When we talked about doing this collaboration about Trading Lies for Truth and I first started to think about what lies I have believed, there were many that I could list, but really there is one lie that stood out as the one that I knew I needed to write out. It is an on-going struggle and one that I am just now learning to identify and find freedom from through Christ’s long-suffering love and grace. It is this: that my feelings are a burden or an inconvenience to the people around me. It is honestly more deeply rooted in the lie that I am unworthy of love…complete, unabridged, unconditional love. Want to know something? The name Amanda, my name, means “worthy of love.” The very thing that is a struggle for me to believe was intentionally given to me by my parents in their love for me and then spoken over me every single day of my life. Amanda, you are worthy of love. That was intended by God to speak the truth of His love for me, don’t you think?
This lie, that my feelings are an inconvenience to the people around me, I think took root in my heart a long time ago and it probably came from a combination of ways and events and moments in my life. But it all culminated in the lie that my feelings and my opinions and me are a burden. Not always a burden, sometimes I am helpful and useful and maybe even delightful. But only when I give the pleasant and edited version of myself; the self that has not a lot of need, that is independent and self-sustaining, the self that is calm and steady. What would happen if I was completely needy, utterly falling apart, and had no plan or way to help myself. What then? Who would want to take care of that mess?
Well, God would. In fact he invites us to be unbound and says he will “bind up my wounds” and he says to the brokenhearted that he will heal (Psalm 147:3). He invites me to be at the end of myself, to cry out to him in my distress and to converse with him about my questions and even accusations. Look at the conversations in scripture between David and God, and Job and God. They are bold and unedited and full of feeling and emotion. They are low and high. They are transparent and honest. Oh man, to be that real with myself and with God!
He invites. In his love for us, God always invites us to something better and deeper than what we already know. He wants us to be fully known and heard and then, and only then, can we truly understand and believe how great and full and wide and deep is God’s love for us.
*Insert disclaimer here; I recognize that there can be wisdom to holding my tongue, and the truth of God’s word emphasizes intentional words and selfless acts. However, Jesus always spoke truth in love and did not appease people. So with that as my example, and as clumsy as I may be, I have to learn to find my voice and to say the things I need to say. Believing the truth that my feelings are not a burden to people around me.
The lie that I once believed, that says my feelings are a burden or an inconvenience to the people around me. The lie that whispers to my heart, “your hurt is your fault,” “your discomfort is because of your own unrealistic expectations,” “you may not like this but don’t hurt someone else for the sake of being heard,” can be undone by telling and retelling the truth of God’s love for me:
That God first loved.
That Jesus came to save out of his love for us.
That my behavior, my feelings, and my expression of hurt, sadness, or disappointment do not cut me off from the love of God. More than that, I can be completely loved even in the moments of pain and hurt, and utter disappointment, in ugly crying, and tantrums, and lament. Even in those moments I am worthy of love. You are worthy of love. I am not a burden but a delight. I am not cast away but invited closer and closer to his throne and his loving and tender care.
Because I am Worthy of His Love,