Lord, I feel so cut off from everyone. Especially from you. Don’t you see what I’m going through? How can you not intervene? Can’t you help me find a way out of this pain? If you are everywhere, and can do anything, where are you in this?
One morning, driving into work, my anger and confusion drove me right into Satan’s plans, into his waiting arms where I believed his lies. Oh, I hid behind my masks and they served me well–or so I thought.
No, really, things are okay. I can do this. Many people have it worse than me; this isn’t so bad. I’m capable, confident. I am a survivor, and I don’t need anyone.
False beliefs and soul-scars from my childhood had convinced me I could never measure up, but my masks promised otherwise. I could be that person I thought others expected me to be. I could be calm and happy. I could be put-together and wildly successful. Truth is, the masks were extremely uncomfortable, squeezing me into a person I wasn’t supposed to be.
When wounds cut deep, the opinion of others sometimes matters most—how much that must hurt God’s heart. Those triggered-by-others insecurities are not God’s plan for us. Consider his reaction to Adam and Eve the day they fell for that life-changing lie.
Later that evening when the breeze fell among the trees in the garden, Adam and Eve lay open their shame. “I was afraid … I was naked and I hid (Gen 3:11, MSG).”
“Who told you that?” God asked.
I just love the question. God well knew the source of their shackling guilt but I believe he wanted them to consider that someone else, a shrewd and conniving Enemy, had influenced their beliefs.
Today, God asks us the same thing, “Who told you that?”
Who has squelched, diminished, or ignored our voices? Patronized or belittled us?
Who told you that you are worthless? Not good enough? Unlovable? That what you say doesn’t matter?
What life-messages are we responding to? Criticism from a cynical “friend”? A family-imposed silence? Shame from an abusive spouse? Close relationships with narcissists, know-it-alls, controlling or belittling people? A toxic religious system, even?
Do these messages line up with who we are—really are? With what God says about us?
This is where the healing begins, this truth-telling.