Monday, February 23, 2009

AT THE WELL... freedom from lies

Today, I join the discussion that is going on over AT THE WELL.
A weekly gathering that looks at the role of a Titus 2 woman.

The discussion questions are:

Are there areas of hardness and coldness in my life? What are the roots of these?
Do I need to release someone who has hurt me in my past?
Do I need to confess and release myself from the bondage of sinful patterns in my own life?

What are some ways that I can turn the conversation around
when other women begin to gripe and complain about their children?

Name some creative ways we can create warmer,
more inviting environments for our children.
Have you ever been in a grocery store, and witnessed a mother yelling at her child or worse yet, slapping or physically disciplining her child? Something comes all over me when I see or hear a child being mistreated or being told to "shut up" or worse.

Witnessing this kind of behaviour almost always makes me think if they would speak to their child in this manner in public...imagine what happens behind doors.

"I'm not worth anything"

These are words that are often spoken or at least thought of in many women today. In the book, "Lies women believe", a Nancy Leigh DeMoss book, a survey revealed that more than 42% of women indicated that they believed this lie of "I'm not worth anything." Look at some of these quotes as written in Nancy's book:

"Feeling inferior has been a lifelong struggle. Many times it has caused me to withdraw from relationships, even though I am a people person and outgoing."

"Because of the hurt in my marriage, I felt that I was useless and that nobody, not even God, could love me. I just didn't measure up and since I have always felt that I had to be perfect to be loved, then obviously God would not love me either."

In many cases, these feelings of worthlessness are the result of believing things that we have heard from others. Too many times our own view of ourselves and our sense of worth are determined by the opinions of others. So many women have lived their entire lives in an emotional prison because we have fallen for those lies.

"I wish that you would never have been born!"
"You are so fat!"
"You are good for nothing!"

Sometimes, even a single sentence as mentioned above can haunt and plague a person for years. Many times, people who have been wounded so deeply by someones words, are not even aware of the pain, the bitterness and the deception because they have pushed it down so deep within themselves. And it is the deep scars that will cause a person to lash out, possibly on their children with harsh words, or name calling.

Instead of getting mad at the person, like the one I described in the grocery store...get mad at the lies that they have settled on.

For years, I had a huge piece of my life missing. My father, for forty years, was absent in my life. He made a choice ~ when I was just a baby, he walked away from me and my brothers. This choice had a huge affect on me for the next 40 years. (you can read my REUNION story HERE, and part two HERE, part three HERE, and part four HERE!)

There is no doubt in my mind that the feeling of not being wanted, or loved and needed by my earthly father altered my ability to extend love to my own family (my husband and my children).

  • Always questioning my families sincerity of their love.
  • Always wondering how long before they would walk out on me.
  • Could anyone fill this void I felt in my heart?
It was not until 5 years ago when I came face to face with this big lie I had fallen for ... "that nobody could truly love me for me", that I could truly accept the love and adoration of those around me without questioning it.

Releasing those in your past that have hurt you gives you so much freedom and peace. My relationship with my Dad today is not all it can be. But I have learned that freedom from our past, from our pain and from the things we cannot change is so empowering. Forgiveness, and love, and acceptance ... the true form ... can only come from God.

I love what it says in 1 Peter about the topic of rejection:

1 PETER 2:4 "Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God"

Jesus was rejected by man, the very thing that He loved and who He gave His life for. But it was not in man that He found His value, He was chosen by God and this is what made Him precious and so worthy!

So how do we make sure that our children do not grow up with these feelings of unworthiness or thinking that they can not measure up?

First of all ... forgive those in your past, like I had to forgive my father, for the hurtful things they may have done or said to you.

Secondly...Let the past be the past. You can't change it ~ so move on.

Thirdly ... Don't repeat history! Encourage your children every single day of their lives! It does not matter how old they are and it is never too late to start a good pattern of encouragement.
Fourthly ... Don't let one day go by without telling your children that you love them, are proud of them and they can do anything they dream of. Stand behind your kids.

Every single day I tell my kids I love them. 3 of my 4 kids are grown. 2 of them live far away. I never hang up the phone or walk out the door before saying "I love you" and as many times as I have said "clean your room" over the past 26 years I have said more ... "I am so proud of you!"

The best way to answer the call of "mothering" is to love unconditionally and to pray. The enemy will want you to believe his lies, he will want your kids to believe his lies ...but God's love and acceptance overrides in each case.

FEELING REJECTED? remember that you have been chosen by God!

Cherish your children and pump them full of love, adoration and praise and put a stop to the lies that they will believe!

To view more of this week's discussion over AT THE WELL, click HERE and visit the homepage of the At The Well ministry. You will be blessed!


Mel said...

I think the fear of rejection is huge for alot of folks including me. I know I spent years truly believing i was God's one mistake for many reasons. However I now know I am a daughter of the Most High King, although there are times I must remind myself of that. It is easy to get caught up in a critical spirit especially with our kids, as there is a line between permissivness and discipline, yet I try to daily check and make sure that my children know they are loved no matter what.

Jennifer said...

The emotional damage that words can cause to a child, wife, husband, friend or co-worker can cut so deep that only God can heal them. I know exactly what that feels like.

But, sometimes, it isn't the words that hurt as much as the actions do. I am referring to my first marriage and always being left at home alone while he went out partying, riding around but yet, he would never take me. That told me that I wasn't pretty, he wasn't proud of me as his wife and I had no value except to cook, clean and have sex with. It has taken me 20 years to get over most of the damamge but some insecurities still linger.

Good stuff, Laurie!

Laurie Ann said...

Your post brings up so much that I didn't realize I was still feeling, Laurie. I have alot of soul searching to do...

How true Sometimes, even a single sentence as mentioned above can haunt and plague a person for years.

But forgiveness must be extended and acted upon...the release can be so sweet...

Thanks for sharing, my friend. I'm leaving your blog inspired and encouraged and ready.

Lisa said...

There is much in your story that I can identify with. I especially agree with your four points at the end. Thanks so much for sharing!

Rebecca said...

This was my favorite. "Thirdly ... Don't repeat history! Encourage your children every single day of their lives! It does not matter how old they are and it is never too late to start a good pattern of encouragement." Great practical tips here today!

a woman found said...

Laurie, thanks so much for sharing that. It's so true that when we look at Jesus and see how He has walked in our shoes, how He knows rejection, we are healed! It's truly a miracle of the Spirit at work in us. He is our life in every way. And its His life that makes it possible for reconciliation and freedom to be lived out in our relationships.

thanks so much!