Have you ever read something in Scripture, but never fully, truly believed it?
Have you ever, for years, wished for something to be true but it never rang that way inside your soul?
Have you ever looked in the mirror, knowing God loves you but never deep down, felt it?
Yeah, me too.
Nothing about praying a lot or leading people in prayer or knowing the Bible really well or consistently hearing from the Lord or having a deep well of hope, purpose and meaning completely erased this nagging sense of doubt in my mind and heart. When I would read the verses about being dearly loved, treasured, purified, whole, beautiful in the Bible, I didn't completely accept it for myself. I'm being as blatantly honest as I can. I've been journaling for weeks now about how I knew the Lord wanted to rid me of these deep-seated insecurities. It's been a good 4 months of full consciousness of this nonsense (for I've known it was nonsense for the last 11 years since I came back to Christ). But still, my thoughts about myself never quite matched God's thoughts about me.
It wasn't just that, though, either. My thoughts about who I was never quite lined up with anyone else's thoughts either. That's why I have always been uncomfortable when people compliment me - on anything. I am literally struck dumb and my response comes out feeling painfully awkward and inadequate.
That's the word - inadequate. For most of my life, on and off, I have felt I'm in no way up to the task - whatever that task is. That's spilled over into my perception of my physical self too. (I know I've written about this before, even last week. See, it's been on my mind for a long, long, long time). Culture grossly inflates the idea that you aren't good enough and then add in the efforts of the enemy to steal, kill and destroy....well, I just didn't believe what others said.
I've had moments of fleeting freedom. Multiple times, I set my face like a flint against this insecurity but it never lasted more than a few days. I knew the end of it was coming, though. I've witnessed and participated in too many miraculous works of God lately to think He wasn't going to set me free from this. I just had to wait on the right time, when everything was lined up in His order. In our Wednesday night regular prayer meeting, it was.
It didn't start that way, for the first 45 minutes, I was leading the prayers. But it ended with me on the floor being prayed over...and stuff getting prayed out. It was a most holy and interesting experience. I'm tempted to get on my face now, I am still so humbled by it. Thanks to the gifted and Holy Spirit-led ministrations of 9
For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind...For being as he is a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), he is unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything he thinks, feels, decides.The Apostle James wrote that in the first part of his letter (James 1:6,8). It describes who I was when I thought about myself. 40 years of hesitating, dubious, uncertain thinking about agreeing with God about me was healed. It was really a miracle hour for me, a long time in coming. Even (and especially) church leaders need to be prayed for and poured into.
This is not the end of the story - I still have to walk this truth out. I have to stand firm against the wiles, tricks, illusions, imaginations of the enemy, the influence of the world and even when my own negative self talk rears its ugly head. I have to remember to walk down a brand-new neurological path. I can't go on auto-pilot down the same-old worn trail of self-doubt. I have to remember the word the Lord left with me after that intense session was "Today you will be with Me in paradise." The real truth of it is, I'm already there but not yet completely. It's the now-not yet principle of eternal life in Christ.
(Read what I have to say about that idea here.)
The difference now verses before prayer on Wednesday is: the hole that was filled with insecurity and doubt is now filled with truth and faith. I am secure in Him and I believe it. I am not perfect and I am indeed more dependent on Him than ever. But real freedom comes from dependence and obedience. I can actually point to the area of my body where all those ugly feelings and thoughts were housed and know that place is now cleansed and cleared.
It really was a miracle. That's the currency God deals in if you let Him. He doesn't want His children to suffer, especially under the weight of any other yoke than His. Every burden we would put on our own shoulders (or others have put on us) is too heavy. Ella says that now when she tries to pick up a basket or bag. She tries, puts it back down and looks at me. She says, "Too heavy Mama."
We need to look at our Heavenly Father and say the same.
I finally put this burden down. I know and believe the truth of who I am....and when you know the Truth, you are free indeed.