“At least my girlfriend is skinny.”
Those words dropped like an anvil on my soul wile standing next to the water fountain in the vacant hallway. I was getting a drink during class and ran into the high school boy I had a slight crush on my freshman year, who was dating an upperclassman. We were having some banter and joking and then there it was—a left hook—suddenly, quite unexpectedly, he confirmed a fear I was quietly harboring: I wasn’t thin enough to be liked. I always felt too much or not enough. And there it was. And no doubt the devil stood by smiling, not because of what the boy said necessarily, but because of what was invisibly happening inside of me. I was believing.
I quietly stopped eating almost immediately. Soon fine hair grew all over my body, I stopped menstruating for six months and I slipped slowly into an oblivion of quiet self destruction that silently screamed. I eventually became bulimic and the spiral of darkness grew, causing grief beyond myself, engulfing every aspect of life. I was occasionally pulled out of class to talk to the school counselor because it was evident there was something wrong by my appearance and the rumors circulating the school. I was bullied by girls, that was one thing, but those particular words that were meant more as a jab that day, stuck. How could I let that happen? How could a kid have that much power? I’m so much stronger than that.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21
I wanted to control something (as so many girls my tender age back then, want) and found a sense of control in that form of self destruction. My dear parents paid painfully in that time as they watched their only child robotically turn into the slave of a giant they couldn’t kill. This went on. But Praise Jesus I was healed in my mid twenties, forgave, lived, but not after battling in deep, silent ways that hindered so much life in the span of twelve years.
Any giant hinders life. They are nothing but distractions. But quiet giants, the ones we often refuse to admit to facing or even know are there, are hindering in deeper darker ways because they’re attached to our belief systems. And we can carry those monsters with us into the different aspects of our lives, thinking we love God and people but never fully living a life of freedom.
I don’t know if you’ve had someone suggest this, but here it is: Write down a list of crucial junctions and rabbit trails in your life where you felt the enemy of your soul robbed you of a destiny in God. It could have been a moment, a molestation or rape, that caused you to close yourself to real intimacy. Maybe someone said something to you that unexpectedly sent you spiraling on a journey of pain. Perhaps it was years of quiet self destructive behaviors that eventually destroyed your marriage, friendships and family relationships. Maybe you were fired from a position and from that point forward you stopped believing something about yourself, a dream since childhood. Maybe you were bullied and though you always felt this desire to connect with people, you couldn’t because the self-protection was a fortress that became a home.
Ask the Lord in prayer to reveal them to you. Be absolutely honest with yourself and write them down. Look at those monumental moments and make a note of the devastation each caused. Take this literally: Each one is where God was intending to bless you and His people through you. You were meant to be relational, a mentor an encourager, an incredible mother or father. You were meant to own your own business, the one you dreamt of. You were meant to worship Jesus with that guitar instead of leaving it in your closet under piled clothes. You were meant to have relationships so rich and full and unguarded; the Lord the most prominent feature about you, changing the world around you.
Joseph of the Bible encountered horrific betrayal of different kinds. Each time taking him to what appeared to be further away from the vision he had originally had. But in the end, his belief in the Almighty remained, and all things came to pass because what evil that was meant against him, God meant it for good. When you can, read his story and be reminded for yourself that you are not forgotten, there’s more. More grace, healing, redemption. (Genesis 37-50).
“I didn’t realize I was packing broken belief systems picked up from years of disappointing dead-ends and tragedies.”
I figured life was just moving on—maybe hobbling a little but as long as I was breathing, always forward. I had no idea for years that I was stuck in my head, circling something I couldn’t break out of. I have struggled and still struggle to remain present—vacillating between the past and the future constantly. Trying to reconcile the two while attempting to keep the broken parts from interfering, instead of just asking the Lord to redeem them. Then I was challenged to list off points in life where I stopped believing with a child like faith and instead became cynical, overly driven to prove, guarded, jealous, angry and diverted from the Lord’s best.
Pray over each thing on your list. Ask the Lord to forgive you where you believed the enemy’s lies from that point, where you sinned and are sinning, and where you have remained unforgiving. Ask the Lord to heal you of the brokenness caused by the event or person or yourself. Ask the Lord to bless and heal the person who hurt you or whom you hurt. Forgive, friend, it is time to live in freedom and forgive. Now, write down what you think the redeemed version of each event is supposed to be. As just an example it could be: “I was molested by my uncle when I was five and haven’t trusted a man since.” Redeemed: “My body is a temple of the Lord, not some sexual tool to feel seen by men and to use them as I felt used. I was meant to be loving without giving myself away to everyone for their taking. I was meant to be vulnerable in my marriage, consecrated under Jesus. I was meant to respect men and authority and to live a life freed of bitterness and rage.”
Friend, today be reminded, that what the enemy intends for evil, destruction and death in your life, God intends for good. If you’re reading this, it is not too late to live the redeemed life, to heal of the broken belief systems and flourish. You don’t have to hobble, self-protect and work so hard fighting against deeply broken beliefs that are causing you to stumble in this race. I believe the Lord’s timing for you today is to walk in freedom from sin, brokenness and self-destructive self-protective vanity schemes and mechanisms.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
When the writer of Hebrews wrote that, presumably the Apostle Paul, he was speaking to a Jewish-Christian crowd who needed the encouragement to endure persecution as believers in that time. The same is true for today. At whatever point you choose to throw off what is hindering you, quiet giants and sins and all that is stopping you from being who you were meant to be and how you were designed to bring God glory, you will be officially running the race that saints before you ran with joy, unhindered—those very saints cheering you on from the sidelines of heaven. Don’t wait another minute, your one shot at this earthly existence is worth it. Ask other saints to help you, pray for you, counsel and mentor you in Biblical Truth.
Today is the day quiet giants and the like come down in the name of Jesus.