MONDAYS WITH KERRI
Recently I sat down with Angela to pray over her list of lies, shame, and fear. Having met with her previously, I knew that she had been raised in the church, was a Bible College graduate, and had been working for several years in full-time Christian ministry. However, despite feeling that she should “have her act together,” she spent the majority of her time with me sobbing. She had come to the point that she could no longer ignore the emptiness that seemed to consume her life. She confided that she had felt emotionally and physically starved for affection since childhood. Her parents, especially her father, had been absent in her life. Her only memories of him centered on the hurtful or critical comments hurtled in her direction in their brief interactions. Her brother, who had been her best friend, died several years ago and his absence left her feeling as though she was absolutely alone in the world. She had drifted from place to place, keeping her from intimacy in friendship and from commitment in her relationships with men.
When I asked Angela to share her list with me it became apparent rather quickly that while there were many words written under each column, they all lead back to one deeply seeded lie–I am abandoned. She had come to anticipate that the people in her life would leave her. In her mind it was just a matter of time because that was the way it had always been. Of course, this belief had serious repercussions in her relationship with The One who created her. Through her tears she admitted the two questions that always lingered in the forefront of her mind. “Has God abandoned me too? If He hasn’t, when will He?”
This doubt around her identity as His Beloved impaled her heart constantly. It was as though her spiritual jugular had been severed, which ultimately caused her to ask, “What’s wrong with me?” There it was, the question that revealed the deception of The Betrayer. She had bowed to the temptation to take her eyes off of her Heavenly Father. Therefore, she was left in a place of evaluating what she had done, right or wrong, to determine whether or not her life was of any consequence. Angela now believed that she deserved to be abandoned because there was something wrong with her. She expressed how desperately she wished to just figure out what her problem was so that someone could love her. The focus of her life had become “fixing” herself so that someone would find her lovable. She is the picture of the woman who believes she is The Betrayed.
You and I are tempted to buy into the very same lies every day. Our enemy knows the power we wield in our true identity. He uses his number one lie–you are not loved–to shut us down. When we are cut off from our Father’s love we cannot be joyful, purposeful, or effective because we can’t remember who we are or why we are on this planet. We are like a garden hose that has been screwed on incorrectly and is shooting water all over the sidewalk. The hose is useless when it is not properly connected to the water supply. In the same way, when we are not properly connected to our source of love, we feel useless and doubt our worth. Doubt leads to fear and when we are afraid, we step backwards, away from The One who created us.
The three lies we struggle with most often state that we are not lovable, we are unworthy, and we are alone. These three work in conjunction with each other and often feed each other. Typically, when we believe one lie, we will quickly bow to all three. What we do with these lies determines whether we believe we are The Betrayed or His Beloved. What we believe has everything to do with who we think we are.
What is your identity?
Who do you believe you are?
If someone were to ask you, what would you say?
Most of us have a hard time defining ourselves outside of what we do and, as we already know, we are easily deceived into finding our identity in relationships. This is a dangerous combination as it opens the door for us to feel worthless or unimportant whenever we feel unfulfilled in our relationships with other human beings.
These lies lead us to a place of performing for others. We believe that if we don’t measure up to their standards we aren’t lovable and they will abandon us. Our truth, like Angela’s, becomes the lie that we have been and will be abandoned. The Betrayer effectively uses these lies against us because we so often believe it’s what we deserve. We are far more comfortable believing we have been abandoned than we are in believing we are His Beloved. Furthe