At the heart of every emotional struggle is a lie, believed once and then engrained in our minds. These lies are sometimes featured prominently in our lives, shaping our identities and interactions. Often, they are far more sinister, hidden beneath layers of social norms and misguided ideas. We’ve all bought into such lies at some point in our lives. The battle we face is identifying what they are and how to eradicate them from our minds and hearts.
Let me give you an example. A girl is teased about her weight and then begins to believe that no one will love her unless she is thin enough. So she develops an eating disorder, and she struggles to have healthy relationships with young men. Her self-confidence and self-worth become dependent on her appearance and acceptance from others, especially men. She has bought into the lies that her outward appearance determines her worth and whether or not she is beautiful.
Unfortunately, this tale is all too common. The lies may vary, but we all have our vulnerabilities, and Satan specializes in exploiting them. Maybe your parents divorced and you struggle to understand the foundations and boundaries of a healthy family. Maybe you suffered tragedies that left you with scars that made you believe you weren’t important to God – or worse, that He abandoned you. Maybe you’re a new mother, overwhelmed by your new responsibilities and struggling with the thought that you’re a failure as a mother. There are lies of rejection, identity, abandonment, fear, etc.
Some lies run deeper than others and carry heavy burdens of sorrow and hurt. Identifying them is almost always a painful process full of conviction and humility, and often a few tears. But, dear one, it is always, always worth it. Once you identify the lie, you begin to remove it’s power over you.
One way to do this is to keep a journal. When I was struggling with depression, I decided to put my counseling degree to work. I sought help from a Christian counselor, but I also asked myself some tough questions. If the roles reversed – I was the counselor and she was the client – what would I be telling her to do? I thought back to the times in high school and college when I used to find peace in pouring my heart out through my journal. So, I decided to journal again, only with a twist this time.
I searched for and bought a notebook that made me smile just to look at it. I determined that I would dedicate one page to writing out the lie that I believed, why I believed it, when it started, etc. Then, on the opposite (facing) page, I would write out the truth as God saw it. I would search the Bible for scriptures that revealed God’s stance, and I would include any quotes from trustworthy Christian resources that spoke to my heart as well.
One page for the lie; one page for the truth.
Over time, I realized that I had to revisit some lies over and over. When I did so, I would write down the triggers, events, people, etc. that caused the lie to resurface. Then I would read over and add to the truth page. I learned to leave more space for the truth as God always floods my heart and mind with truths to counter the lies! Sometimes all it took was just re-reading the truth page. The more I did this, the more I realized that I could identify the lie early on and immediately call to mind the truth.
This practice completely changed my mindset. You can read more about the initial stages of my personal journey using this type of journal format by clicking here.
I’d be lying if I said I have it down perfectly and no longer believe any lies. That’s not how it works friends. Just because we put on the armor of God and win a few battles, it doesn’t mean the war is over. Satan is cunning and constantly on the prowl. There will always be lies. The good news is that there are always scriptures that can speak joy and peace into your heart as you let go of the lies and embrace God’s truth.
To help you on your journey, I’ve created some printable “Lie v. Truth Journaling Pages” – for FREE! If you’d like to explore this idea, I encourage you to start with these pages. I don’t do this for personal gain; rather, I hope that you can use them as a launch point and then you can tweak the concept to suit you if needed. Please feel free to contact me with feedback or questions. I’d especially love to hear from you if the pages help you in any way!
I hope that this has helped you to better understand your own battles and perhaps see them in a new light. God wants you to know that you are beloved, cherished, valued, and that He created you just so He could lavish His love on you! C.S. Lewis said,
“God, who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that He may love and perfect them.”
I think that about says it all. Don’t you? Go in peace and rest in the truth that you are beloved.