Oftentimes we don’t recognize our own brokenness until one day we hear someone else’s words escape our own lips. Oddly, the voice may even sound like the one we know who is broken.
This was the case for me over the past months. Someone close to me had fought hard and lost her battle with cancer. We know she is now walking and talking with Jesus, but my heart aches at the thought that until her final day she wondered whether anyone cared, or even loved her.
Throughout my life, I’d spent countless hours trying to prove my devotion. I’d exhausted myself, strained relationships outside our little circle, and ended up on the wrong side of her beliefs regarding love and devotion. I lived in fear that I'd make her unhappy regardless of my efforts.
When her focus wasn’t my lack of concern for her, she’d point out others who couldn’t love her well enough.
And yet, we did.
I’d known for quite a while that I suffered similar traits, but it wasn’t until shortly after her passing that I’d begun speaking the same doubts about everyone. If my church loved me enough … If my family cared … If my "friends" would just …
I’m sure you get the idea.
A friend said to me, one day, “You are listening to the enemy right now.”
“No. That’s not possible. I believe God. I trust Him. I wouldn’t listen to the enemy’s lies,” I countered.
The trouble is, whenever a person believes something to be true, it is true to them. And there is no convincing them otherwise. Only God can peel back the scales so the person can see clearly. Only God can shed light into a darkened heart. Only God can make a blind man see. Our job is to believe Him.
And that is what happened. One day, I can’t put my finger on the specifics, other than to say that “suddenly” I realized that what I’d been hearing all these years were indeed lies; that God is my affirmation, my wholeness, and the one who—regardless of the selfless acts of others—loves me better and more fiercely than anyone.
And that, dear friends, is the truth that is more sure than anyone’s exhaustive attempts at proving that we were born for a purpose, destined for greatness, or that people enjoy having us around.
It is freeing, not only to me, but to those who’ve been burdened with the need to prove their selves.
Isn’t that what we all want, to be free of bondages whether self-imposed or loaded on us by another?
It is definitely what Jesus came to do:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed;
to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
(Luke 4: 18,19 NKJV)