The truth is this: I believed the lie. Not the lie that I told, but rather, by telling the lie, I was protecting myself. It was a good lie, as far as lies go. Obviously this is an oxymoron, but it was easy to believe; it did prevent this “new student” from drawing more unwanted attention towards me.
After I wrote The Girl Who Wouldn’t Speak I began to recall some details that I’d inadvertently left out; details that I felt were even quite important to the story. When I went back and corrected my omission, this was the portion that I added:
“Trouble has a way of following you though, (Yep!) and it did in this new transition. I soon found out that my Kindergarten teacher was teaching at this new school. This worried my parents some. I too found it unsettling to see him once again. However, being that I was years older now, he didn’t seem to recognize or acknowledge me and I was far too determined not to let his presence bother me.
Not long after I settled into my new school, a new student appeared in class. Shockingly, she was a student from my former school who’d even attended class with me (What are the odds, right? I don’t know, but I wasn’t enjoying these surprises!) Of course, fear rose up in me again when I realized that she might share that I’d never spoken a word in class. I was right. When she did hear me speaking she drew attention to this. Wanting to protect myself, I insisted that I just hadn’t been able to speak due to laryngitis. Though she was skeptical of my explanation, it was my word over hers. She did drop the subject.”
Yes, I lied. Could you blame me? (Probably not.) I was still quite young, and here I was finally breaking free from this vicious cycle that had plagued me. Even when I wrote my account of these events, I almost believed the lie that went through my head: “Good for you, you stood up for yourself.” Really, I hadn’t stood up for myself in the slightest.
Maybe it felt as if I had, and maybe I believed that in some way I was fighting back, but in covering up the truth, I was instead believing the lie that I had something to hide. That lie though–that innocent little lie (I’m using innocent facetiously here, of course.) turned into more lies: I didn’t measure up; there was something wrong with me; I was just awkward; I wasn’t worth knowing; I just didn’t fit in; I wasn’t attractive enough or bright enough, and the list went on.
That lie kept me from seeing any potential in myself; it kept me isolated, lonely, and insecure in who I was. In fact, any identity that I had, I’d lost entirely. That lie would keep me hyper focused on myself and unable to move beyond my comfort zone. Because I wasn’t able to face things head on and truly stand up for myself, I was also unable to face down my fear. Fear would become my master and I would continue to believe those lies until I started to follow Jesus, Who began the work of systematically debunking every lie.
Lies are insidious; they bore deeper and deeper, and they spread like wildfire. I suppose this is why there will be no liars in the Kingdom of Heaven (I’m looking forward to this.) This is also why Satan and the angels who followed him were thrown out of heaven. It was pride that caused Satan to get the good ole boot in the backside; it was the lie that he could and should, be God. (Isaiah 12:14-15) Not only does he lie, but also he believes his own lies. He is the father of all lies. (John 8:44)
Whether Jesus is your King or not, we’ve all known that devil. Even those who believe in Jesus have done battle with Satan and have been tripped up by his scheming ways. Though you may not realize it or acknowledge his evil hands in your life, his fiery piercing darts are very evident in this world. In fact, Scripture refers to Satan as the god of this world.
“Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” –2 Corinthians 4:4
While we’re believing his lies, Satan is our master because as we act upon these lies we become slaves to sin–sin being, the things that are contrary to God’s will for us. Lying itself is a hated sin. (Proverbs 6:16-19) Infact, the very first sin here on Earth was sparked by a lie that was told to Eve.
Speaking of Sparks…
In the Book of James, the tongue is compared to the rudder of a boat. Much like a rudder which a pilot uses to steer the boat where he wants the vessel to go, the tongue too has the power to lead us one way or another. Though only a small part of the body, it makes great boasts, but a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. (James 3:4-5) This means that it only takes a small lie or wicked speech to start a blaze.
I’ve seen this verse isolated in this way: “A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.” It was then used out of context to mean the complete opposite. While it may be true that the tongue has the power to build up or tear down (Proverbs 18:21), in context, this verse is referring to how wicked the tongue truly is; it has the power to incite some incredible mass distraction. Lies follow lies.
“And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell.” —James 3:5-6
Think about this: a forest fire isn’t typically regarded as a good thing; it’s a distressing ordeal for everyone involved, namely those whose homes are being threatened or destroyed. It’s also a distressing and tiring task for all of the firefighters who are hard at work trying to keep the fire at bay. It only takes one lie to set a person’s life on fire like this, and many workers to attempt to put out those flames.
However, a truthful witness can start a fire of a very different kind. When I accepted Jesus, and began to follow Him, the truth that I continue to cling to is what set me free. (John 8:31-32) Instead of living a life that’s an uncontrolled blaze, my heart and soul have been set on fire for God instead. This is a controlled and focused fire, much like the controlled burn which firefighters use to burn away dry vegetation that could potentially act as fuel to feed a future wildfire. [source:howstuffworks] A controlled burn can even aid the environment by stimulating the surrounding flora. In fact, Sequoia seeds, for example, remain dormant until fire breaks down the seeds’ outer coating [source: Science Daily] This is the kind of fire we want in our lives: a life that is devoted to God, protective and preventative, having the potential to benefit and stimulate growth in the people around us.
As long as I remain in Jesus, He remains in me, but if I should prefer my own way over His, taking a wrong turn, Satan’s lies would take that foothold once again. This does happen to followers of Christ. We can be tempted and pulled off course. However, Scripture tells us that if we know Him we will obey Him. We will strive to do what He commands, being not only hearers of the word but also doers. (James 1:22)
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands. Whoever says, “I know Him,” but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did. –1 John 2:1-6
If you have loved ones who’ve been pulled off course, know that our Lord never gives up. He will send His messengers and He will keep whispering His love. If you are one of the missing and you are having difficulty finding your way back, know that you aren’t alone. He’s searching for you and He will come to your aid. Never be afraid to cry out to Jesus; He is always willing to forgive those who need that forgiveness. However, repentance does require action. The following link is a very good read on this topic. If you’re a Simpsons fan you’ll appreciate the illustration used. (Even if you aren’t a Simpsons fan it’s still a great illustration.)
Don’t forget what our God has promised those who believe: He will never leave us nor abandon us. (Deuteronomy 31:6) His love surrounds us on every side and His hand is on us. (Psalm 139:5) Nothing can separate us from His love. (Romans 8:31-39) He reaches into the fire and pulls us out of the flames. (Zechariah 3:2) Take comfort then, that God never lies. What He promises He will do.
God is not a human being, and He will not lie. He is not a human, and He does not change His mind. What He says He will do, He does. What He promises, He makes come true. –Numbers 23:19
“Standing in your ruins feels a lot like the end
So used to losing, you’re afraid to try again
Right now all you see are ashes
Where there was a flame
The truth is that you’re not forgotten
‘Cause Grace knows your name” –Tauren Wells/God’s Not Done With You
“Lord, restore the joy I had
I have wandered, bring me back
In this darkness, lead me through
Until all I see is You
God, I’m running for Your heart
I’m running for Your heart
Till I am a soul on fire
Lord, I’m longing for Your ways
I’m waiting for the day
When I am a soul on fire
Till I am a soul on fire” –Third Day/Soul on Fire
If you haven’t read “The Girl Who Wouldn’t Speak,” but you’d like to, it can be found here: