"You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44
I've been struggling lately. Things that are normal and routine seem difficult and labored. Minor annoyances have grated on my last nerve. I've been impatient and find myself going to my kids to apologize and ask for forgiveness.
I'm constantly bombarded with thoughts such as "You're such a failure." "You'll never be any better." "Why do you even bother?"
Our two older kids spent all of last week at their grandparents'. I must say, it was a welcome break. In 8 days I only did 2 loads of dishes and 1 load of laundry. I soaked in one on one time with Emilee. I relaxed. I read. I exercised. I took it easy.
Then they came home. And y'all, if you don't believe in Grandma Detox, let me send my kids to you next time when they return. Mercy. It's been rough. And never mind that when they returned, Anna walked straight past me in a beeline for Emilee. That's who she missed.
"See, I told you. You're worthless." "No one wants you, you're just what they got stuck with."
I'm struggling. I'm trying and trying and trying, feeling like more of a failure each day. And the thing about getting a break, is that for a moment you think you have it all together. Then they come home and they remind you just how much you don't have it all together. They remind you just how much more work is to be done. They're a reminder of all your failures.
"I told you so." "I mean, how many times do we have to have this conversation? You really suck at this parenting thing." "Truth be told, there's a lot you're not good at."
For instance, ending that last sentence in a preposition.
But I digress.
I love my kids. They are my world. Yet there are times I feel like I've failed them. There are times they're a mirror, reflecting all of my negative traits, reminding me of everything I don't like about myself.
"And you want to add another kid into the mix? Hahahahahaha." "You're a joke."
It certainly feels like that at times.
Yet deep down, if I have my listening ears on, I can hear it.
"He's the father of lies. He can't be trusted."
I've believed a lie. Well, multiple lies if we're being honest. Which if we're speaking about lies, honesty is kind of important, right?
I have believed that I'm a failure. But you know what?
I have failed but I am not a failure.
Failures are those who refuse to get back up and try again.
I refuse. Hear me out, I refuse to pack it up and give in. I absolutely, positively refuse.
I have let these lies so affect me that they in turn have created more failures. That's the thing about believing lies - they nearly always make things worse. They fuel what you're already anxious about, seemingly confirming the very lie you've been told.
I'm tired of it and I'm breaking free.
I have believed that I'm beyond hope when the Giver of Hope resides in me. IN ME! He lives inside of me, every single day, beckoning me to go to Him for renewal and the right perspective.
I have believed that who I am is tied up in a number on the scale, in the clothes I wear, the car I drive, or the house I live in instead of in Who has given me everything... Who is my everything.
I have believed that because I'm scared about adopting that it makes me unqualified. Yet Christ has adopted me into His family. His heart is with the widows and the orphans. And how can I believe a lie when if He commands us to care for the widows and the orphans (which He does) then I have to believe that He will enable us to do it?
I'm tired of believing lies.
And you know what? When I begin seeing them for what they are, I feel a resurgence rising up in me. I feel like fighting back and karate chopping Satan in the throat. The failures no longer define me, they only serve to fuel change. The whispers of the enemy become inaudible. And I find myself digging deep and doing this thing called life.
I don't know where you are in life right now, friends. What I do know is that it's so easy to believe the lies of the enemy. So whatever your situation is, let's call the father of lies out.
When you're starring at the scale and it mocks you, saying your worth is in a number....
When you're tempted to buy a new outfit that's not in the budget because he's lied to you and told you that how you dress is what makes you beautiful....
When your marriage is in shambles and you don't know how you can possibly make it another day, much less "til death do us part"....
When your kids are acting out and you feel like you're a failure and it's hopeless....
When God has asked you to step out in faith and do something out of your comfort zone and you're scared that you can't do what He's called you to do (and will subsequently enable you to do)....
When your addicted to drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, and/or sex and he's told you you're beyond hope ....
When you've been wronged and he's whispered that vengeance and bitterness are your best options....
When your mom is on her deathbed, breathing her last and he whispers that God has abandoned you ....
When you're chin deep in grief and feel alone, thinking He ignored all your petitions....
When the car breaks down, the bank is running low, the refrigerator is empty and you're wondering where He is.....
I don't know about you, but I'm choosing to believe the Truth.
Wherever you are in life right now, the answer is always and only rooted in The Truth.
Let's choose carefully.