The Devil is a LIAR!

April 3rd marked four years of being single. I have been officially single as long as I’ve been married. To commemorate this occasion I had to write another blog entry.

So many of my posts lately have the theme of “love yourself,” like this one here for instance.

There is something I realized about self-esteem: it’s a positive thing in theory to have confidence in your own worth but the devil loves to distort good things because he’s in the business of deception.

I apologize for being part of the problem when our culture lies to us and tells us we need to “love ourselves.”

Don’t get me wrong, we do have inherent value but it’s not because we’ve bestowed it upon ourselves. It’s not even because we’ve reminded ourselves of our intrinsic worth in God’s eyes.

If we go purely based on what God says in His Word, we are extremely precious (Matthew 6:25-34, Luke 12:6-7) because we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13-16)  in His image (Genesis 1:27) for a beautiful purpose (Ephesians 2:10, Jeremiah 29:11) and dearly loved by Him (Romans 5:8, Romans 8:32, John 3:16).

We can stand in the mirror all day and recite self affirmations, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!” Doing this every day when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed might even give you a strong sense of being loved, but this is not the way to truly experience the fullness of God’s love.

Yes, I do love myself, maybe even so much that one might say it borders on pride. (The negative kind.) My pride was brought down a peg or two when my good friend Jamie helped me to realize that I had been listening to the devil’s lies again. See, the devil likes to attack us where we are strong. I happen to have a lot of self confidence so the devil decided to twist this and use it against me.

After a series of dates with men who are not my spiritual equal I was beginning to feel a little puffed up. (I guess I felt like it was better than feeling chronically frustrated and disappointed.) I mean, it’s hard not have your ego stroked when a guy tells you, “You are an amazing person… I consider myself Christian and live Christian values but obviously I’m not at the same level you are with your devotion.” This has happened to me countless times that it’s starting to become a theme. I’m truly grateful that they notice this and tell me right away because I’m not really good with that whole thing… it sounds pretty judgemental to say “we’re not on the same level” doesn’t it?

One day I woke up and just started feeling sorry for myself. I heard the devil say, “You’re so unique, you’re not ever going to find anyone who is compatible with you. You’re a freak anomaly… even if you did find someone as weird and quirky as you, what are the chances you’d be like-minded? I sat on the pity pot all day and thought about why I’m alone and why I’ll probably always be alone.

analyzing

Then my best friend posted this on her Facebook wall and it gave me a swift kick in the pants. I realized my “woe is me” attitude problem was a serious pride problem, too.

miserablecow

The Bible says no one really hates their own body but nourishes and cherishes it (Ephesians 5:29). We are deeply sensitive to our own needs and feelings and constantly aware of how other people affect us. The reason we are so easily hurt is because we want to be accepted and treated with respect and admiration. If we didn’t care about ourselves then we wouldn’t care if people rejected, neglected, and abused us. No, we do not need to love ourselves… that is an innate, natural thing to do. What we really need to do is DENY OURSELVES. 

Jesus said that “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). He also said if you are unwilling to do this then you are not worthy of Him (Matthew 10:28).

Our problem is not that we have poor self-image… it’s that we have a poor image of who God is. Our need is not to love ourselves more but to accept His incredible love for us. We need to give up any idea of what we think we’re here on Earth to do and submit to His plan for our lives. When we abide in His love then we stop focusing on ourselves and instead we begin to shower His love on others instinctively.

I believe it is our pride and selfishness that keeps us from having an intimate relationship with God. Jesus said these chilling words in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.'” 

I say these things because I feel compelled to. I know I won’t be Miss Popular for saying this but the Christian life is not easy. Many people choose the highway to Hell but the gateway to life is very narrow and only a few ever find it (Matthew 7:14).

“As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.” (Galatians 6:14)

My prayer for you all who have stuck it out and are still reading this blog entry (thank you, btw) is that you would know how truly, madly, deeply loved you are. Only with the correct view of God’s love will you ever begin to even scratch the surface in understanding how precious you are. I pray you will know that you are worthy of great love and that you wouldn’t be afraid to open your heart to receive it. No one is really afraid of love… people are afraid of rejection, betrayal, and abandonment. But in Christ there is only complete acceptance and faithfulness. I pray you would have confidence in God’s love. He will never let you down and He will never leave you. There is no want to those who trust Him and those who seek Him will lack no good thing. Taste and see that the LORD is good! (Psalm 34:8-10) Not only is He good, but He is ready to forgive and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon Him. (Psalm 86:5)

“But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know Me and understand that I am the LORD who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken!” (Jeremiah 9:24)

Passionate

via Daily Prompt: Passionate

Falling in love is terrifying and glorious simultaneously. If you don’t open yourself up and trust him to catch you when you fall, you’ll never fly. I’ve gotten to the edge of that precipice a few times in my life… it always seems worth it even when he doesn’t catch me.

In the words of Anne of Green Gables:

“When I think something nice is going to happen I seem to fly right up on the wings of anticipation; and then the first thing I realize I drop down to earth with a thud. But really, Marilla, the flying part is glorious as long as it lasts. . .it’s like soaring through a sunset. I think it almost pays for the thud.”

But that thud is starting to get exhausting. I have black and blue bruises all over my body from the countless times I’ve allowed myself to trust that this time it would be different. THIS TIME it would be forever.

The loneliness is starting to devour me. I told him I contemplated “friends with benefits” just to fill the aching emptiness inside. I don’t think I would really do it when it came down to it… I deserve the devoted commitment of someone who is crazy about me and will never use me or leave me, who is with me because he truly loves me and not because he’s lonely. And I’d never want to make someone else feel less than worthy of true love. Anyway, the body and heart are intertwined and one can only separate them for so long.

Him= I’ve written about him here before. My standard of excellence. The one no one else has come even close to comparing to. My steady rock of support. He loves me, he makes me feel special, he makes me feel desired, he makes me feel important. He makes me feel heard, understood, cared for.

After this, how can I go back to normal life?

A thousand times I pinched myself. Was it really happening? Yes, everything I’ve envisioned and longed for and prayed for came true, but it was a mere shadow. It was real, but it wasn’t real.

Restlessness consumed my soul for I knew this beautiful feeling was fleeting. My head knew the truth- this desire is a fantasy and these emotions are deceptive, untrustworthy. Meanwhile, the purest, deepest love filled me up completely. I  didn’t want to move or breathe for fear that it will all melt away like waking from a dream. I would take a bullet for this man. I would do anything within my power to make him happy. If he wanted me, I’d fight to keep him here beside me.

They say when you meet the person you’ve always expected to meet, that subconscious part of you recognizes your kindred spirit and you come alive like never before. Words seem inadequate and yet words aren’t even necessary because volumes are spoken in the expressions of the eyes. Time flies and yet time is never enough.

The spicy, intoxicating scent of his skin. The warmth of his embrace. The silent tenderness felt in his touch. Every fiber, every molecule, every atom of my being hummed with a radiant euphoria that slammed against a cacophony of torment making me feverishly sick in the pit of my stomach. Joyful butterflies coexisted with unease. But every moment was worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing if I could go back.

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In case you think I’m a victim let me be clear that it was my choice to let myself fall and I knew what I was getting myself into. I couldn’t help but fall at the same time as being in control when I did. I’m an eternal optimist who never seems to give up hope… and so for many months I clung tightly to the dream that he might change his mind… but I can almost guarentee there will never be a dramatic kiss in the rain or a wildly passionte hand-written love letter. He’s always been forthright and honest. He’s never hid his intentions. The lines have always been clearly drawn. We are platonic and there’s nothing I can do about it.

“Because we are too similar,” he says.

Which is precisely the reason I love him. All my life I’ve yearned for someone like him who sees the world in the unique way I see it. We want the same things. Our personal experiences are very different but we experience the world the same way. We laugh at the same stupid humor and sigh sentimentally at the same beauty, almost as though we grew up as brother and sister with the same inside jokes.  It’s pretty rare to find someone you connect with that deeply.

“I need someone to balance me out, to be strong where I am weak. We have the same weaknesses.”

I get that. I respect it. But I can’t shake off the feeling that he’s my soulmate. I’ve finally come to a place where I am able to acknowledge that the feeling isn’t fabricated because I want it to be true so bad… but it IS true. However, soulmates can be just friends and that’s okay.

soulmate

I don’t have to guess whether or not he loves me because I know he loves me. I wish all men could be like him… honest about how they feel!

I’m tired of guesing whether a man is truly interested in me or if he just loves the excitement of the chase. I’m tired of swiping left on dating apps for days and days… I’m utterly exhausted from the passionate pursuit of charming, handsome men only to be left high and dry a few weeks later because the fire has sizzled out. That level of passion cannot be kept up by most people. Most people just want immediate gratification and they are only interested in serving themselves.

If we are really honest with ourselves, we all know deep down there is more to be had. We all really just want “the whole shebang.” The security of knowing he’ll always be there for you, the joy and comfort that comes with him being intimately aware of all your idiosyncrasies and accepting you completely despite them, maybe even because of them.

Let’s not settle for less than what we deserve: the wild, passionate, devoted love of someone who knows you inside out and will stick by your side come what may. I’m holding out because I KNOW it is possible. I also believe it’s possible for the “honeymoon stage” to never end. It takes work, but it’s possible to fall in love and feel more in love every day than the day before. This is how I feel with this man and I won’t settle for anything less than this feeling.