Those lies … they came knocking again just last week. Knocking at the tired door of my heart. Pounding with insistent fists against my weary brain. Whispering to the exhausted, frayed edges of my emotions. And it seemed like for sure they were going to win again.
How familiar those tired lies were. I’d heard them before. They’d tried to beat me down before – tried to convince me time and again that I’m not worth anything and that the darkness in me is too strong and that I’ll never win. Those lies are awfully strong.
And they always come when I’m the most tired. Because that’s when my defenses are the weakest and I’m most ready to believe the weary lies.
I was so tired of them. And yet I couldn’t seem to make them go away. One day they weren’t there and I was happy, content with all I was doing. And the next day it seemed that’s all I could think about.
The cynical lies that tell me the only ending I’ll ever have to my story is: “And they parted ways to go happily live their own separate lives. And they never saw each other again. The end.”
The choking lies that I’m the worst sinner and that the only thing I’m capable of is falling for the wrong people – the married ones, the too-young ones, the always-and-forever-just-friends ones.
The painful lies that someone was giving me attention and that I should savor that sweetness … which would only lead me to pride and idolatry.
The hateful lies that I should never be completely happy for someone else because they have what I can’t have, and that they don’t deserve it because it came about way too easily for them.
The pitiful lies that I’m not worth anything to anyone unless I can get someone to fall in love with me and marry me.
All of these lies I know for a fact aren’t true – when I’m well rested and can fully believe what I’ve trusted my whole life. But last week it just seemed like every time I woke up in the morning, I was facing a battle far too strong for my emotionally exhausted heart to win.
Maybe you’ve been there too. Maybe you are there right now. And maybe you’re crying out for an answer – a way to prevail, a way to fight back, a way to overcome and pull yourself out of the deep pit you never wanted to be in. But when you’re running on empty, it seems nearly impossible to know what to do, much less have the strength to fight back.
God is so gracious in our struggles. Though we might feel alone, He never leaves us on our own – and true to His character, last week, He reminded me of the only way out of those tired lies – His truth poured into my gasping soul. His oxygen of solid truth provided the stability my wavering heart needed. It pulled me back from the brink of self-despair and reminded me of the only thing I truly need, which is my Savior.
After having skipped my evening Bible chapter before bed for a few days (which, of course, only added to the strength of those lies), I took up Proverbs one night, and literally could not stop drinking in the words on the pages. Chapter after chapter went by, and my soul felt itself being revived by the truth contained within.
“‘Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. […] The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.’” (Proverbs 4:4-5, 7-9)
“My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.” (Proverbs 4:20-22)
As I read this truth, I felt strengthened by something outside of me – something solid, that didn’t change with my varying emotions, that didn’t lose its value because I was tired, and that held healing in its promises. I needed the reminder to pursue wisdom – the unchanging depth of God’s character – which would protect me from the falseness of the tired lies.
And the more I meditated on God’s Word, the stronger His wisdom became in me – and it wasn’t my feeble efforts winning the war against lies – it was the powerful truth of God Himself slaying the enemy and his tactics.
Isn’t this what I’ve known since I was a child, though? Why is it that I can know something in my head, yet sometimes it takes so long to know it experientially in my soul?
All I can say is that I’m grateful that God doesn’t give up on me, despite my tendency to run back to the tired lies.
And on Christmas Eve, when I curled up next to a lit Christmas tree shining in a dark living room, I realized that the most precious gifts that I have received this year were ones no one else could see.
The gift of peace. The gift of comfort. The gift of strength. The gift of hope. The gift of Himself.
And He revealed this to me so many times when my desperate heart cried out for more – cried out that I couldn’t keep going on my own – cried out that I was breaking apart and I needed someone to hold me and love all those broken pieces back together.
And He did.
In such tender ways – in such patient, genuine ways that were ever so much stronger than a human’s love. In His kindness, He taught me that what my longing heart needed most was Himself.
That star atop the tree reminded me that the star always points my wandering heart back to Him, where He keeps me safe in His flock. And I am most content and happy when I’m walking with my Savior.
He is the only One who can forever and always banish the tired lies, cup my face in His hands, and remind me that I am so loved by Him. He is my greatest gift.