A Life of Understanding, Part 1 (or It’s Not Really You)

*I originally wrote this post for my friend Kiersten’s blog back in October, after promising her I would write something for waaaay too long, with nothing to show for it.  Just call me Queen of Procrastination.

So, you know the tag line to this blog that says “Two women’s journey with the King of kings from ashes into beauty?”  And you know how one woman (Kiersten) has been faithfully posting beautiful and thought-provoking material?  And you know how you’ve probably lain awake at night wondering “Weren’t there supposed to be two women?  What on earth happened to the other one?  Did she just fall off the face of the earth?” (You know you have).

Yeah, that would be me.  I would be woman #2.

I don’t really have a good excuse as to why I haven’t posted anything here yet.  Notice, I said GOOD excuse.  Sure, I’ve got plenty of excuses (we were in the middle of moving, we were in the middle of remodeling the new house, we were getting ready for youth camp, we were getting ready to head to Colombia, laundry needed to be done, etc, etc.)….but none of them were really good.  They were just that – excuses.

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But if I’m really honest with myself – and with you – the real reason that I took forever and a day to write anything was because of this little niggling voice in the back of my head that kept repeating over and over: “You don’t really have anything to say.  No one wants to listen to you.”  I’ve heard that voice – or a version of it – so often throughout my lifetime that it starts to sound remarkably like my own voice after a while.  In the middle of a conversation with someone, their eyes keep darting all around, never fully making eye contact, I hear “You’re just not that interesting.  They’d much rather be somewhere else, with someone else.”  Reading one of several blogs that I follow (and I’ve become something of a blog-lovin’-junkie over the past year), and something in the writer’s words stirs my soul, deep-down, and I think, “Yes!  I so get that!”  But do I leave a comment and let that sweet writer know that her words encouraged and fed my spirit?  No…and there’s that little voice again, saying, “It’s safer to not get too involved.  Besides, no one would really care what you said in a little comment.”

Has that ever happened to you?  Do you ever hear that niggling little voice inside, that sounds a whole lot like your own voice?

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I’ll let you in on a secret I’ve learned about that voice.  Ready?…..  It’s not really you.  That’s it.  That’s the truth – and wonder – of it.  Even though it sounds like you, it sounds familiar, it’s not.  One of the most revolutionary truths I’ve learned in the past few years is that we have an enemy.  And this enemy would like nothing better than for us to believe that he doesn’t even exist.  If he can get us to believe that his voice is actually our own voice, he’s able to disguise himself behind the lies he speaks.  In the Bible, Satan is called the father of lies, so basically, if he opens his mouth, he’s lying.

Sad to say, he was able to disguise himself – and his lies – for a very long time with me.  For the first 30 years of my life, I believed that the voice I kept hearing (“No one wants to listen to you.” “You’re not worth listening to.” “You’re not worth fighting for.”) was just part of my personality.  That I just didn’t trust easily.  That it just hurt too much to be really vulnerable and open in relationships, so it was easier to just keep a safe distance.  So you can imagine that it was a bit of a world-shaker for me to realize that what I thought was me, my personality, was really Satan feeding me – very successfully, I might add – a long list of lies.  That voice that I kept hearing, telling me that no one would want to listen to me, that voice wasn’t me.  It was the enemy.

If that was the only truth I learned, although incredibly eye-opening, it would also be extremely disheartening.  I mean, okay, so I’m not (quite) as messed up as I thought I was (although aren’t we all a little messed up in so many quirky, beloved ways?).  So I have an enemy who is out to destroy me.  So what next?  Thanks to Jesus and His persistent pursuit of my heart, I learned another, very freeing, truth.  While we do have an enemy who lies to us, we also have a God who fights for us.  (Can I get an amen on that?! *Insert southern-girl accent*).  And that truth, my friends, is a truth that, once it gets down in the bone-marrow of your heart, is extremely freeing.  But more on that next time….  For now, thanks for letting me (finally!) break free of that little voice and say hello from this little armchair-corner of the internet.

Blessings to you.

Lauren

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2 thoughts on “A Life of Understanding, Part 1 (or It’s Not Really You)

  1. Dear Lauren, thanks for having the courage to speak the truth about your weaknesses. I am old enough to be your mother and struggle with the same insecurity. But if even one person is encouraged and strengthened by your words, then it’s worth your time to share them. I enjoyed your blog very much and could really identify with your feelings. Thank you for being real and sharing truth. I too have learned that I have listened far too long to the lies of the enemy and I need to choose to believe the truth of my real identity in Christ.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Karen! I’m learning more and more the truth that C.S. Lewis talked about where true friends are those who say “me too!” when you share about struggles and weaknesses. I think the enemy would love to make us feel isolated and alone in our struggles when, in reality, we gain strength and encouragement when we open our hearts to each other.

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