“He Restores my soul. He leads me in paths of Righteousness for His name sake.” Psalms 23:3
I sat at a conference unaware that I was about to be broken.
I was pulled to go and pray with someone.
I watched as others walked over for prayer. I knew I needed to get up, but I was scared.
What was I going to say?
I wasn’t even sure what I needed prayer for, but I needed something.
I needed to be filled.
To be emptied.
I needed restoration.
I had been given purpose and passion.
I had been running hard after God, surrendering all that I could.
I had been poured out, overflowing with grace.
I messed up 700 times, but He always lifted my head.
I was breathless and tired and yes, weary.
I desired to pour myself out into my callings.
For my husband.
My IF: Local.
I served when needed. Encouraged when prompted, loved, prayed, disciplined, hoped, endured, taught, shared and wept.
My faith is strong.
My soul is famished for more of God.
But I was weary.
And I didn’t want to be.
The truth is I had a secret sin that I had been carrying. A shame filled sin that pricked my heart and whispered it’s sinister lies that I could not bear the weight of any longer.
I heard the lies daily.
I believed them.
I cowered to the liar.
“You do all these things for nothing. No one really see’s any of it. You aren’t appreciated. This thankless job of motherhood and self sacrifice and writing and serving…why do you waste your time on any of it? Why do you even care? No one else does.”
“Your kids light up when dad walks in, but with you they are always bickering and arguing. All they see is your frustration and it leaks onto them. It’s your fault they act the way they do.”
“Your husband works all day, but he doesn’t see all you do…ever. He comes in with expectations all the time. Expecting dinner and a clean house and smart, happy kids. He doesn’t see the work you do, all he see’s are your failures.”
“You work hours on your writing and no one reads. Your words will never amount to anything. Just like that book you keep trying to write. It’s worthless. Your story is so simple and small. Just give it up, no one cares about what you have to say.”
“You will never be recognized or thanked for any of the things you work so hard at. You are always tired. Why do you keep going. What’s the point?”
The lies are beating inside my head.
I make my way to a leader to pray and I ramble words together…
“I do all these things. I write and homeschool and my kids and husband and church and I …I don’t know…I want…I should know better, I have loved Jesus my whole life…I shouldn’t be filled with such thoughts…”
She gently says, “Just confess it, don’t believe the lies anymore, just confess it and you’ll be free.”
And I whisper, “I want…recognition.”
It was barely audible.
I was shame filled. To say it out loud. To speak the truth that filled me with guilt.
I desired to be gentle and humble, not arrogant and proud.
I desired it to all be for His glory, not mine.
But the truth sets you free!
The enemy plays a vicious game.
He is the father of lies. It is who he is. He works in circles and plays the lies so that they surround you and encompass you until you forget who you are.
The enemy’s best plan is for you to forget who you are. For you to forget who created you.
The enemy desires for you to believe the illusion of what he has portrayed so that you forget whose image you were created to reflect.
The reality was that I wasn’t weary because of all the good works, I was weary because I was carrying sin, guilt and shame that I had been set free of long ago. Every time I believed a lie, I would pick up those shackles of old hoping they would shine, instead they would turn heavy and leave a counterfeit stain on my heart.
The circle of lies went round and round in my head…no one cares, no one sees, you aren’t enough, you still have thoughts like these, you are so shameful, you are so proud, after all you have believed you are still so pathetic.
We all want it to some degree.
We work hard to achieve it. I know I’m not alone. The lies are just that…lies.
We live in a culture where we desire to be praised for every simple ounce of effort. We have little league hearts that are still looking for that trophy of participation; yet as mothers, wives, friends and diligent laborers for the kingdom, we get little thanks on earth.
But our reward is so much greater than a thank you.
Our reward is in knowing that we are daughters of the most High God and each time we work, each time we sacrifice, each time we are almost weary from doing good, His reflection shines brighter within us and through us.
That night truth set me free.
Guilt and shame were lifted, my head was lifted and His light of glory shone through me.
The only glory I ever desire is for His name sake.
That is the truth of my heart. Everything else is a lie.
Truth rings free in my soul.