . simply put, it was love.

Because of so many of our human flaws, we fail to see ourselves as the Father does. We doubt our worth to Him. We hang on to self-imposed guilt and shame, while the fear of that guilt and shame causes others to be resistant to owning their wrongs. But the Truth is as sweet as water to the thirsty. The Truth sets those captive of self-condemnation free. This is the Truth:

“If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves, and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. I John 1:8-9

God is good. He loves me, has forgiven me, and will never leave or forsake me. My “feelings” are always changing but the Truth never changes.

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“Exhausted”
“Defeated”
“Frustrated”
“Lonely”
“Overwhelmed”
“Depressed”
“Discouraged”
“Ashamed”
“Angry”
“Insecure”

“These are the words used by today’s Christian women to describe themselves . . . Many living under a cloud of personal guilt and condemnation. In bondage to their past, whether the result of their own failures or the failure of others. Their pasts hang like huge weights around their necks. Others in bondage to what the Bible calls the ‘fear of man’ – longing for approval.” (Lies Women Believe ~ DeMoss)

Yes, yes, and yes. This is me. This is my life. And yet, someone who doesn’t even know me was familiar enough with my life to write about it. I am convinced more than ever that the devil is a liar and he will always use the areas in which I am most vulnerable to keep me spiritually impotent and ineffective.

According to De Moss, the cycle begins when we listen to the lie, dwell on the lie, believe the lie, then eventually live as if the lie is truth.

The solution? Identify the area of bondage, identify the lies at the root, replace the lies with Truth.

What lies have I believed, how has it manifested in the way I live, and what steps do I need to take to re-align my life with the Truth?

In my marriage, I have felt “ravenous for kindness, starved for approval, distraught with my fear of abandonment.” Now realizing that I need Him “filling me up constantly enough so that I can be in a place of surplus – so that I can have enough grace for others.” (mindspace by T.C)

A Letter To Myself:
I need to release my need for his approval. For his compliments. For wanting him to be proud I am his wife. I need to let go of trying to understand his thought process. To make sense of how he can easily compliment the talent, appearance and personality of others but virtually ignore me. I must rely on God to provide what my husband does not. I must grow stronger in who I am in Christ so that I can live confidently. I may always wish things were different and may always hope they will be, but I must finish grieving for what my marriage is not and move forward in life – regardless of the circumstances – and be filled by Him, allowing and believing His grace to be sufficient.

Psalms 31:14-15a But I am trusting You, O Lord, saying, “You are my God! My future is in your hands . . . “

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A part of me fights the thought that all my life has been full of pain for nothing. I feel God has to make it meaningful at some point. One day, I want to look back over my life and have gratitude and joy. I recently read that the word Ephraim means, ‘God has blessed me to be fruitful in the land of my suffering.’ – Fruitful in the land of my suffering . . . The word “fruitful” hit a chord with me. I like the word ‘fruitful’. I want to know that IT was purposeful in my life. My tears, my sorrow, my mourning, my sacrifice. Even if it means nothing to the one I love – at least God, You will make it fruitful.” (mindspace by T.C)

Lie: God should fix my problems . . .

Truth: Living an obedient life does spare us from the many problems that are the natural consequences of a life lived apart from God. But that does not mean those who follow Christ will be exempt from problems. Until heaven, there will be many tears, sorrows, pressures and problems. He uses pressures and problems to mold and shape our lives and to make us like His Son. God has a purpose for our problems. He wants to use them to change us and reveal His grace and power to the world. (Lies Women Believe ~ De Moss)

The words of others resonates so accurately with my own heart when it comes to the lie that “God should fix all my problems.” And while the Truth is something I KNOW, when I am in the midst of my problems, it is so hard to make sense of His will and His ways.

“Our circumstances not only molds our character , but also reveals it.”

Realizing that this current problem is not my first, and will not be my last, but with each challenge, I have the opportunity to let it refine me.

James 1:2 Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.

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” ‘Is God really good?’ . . . While few will admit they doubt the goodness of God, deep in many hearts, there lurks a suspicion that He may not really be good . . . Or at least, ‘He has not been good to me‘. . . “. (Lies Women Believe – De Moss)

Ahhh – how often I have felt this. Never audibly voicing these feelings but inwardly wondering why I have not received the blessings I thought would follow from doing the “right” thing.

The author of “Lies Women Believe” identifies common lies that keep Christian women in bondage and tells us we must replace the lie with Truth in order to have the life God intended for us.

In this case: The Lie Is God really good?

The Truth: “Once we doubt the goodness of God, we feel justified in rejecting His will and making our own decisions about right and wrong . . . The truth is, God is good whether or not His choices seem good to you; whether or not it seems true in your life.”

In my case, I saw marrying the man I became pregnant with as the “right” thing to do, but having had such a difficult marriage, I struggle with God, my faith and His goodness to me. “THE PLAN” has made me feel empowered with a purpose and given me a goal that holds out hope for a better future, but . . . Does it mean I am now “rejecting His will and making my own decisions about right and wrong”? . . . After so many years of discouragement over my marriage, is it that I am tired of waiting on God and  now taking matters into my owns hands? . . . How does one take ownership of personal responsibility in making changes in one’s life but also be aware that “God’s timing” is not the same as our own? . . .

Yes, I know God is good and, yes, I acknowledge that He has been good to me in many areas of my life. But I still wrestle with so many questions regarding my marriage . . . Wanting to do the “right” thing – wanting to accept His will without feeling trapped inside my circumstances . . . Not wanting to continue living with this crushed spirit and wondering, “Is this all there is?”

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Emotional abuse: An attitude of entitlement and disrespect that discounts the other person’s dignity.

Symptoms: The self-worth and self-confidence of the victim are completely worn down, sometimes to the point of despair and hopelessness. The victim has difficulty discerning the truth. They begin to wonder if they really are a failure. Confusion is rampant. The victim wonders who to believe or who to trust.

“Emotional abuse sets up a dynamic where the victim comes to believe that they are to blame and that they must work harder to fix the problems.”

While my husband was gone on his medical missions trip, there were so many questions in my mind. More questions than he I knew he would answer. One conversation in particular, that we had before he left, kept repeating in my mind. When the destination of his trip changed so suddenly and the decision of whether he would stay for an extended vacation was taken from his control, he told me he was “relieved.” I wanted to hope he was “relieved” because he realized just how badly he had screwed up by making these plans without telling me, but I needed to hear that from his mouth, so when he returned, this is the conversation we had:

Me: Why did you feel relieved when the trip to E. was cancelled and you went to N. instead?

Him: There were several reasons. First, I didn’t have a plan for the time I was going to be there and I didn’t know the area, so it had been difficult making a plan. Secondly, your reaction to this whole thing had become a nightmare for me and I just wanted it to be over.

Me: If the trip to E. hadn’t been cancelled, would you have still gone ahead with your vacation plans?

Him: Yes.

Me: Despite my reaction and how I felt about it?

Him: Yes.

Me: Why?!

Him: Well, there were several factors to why I wouldn’t have changed my plans. 1) there would have been a cost involved with changing my flight 2) I did not want to have to explain to anyone on the team as to why I was changing my plans.

Me: Do you realize the severity of the situation? Do you realize that if you had gone ahead with your plans, you would not have been returning to live in this home after your trip?

Him: Yes.

Me: Do you realize what you are saying? You were willing to sacrifice our family and marriage because you didn’t want to pay the cost of a flight change?! And you had told the team of your vacation plans, but not your wife?! So you didn’t want to explain to them the reason for your change of plans since it would have exposed your bad behavior. Is that what you are telling me?!

Him: It’s more complicated than that – I felt you had pushed me into a corner and my back was against a wall . . .

I have read, “There are women, who somehow in the midst of the problems and pain, have discovered a source of life that enables them to walk through the valley with peace, confidence, and wholeness.” (Lies Women Believe , Nancy DeMoss)

Matthew 11:28-30 Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (the Message)

Praying for divine intervention and understanding, because my own understanding and patience are failing me right now. . .

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