I recently spoke at a Women’s event with the theme, “The Voice”. The idea obviously stemmed from the popular TV show. If you’ve ever watched it, the contestant comes out singing. As they sing, the judge’s backs are turned towards the singer. They sit waiting, not seeing, just waiting for something to grab their attention enough to make them push their button. Someone pointed out to me that after the button is pushed and the judge is facing the singer, a light comes on at the bottom of the chair stating, “I want you”.
I can’t imagine what goes through the singer’s mind moments before they perform. There must be so many unknowns, doubts, even the question of being good enough or not? They have to swallow all that and move forward with their performance. They have to find the strength to give it everything they have because they only have 45 seconds to entice the ear of at least one judge.
- I think this idea of the voice is so applicable in our lives. If we were honest, we all face the voices of defeat and failure at times. Some more so than others! I remember when I first started hearing these voices myself. I was in the 7th grade and I was extremely ill; I had spent the year in and out of hospitals, visited several doctors who could not figure out what was going on with me. My mom wouldn’t give up though; even as a few doctors suggested that maybe I just wanted attention. I’m thankful for the instinct God gives moms, when something isn’t right with their kids, they know!
She searched constantly to find a specialist for me. Finally we found the doctor who would save my life. He was at Children’s Hospital in San Diego. By the time I got to him, I was at my sickest. After seeing him, I found myself (the next day), having an eleven-hour operation. They had to rebuild my stomach in order to save my life. I woke up with a feeding tube out my side and a nine-inch scar down my stomach. Instantly, I went from being me, to being me in a flawed state.
As I lay in the hospital bed, I would see my exposed stomach with clear tape over the wound. They had to keep it open in the event of any complications. I remember in the countless hours I was in that bed, I would begin to hear the voices that, to this day, I battle with. The ones that say, “You’re flawed, you’re scarred, you’re ugly.” It would be those voices that would help to brew some of the greatest lies and insecurities I would face about myself in life.
I think it was a deep issue for me because it was coupled with the wounds of the abuse I faced as a child and being abandoned by my father. I had a loving mom taking good care of me, but when one parent leaves, a child still feels like it was their fault. I was shy, quiet and insecure and now, I bore physical scars to match the emotional scars. I have met so many people who have been in bondage to the same lies. Who, basically, believe the lies about themselves, and can’t see beyond them.
As a speaker, youth leader and minister of the gospel, I can share the beautiful truths of God’s word about worth, value and love, on platforms far and wide. I believe those truths to the core for those I counsel with…I know in the depths of my soul that it is truth. I don’t for one second doubt God’s plan in the lives of others. I watch it lived out in and through them all the time. Truth be told though, I often don’t believe it for myself. I look at myself from the perspective of a wounded, timid little girl, thinking, “It couldn’t be true for flawed me.”
I’m sharing this not because I want attention, or for people to feel sorry for me. I’m sharing it because I know that if this is true in my own life, there must be so many who are privately battling the same thing. I want to have a willingness to be transparent with you; it’s so important! People admire those who are given public platforms, thinking they have it all together. I want to honestly share today, that we don’t. We battle the same voices as others do, maybe even more than most. That’s just being real! Someone dear to me shared, “Spiritual warfare is not easy, that’s why it’s called warfare.” I believe the goal of the enemy is to take those voices and cause defeat. So often we are ashamed of our struggles and we keep them tucked away in the closet, yet every time the door is opened, there the lies wait. We need to clean house, clean out those closets and fill them with truth.
This isn’t always an easy thing to do. I will tell you this though, if you don’t do it, the lies will not just affect you, but will affect the most valued and treasured relationships you have. You will look at each person in your life through the veil of those lies, placing the lies on others and ultimately, that will impact those relationships. I wonder how many relationships have been forever defeated by this very thing. It’s not fair to you or me to be in bondage to them. They have done enough damage in and to you!
I have learned that the only way I can silence the lies of defeat, is by the truth of God’s word, coupled with prayer. God’s Word is not truth for others only; it is truth for you. He loves you, He does have a plan for you and He desires to see you soar in Him, nothing else! My prayer through everything I have faced is that the Lord would use it for His good and glory. That He would bring purpose to the pain and healing to the broken. Only He can mend us! I have been coming to terms with this and felt a desperate need to share it with whoever is reading this.
I want to remind you that the truest voice came to you and I, hitting the “button”, before coming out of our mother’s womb. Christ looks at you and me saying, “I want you, and I chose you.” The things that have happened to us, in us and through us were never meant to harm us, but to bring light in and share it with the darkness of others. I never believed I would find someone who would love me with scars. Yet the Lord one day quietly asked me, “Do you not love Me because of my scars?” The answer was, “Of course not. When I think about you Lord, I don’t even think of Your scars! If I were to though, they only make me love you more, I know they were for me.” God said, “I’ve called your husband to love you with a love that is pure. He will see past your scars and will love you in beauty and truth. God wants to hush the insecurities that keep us from moving forward. I think sometimes it’s so hard for us to let them go, because we become comfortable with them. We hold them close and dear because we have given them a home in us. We forget the wonderful feeling we get after the hard work of cleaning house. When clean, we find ourselves enjoying our homes again. God wants to strip us of the lies at home in us, to make us at home in Him.
How many unnecessary tears have you cried because of the voice of lies? Let’s not cry anymore. Let’s soak up the Word of God and surrender those lies to Him. He wants them, He died to take them! Let the truth of the Son set you and me free today! I love you and am praying for everyone who reads this and can relate.