Friends, this has been one tough summer. I took a break from writing to seek the Lord in places where I wanted to grow. There were tender places that needed to heal and in order for that to happen, I needed to peel back the layers of pride among other idols. I found wounds from conflict, rejection and imperfection. And what I learned was that God doesn’t require me to be perfect… Because I’m already loved by the One who is…
I’ve known this truth for quite a while but I held onto the lies that said otherwise. White knuckling a standard of grace that was immeasurable for myself. I’ve known for several years that my calling is to minister to women, sharing with them the reality of their worth in Christ, but with my own self, I had yet to fully believe this truth. I had a relationship with lies that were buried deep – the demon of distortion. And peeling back the onion, Christ had to bring me back to my knees for healing and repentance.
Before this summer, when I felt the pain of the gossip, rejection or conflict, it would open an old wound and a familiar fear would creep in. I wanted people to like me. I was afraid of what would happen if people rejected me. So I resorted to people-pleasing to make things work. I bandaged the wound before it was ready, healing it superficially. “Cover it up. It’ll be okay.” “You’re too busy/scared to be vulnerable.” “That’s better left untouched.” But God doesn’t want us to be just “okay”. He wants us clothed in his righteousness and his perfection. And left untouched, we will never experience the change he offers through healing.
So I asked. I begged. I pleaded. “God, I’m yours. Search me and know me. Lead me to your way everlasting.” And he did. Peeling back the layers, stripping away what I had put in place to protect myself, I was naked. Vulnerable. My relationship with distortion was uncovered, revealing the mound of lies, each scurrying like an ant who knows it’s been found.
The lie that I would never be good enough. The lie that my worth came from what others thought about me. The lie that I was too fill-in-the-blank to fulfill God’s calling for my life. These lies crept in each day, like a tiny devilish caricature on my shoulder, telling me what I was not. And then the healing began.
God brought my best friend and #soulsister back into town with his perfect timing and for two weeks, we picked up where we left off praying over each other multiple times. We asked God to replace lies with truth, praying for a renewal of mind. Speaking Life over me, Laura interceded on my behalf and God used her to show me the love He has for me. (I’m telling you, if you haven’t already, you need to pray for God to surround you with friends who will uplift you and show you His unconditional love.) Laura brought the truth that I can’t love with abandon if I don’t love myself. I have to take off the blinders and use the Spirit’s discernment with myself.
So here I am: imperfect and vulnerable for all to see. I was trying to cover myself with food, material possessions, friendships and the idol of busyness. And now I long to clothe myself in prayer, love, forgiveness and truth.
Pursuing truth, I’m trying to seek God first, taking every thought captive, trusting that one day it will be easier to walk in HIS perfection, not the false idol of my own.
I am not perfect. I don’t need to seek pride or the compliment of others. I can seek humility in my Savior because I am saved. I am wanted, I am healed, I am loved. Imperfection is okay, as long as it’s clothed in humility, seeking God’s perfection.
Just to be clear, this is not an overnight process. Bam! You have a revelation and you’re healed. (I wish!) This is part of a journey towards wholeness. Choosing daily to pick up your cross and walk with Christ. Breaking up with the demon of distortion is hard. But I know that Jesus is more powerful. The enemy has already been defeated.
And as the lies will creep in with the slightest whisper, I must replace it with Truth. I am accepted. I am loved. And God’s perfect love casts out fear.
Praying for God to change us may be frightening for some. But I encourage you to pray, “Search me and Know me.” Because without asking for God to change us, we just look like ourselves in a world where we’re called to reflect Him. This summer was tough but I was never alone or unwanted. We are NEVER alone or unwanted. We have an amazing Father, always pursuing us, knowing our every need and wanting to meet those needs with His love, heal our wounds with His freedom and bandage our brokenness with His strength.
Rise up, mighty warrior. The Lord is with You.