To my love,
On Sunday you mentioned how much our marriage has changed – and that has resulted in the often high levels of stress and tension between the two of us. And so, the whole of Sunday and Monday (I even dreamt about this on Sunday night), I have thought of writing to you, because – to me – the major change in our relationship has been because of all the anxiety and panic attacks I experienced a little while ago. It’s like this big white elephant that we know walked through our marriage, but we don’t ever discuss it. And I don’t like to talk about it, because, well, because I am ashamed and embarrassed of that time. I know how damaging that was – to me, to us, to our family. And I was going to call this little (or perhaps really long – you know me) letter, “The Father of all Lies”. And what do I get as a Joyce Meyer reading the very next day? A reading called, “The Father of all Lies…” I kid you not.
I think the big man upstairs as a sneaky sense of humour.
And you see – the reason why I wanted to call it the “Father of all Lies” is because the anxiety that I was feeling was based on lies that I believed. Little lies that was snuck into my thoughts, feelings and subconscious from before we met, married – right back to when I was a little girl. After Baby Girl was born, I fell into a pit. A pit filled with fear and anxiety and panic. But, that pit was there before Baby Girl was born, before we even decided to get pregnant, before we even married – in fact, that pit was there probably right from the start. Because you see, all my life, there have been these lies that I have believed, lies that when circumstances became so overwhelming (like being a new mom with a baby that never slept), I had no choice but to fall into that pit. My whole life has been geared to me being fearful, hiding and not coping – just some of the lies that have been told to me. So when those circumstances became more overwhelming than I could imagine – well, I fell into the pit that was so nicely set up for me – because don’t you know, I don’t cope. Apparently…
And so I needed to go onto Paxil, and at the time, I couldn’t ever imagine going off Paxil. And I often wondered how I would cope. You see – another lie. And I know what I am going to say now to you will sound very religious, but there is truth out there that transcends our perception of truth, our circumstances, our thoughts and feelings and that truth is God Himself.
And so it is all these lies I have believed all my life and that were reinforced by family and friends and circumstances that resulted in a very low belief in life and myself and my abilities in this life.
- Every time I choked as a little girl and my mom went on and on about it, that pit was dug a little deeper.
- Every time my friends came to visit my mom and not me, that pit was dug a little deeper.
- Every time I asked my mom for specific items of clothes and she said no, but bought those exact items for herself, that pit was dug deeper.
- Every time my parents argued and shouted to each other that they only reason why they are staying is because of me – that pit was firmly cemented into place (no child should ever shoulder the burden of having to keep her parents together – no matter what the situation is).
- Every time I felt anxious and couldn’t eat, that pit was dug a little deeper.
- And every time my mom played head games with me, my dad kept quiet, my friends betrayed me, that well was firmly cemented in place.
- Then it was what I was told – shame, she is weak, she can’t cope, she’s very sickly, she never eats, she too thin, she can’t manage… all those words I have heard over and over and over again throughout my life. All lies.
- That’s why I get so upset when our maid tells your parents I only survived on five biscuits a day. Really? Then how is it that I am still here? You see – another lie trying to perpetuate itself into adulthood. I no longer believe it!
God’s truth had told me a lot and I have chosen to believe His word over my experiences or perceptions of life, to trust that God actually does know what He is doing and to believe that instead.
And slowly but surely I have crawled out of that pit. God has said, “Do not fear”. He has said that, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” He has said that He has plans for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future. He has also said that no anxiety is ever from Him – he has given us peace, love and a sound mind.
There are many other passages of scripture, but believing God’s truth over my very subjective experiences has helped me crawl out of the pit.
I have a long way to go.
But, I have come such a long way. Remember when I used to wake up at 02:00 in the morning to eat, then again to eat at 06:00 – because I believed I wouldn’t eat? Such lies. All of it just lies. But, I believed it because I didn’t know NOT to believe it. And that is where Joyce Meyer has been such a huge help – she says, “Think about what you are thinking about” and “doubt your doubts”. Do you really believe what you are thinking – is that the actual truth – or is a lie flitting in your thoughts that you need to get rid of?
I know that this will be completely over when I lose this excess weight and be done with it – because at the moment that voice in my head telling me to eat is still quite strong, even though I know it is a lie. But, I will walk this path to truth, all the time I am walking – just one step after the other.
And so, I know that our marriage has had its fair share of tension and struggles over the last couple of years – but I believe God’s word when He says,
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
And I believe that the best is still to come – for me (personally) and for our marriage.
And I think the best thing I have learnt over the last couple of years is that I can trust God – even at my most anxious moment, I can still trust Him. He will never let us down.
Romans 8:28 NIV: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
And so, I know that I have a long walk ahead of me still – I have brilliant days, and I have not so good moments. But, I am training my brain, my head and my thoughts – like I am training for a marathon race, to focus on God’s promises, His word and His truth. There may be days ahead when I fail to do that, when the nervousness of whatever situation may be so overwhelming but I know that God is always with me. And that at the end of the day, there is nothing to fear.
The best is yet to come. Trust me on that!
By Joyce Meyer – posted November 16, 2014
[Jesus said] You are of your father, the devil, and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false. —Proverbs 4:20-22
The devil lies. In fact, the devil doesn’t know how to speak the truth. Most Christians know that and yet they still listen to his evil words. Sometimes the lies seem to just pop into our minds for no apparent reason; sometimes Satan even speaks to us through other people. He puts something critical or hurtful into their minds about us, and they speak it out for us to hear. If we listen and accept what we hear, our enemy rejoices. If we listen long enough to the deceptive information we have taken in, we will find ourselves facing serious problems. Instead of listening and absorbing the untruths and satanic deceptions, you can look at what Jesus did and follow His example.
After fasting for forty days in the wilderness, Satan tempted Jesus three times. Each time He defeated the devil by declaring, “It is written,” and quoting the Word of God. No wonder the devil fled from Him (see Matthew 4:1-11). Learn the truth of God’s Word, and every time Satan lies to you, quote a scripture back to him. Learn to talk back to the devil. Too many people don’t know how to use the Word to defeat Satan’s lies. Many people even Christians don’t seem to realize that they can refuse to listen to that voice. Too many people don’t realize that the devil attacks their minds with negative or wrong thoughts. It’s his nature to lie; he is out to enslave everyone.
I encourage people to realize that they are not alone in their spiritual battles their minds are not the only ones under attack. Satan comes against everyone. His entire goal is to kill, steal and destroy; but Jesus came that we might have and enjoy our lives abundantly (see John 10:10). By becoming more conscious of the spiritual weapons the Lord has made available to us and learning how to use them, we can gain victory. We can break the strongholds the devil has built-in our minds. The Bible tells us that when we know the truth, that truth will free us from Satan’s strongholds (see John 8:32).
I know a woman named Mary who had been deceived by the devil’s lies. The devil had whispered to her for years that all men were alike and wanted to hurt women and take advantage of them. As Mary read the Bible and prayed more effectively, she learned that it was the devil who had pushed her around. Now she knows she can be free. As Mary develops in her relationship with God, she is equipping herself to win the battle for her mind. She’s learning more about God and more about how to pray effectively. “Jesus has become my friend,” Mary said. She had known Him as her Saviour and worshiped Him as God, but this was a new revelation to her. One day she read Hebrews 2:18 in a totally new light. It says of Jesus: “Because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried). He is able to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted.” That passage came alive to Mary because she saw Jesus not only as God, but as her friend one who knows what it’s like to be tempted and who knows what it is like to suffer. “I knew He died on the cross, but I had not thought of all the pain He went through for me. To realize that He understands my pain and problems was a new thought to me.” Mary also says that when negative, mean, or ugly thoughts come into her head, she is learning to stop those thoughts. “Jesus wouldn’t talk that way. Jesus wouldn’t be critical and judgmental, so that’s the devil fighting for my mind.” Mary hasn’t won all the battles, but she has learned to fight the great deceiver. Every time she wins one battle, the next one becomes easier.
God of all power, thank You for giving me the weapons to defeat the lies of the devil. Help me to always make good use of them. Thank You, Jesus, for being my friend and for being with me in my difficulties and struggles. Amen.