And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:30-31
I have always been insecure and uncomfortable in my own skin, even from an early age. I don’t feel like I have much to bring to the table, or as the world points out, a college degree to stand behind. I over-analyze the words that come out of my mouth and even the way I was standing as I said them. It’s a stressful way to live, really. Yet, God’s immense grace has overflowed on my heart as I dug deeper and deeper into His word this past year. The harder I pressed into Him, the more I have felt those insecurities slowly fading away and for the first time, I found myself able to gently unclench the handle bars and rest in who HE says I am, instead of what the world calls me out to be. And that was a big feat for me! The peace that came with it made it easier to hand over those insecurities before they even formed.
Funny, though, how one day can make all our work, and my peace, completely undone.
Damage to our children and hurtful words pierced my heart. One left a burden my heart couldn’t carry, while the other brought me back to an insecure girl feeling worthless, and a young wife being treated as such every day. Funny how an instance can open old wounds and bring up so much emotion, isn’t it? What was once healed, was now free flowing, and don’t you know it – Satan took notice. The nightmares started back up again and no matter how hard I tried, I felt like I was drowning in the ugly words being hurled at my heart.
Yet, in the midst of my tailspin upon deep waters, my sweet Savior whispered to my heart… “Stand up. You aren’t drowning dear one, stand up – your feet will find the solid ground. It’s been under you all along.” Oh, Lord, you’re right. Why hadn’t I seen that? Sigh. I was flailing about for no reason. HIS truth was there the whole time – it was me that was listenening to the lies of the world instead of to HIS truths.
“The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2
But, sometimes the volume of the world can be deafening, can’t it? It bombards us with plenty of examples of what we aren’t: thin enough, smart enough, tidy enough, our job isn’t important enough, our house isn’t big enough, and our kids aren’t good enough at sports (because that’s somehow a direct reflection on us, right?). So how can we cast out these destructive words constantly being hurled at our heart? God has so graciously pointed out that it really is pretty simple – we just need a bypass.
Just like a surgical heart bypass, sometimes our hearts are just too broken or too injured to continue in their current state. Sometimes we need assistance with our heartbeat while changes are being made – changes to improve our lives and to let the healing begin. As I cried out to Him, completely undone and broken, I heard my God’s urgency to allow Him to bypass my heart. I was trying so hard to heal it by sheer will or by firm bravery, that I missed the real truth God was speaking into my tangles. Bypass. It was time – nothing I can do can drown out the lies and the hurts that had fractionated my heart. It was time to allow God to control the weak heartbeat of my injured heart and do the work that needed to be done. We can’t operate on our own hearts can we? Then why do we try so hard to?
Yet, while God does His work, I have mine. TRUTH. Earmuffs to drown out the lies have been strategically placed over my under-construction heart, and Truth is being imputed into my veins. The world tells me I am not – God proves that I am:
I am LOVED: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10
I am CHOSEN: “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14
I am NEVER ALONE: “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous.” Joshua 1:5-6
I am SAFE: “This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God and I trust Him.” Psalm 91:2
I am PROTECTED: “If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you , no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Psalm 91:9-12
I am HEALED: “Surely He took up our pain and bore our sufferings, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4-5
As I go before my Savior tonight, I lay His Word physically upon my chest. The weight of it soothes my anxious heart, as I let the words penetrate and heal the damage that was done. I remind myself of HIS truths and HIS promises, instead of what the world tries to guarantee for my life. A spirit of refreshment wells up inside me as I realize that not only will this bypass heal my damaged heart, it will correct my eternal perspective and priorities my soul has been screaming for.
Slowly, the lies of the world fade away, along with the pains of the past, and even though my bypass is still underway, I can already feel the glimmer of that once-known peace and security only found in the very Word of my Savior. And what sweet peace it is.
“But the LORD says, ‘Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago. Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already – you can see it now! I will make a road through the wilderness and give you streams of water there.’ ” Isaiah 43:18-19