I want to introduce to you an amazing lady I had the pleasure of meeting not so long ago. Her story of stepping away from shame after growing up in a home riddled with domestic abuse, will give you hope. Friends, there is nothing, that with Christ, we cannot step away from. He has a Something Better for each of us. Let’s reach for Him and He will help us reach for that Something Better!
Take it away, Terri! ?
I grew up in the terror of domestic violence. Survival became a fortress. It helped me endure as a child, but it also became a prison.
Later I settled in relationships, conversations and circumstances that were not life giving.
A person doesn’t settle for crumbs unless she is starving, scared or ashamed.
Eating “beneath the table” seemed safe, like a fort my brothers and I built as children. Instead of tattered quilts and sheets pulled off from beds, shame and fear draped the sides. Lies clamped the self-protective blankets and held them in place.
Jesus squatted beside me and reached out his hand. He didn’t provide me with bigger crumbs because crumbs fail to feed our God given hunger.
Christ didn’t shame me. He knows why we are where we are. He reached out his hand to grab hold of me. Like the woman at the well, he called me to a place of honesty. For me, an important part of my healing has been naming the lies and replacing them with the truth.
Maybe you feel stuck settling for crumbs because the lies are shouting louder than truth. Honestly, isn’t it easier to believe the lies at times? Often they come faster than any other thing we hear.
You don’t deserve anything else.
You have nothing to say.
You’ll never get out.
No one really wants you.
You’re never going to get it right.
I don’t know what you have endured or what choices you’ve made but I know these are lies. They are not just mine. These are lies to everyone. They always have been. The enemy is persistent but not very creative.
Believing lies, though, is often comfortable. It’s like wearing a soft, worn shirt you have had for years.
Here is part of the problem. They are too comfortable.Believing lies can become too comfortable. #stepaway #getunstuck #somethingbetterseries @Fullerton51T Click To Tweet
When I was in counseling I heard a story about the covered wagons as they headed west. There were no streets. As the horses pulled heavy cargo on the wagons, their wheels sank in thawing spring paths and summer mud. The weight pressed deep narrow ruts, which hardened. It created deep grooves of least resistance. However, getting out of them required an immense amount of effort. It made for a treacherous journey for wheels broke and wagons tipped over trying to get out of the grooves.
It reminds me of what it’s like when we believe lies. They have become deep patterns that are hard to change. They may feel like the path of least resistance but this, too, is deceptive.
But there is hope, my friend.
Our God longs for us to walk on smooth roads paved with truth and love. He doesn’t want us stuck in trenches of man-made lies.
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. –Isaiah 42:16
God’s heart really is for us. I believe it whole-heartedly now but I didn’t connect with God’s love initially.
I questioned His love, His will, and His plan for my life and the lives of those I love. He was on trial in the courtroom of my own heart as I told Him why I didn’t believe He loved me. I blamed Him for the choicesothers made that were so painful. (I know, right? This is a bit prideful.) At the same time, I didn’t want Him to leave. I didn’t want to turn away. I wrestled, which has its own kind of intimacy or closeness.
As I processed my story with trustworthy people, a little bit at a time, my words were met with tenderness and empathy. Brene Brown states that shame cannot exist when stories are told and met with empathy. It’s the thing that allows you to lift your head and look in the eyes of the person in front of you.
We must allow God to do the work he needs to do in and through us with respect to demolishing the stronghold of shame. It’s like the food in a petri dish that makes bacteria multiply.
This is why it is important to replace the lies with truth.
Say them out loud, even if they don’t feel true. Since I believed lies for so long, I needed help at times naming the lies. Your closest friends will be able to help you as well. Find godly women who you will pray with you and for you.
Friends, I urge you to hold on to the truth of who you are created to be. This will ripple hope into the lives of those around you. Memorize the Scriptures that you need to replace lies. Write them out. The most successful way for me was writing them down in an index spiral. I learn a section every other week by saying it multiple times a day. It renews our minds.
When we ask God to help us learn the truth and replace the lies, he is so faithful. He wants us to walk in freedom and not be stuck in the grooves made from old lies.
Terri is a wife, empty nest mom and mentor who writes about faith, family, hiking, and mental health. She loves stories of redemption and things that are funny and longs to encourage others to find hope and freedom. Currently, she is working on her first book. She is a contributing writer at The Glorious Table You can read more of her writing on her blog at Conversations at the Table
The Something Better Series
For a total of 6 weeks, we are exploring the stepping up and stepping out toward our something better in life. Come back next week when Laura Polk of The Christian Single Mom shares her story. This is one of the bravest, strongest Mamas I know. She is stepping further into her Something Better every day and she will encourage you to do the same!
By the way, don’t forget to come back Monday for #MomentsofHope! My heart skips a little beat each time I open that page and see the hope of Jesus splattered everywhere! ?
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