What lies are you letting in?
And more importantly, what truths can you turn to when those lies get the best of you?
God, is this true?
Starting in a graduate program comes with a lot of newness. Some of which I was mentally prepared for, some not—mostly not. Starting out, it was clear to me that this next step would be unlike any I had taken before, which ultimately meant that he Lord was going to take me some places I’d never been to before.
In graduate school, I am constantly surrounded by successful professors, ambitious, A-plus seeking students and people who generally look like they just have it all figured out.
What am I doing here?
I suddenly found myself asking this question multiple times a day. Everyone else just seems like they’ve got it together—maybe I don’t really belong here.
Doubt has a way of finagling its way into my life at the most inopportune times. It seems to creep up on me when I am at my weakest—when my guard is down, and I am unprotected.
A few weeks ago, a wave of doubt came crashing over me, without warning or welcome. It sneaked into my days like a serpent, hissing lies in my ear. Without letting up, the lies grew louder each day, until they became almost deafening.
For the next few weeks, I went through my days weighed down by these lies that replayed over and over in my mind. Moments of respite would come—a friend making me laugh, a teacher’s kind words of encouragement—but like a ghost, it would reappear. The cycle continued, stealing my joy—leaving me questioning my worth and God’s faithfulness. It saddens me to remember just how ready I was to believe the lies I let float through my head and pierce my heart.
But what if instead, I decided that I believed that these lies were not ultimate truth?
What if I decided to combat these harsh, unforgiving accusations of who the enemy said I was, with what my loving, gracious Heavenly Father knew was true about me?
It was on a humid day in early-October when I decided that enough was enough. I was tired of the lies, the shame and doubt. What I needed, was to hear from the Lord, the only one I trusted enough to tell me the truth—the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Grabbing my Bible, I took out some pens and notecards from my desk drawer and got down on my knees. On the notecards, I wrote out every single lie that I believed about myself in the past few weeks. Writing them out was hard, gut-wrenchingly, achingly hard. But I knew this was what I needed to do.
After finishing the last card, with tear-stained cheeks and a heavy heart, I began to cry out to Him. I showed Him the lies. I ashamedly brought them to the Light.
Through inaudible sobs, I asked Him, “God, are these things true?”
I waited a beat, fearing the answer. Then, after a moment of hesitation, I asked him to reveal His truth—all of it. I just wanted to hear Him. No, I needed to hear Him.
At first, I didn’t know how it would happen, hearing the Lord. And for a split second, I worried that I wouldn’t hear Him at all.
Maybe it was too late.
Maybe I let the lies run so rampant that even if I heard the truth, I wouldn’t believe it. As I prayed on, I asked for the Lord to come and to be with me in that place. I felt like giving up—fearing that maybe the now exposed lies set before me were true after all.
Then suddenly, a still, small voice crept through the noise of doubt—
“My beloved—you have been believing the lies that the enemy has been feeding you. Now, let me share truth with you through my Word.”
“I can’t do this program—graduate school must not be for me.”
I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
“I am incapable of being loved.”
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
“I’m not disciplined enough and I’ll never be able to concentrate on my assignments.”
The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.
“I cannot write.”
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.
Psalm 90: 17
“I am not creative.”
He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.
“It is not by strength that one prevails;
1 Samuel 2:9
“I can’t do anything right.”
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
The Lord confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
Psalm 25: 8-9, 14
“I have too many issues.”
Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
“I am altogether too much and not enough.”
Let their lying lips be silenced,
for with pride and contempt
they speak arrogantly against the righteous.
Dearly beloved brethren, the lies that we let the enemy lord over us, if not swiftly combated, can quietly lead to our destruction if we fail to refute them.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5
I believe when we make the Lord our source of truth, it is only then that true freedom is found. It’s so easy to let our mistakes and failures, low self-esteem and past sins define who we are and tell us what is true about us. But God doesn’t work like that.
He’s promised that, as far as the east is from the west, is how far our sins have been removed from us (Psalm 103:12) once we’ve asked for His forgiveness. He also so loved us enough to take our place, and die on our behalf on the cross. It is in this place of redemption and love, of forgiveness and grace, where truth is found.
Rest in it.
And let Him be the only source you run to for the truth.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God[a];
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.