By Susan Stedman
Who are you?
Just think of five words or phrases that you would use to describe yourself. I don’t mean like on a job application or to someone you want to impress. I mean, think of five ways that you use to internally label yourself.
I will go first. I am lazy, fat, worthless, a noose around a neck, terrified.
Those are ways that my mother described me while I was growing up. They are the things that I held onto for the past fifty-eight years to describe myself. They are the ideals to which I subscribed because I thought since my mother said they were true, I had to live my life to make them true because she couldn’t possibly be wrong, or be lying.
Throughout my life, I had glimpses of times when I thought maybe she was mistaken. I kept my life neat and tidy and raised a daughter, often on my own because my husband traveled for work during most of our marriage. Instead of being a noose around her neck, she called me daily sometimes to help her take care of her life, to give her money to eat on, to take her places. Evidently, I had some worth to her. Had she been wrong?
There came a time when I couldn’t deal with her anymore because she had not changed. I stood up and walked away, on my own two feet, head held high. I stopped letting her pull me down so that she no longer had access to me. My eyes were opened to her words. I thought I had finally shaken off those grave clothes.
I was wrong, but not so much in the way you might think. She still found fault with everything, but she couldn’t make it stick when she threw those acid balls anymore. However, there was someone else working against me in a way that I had never considered. I can see now how I would have been blinded because that is what our main enemy does. He blinds us, he uses smoke screens to make us think one thing is another so we will go after what we think is hurting us and never even see the little man behind the curtain.
Recently, my counselor asked me why I still held onto ugly labels that my mother had given me as a child. I was telling her about the previous weekend I had endured that was full of terror and anguish because of my own negative thoughts. Though I believed I had conquered that, during a time of extreme stressors, I found myself lying awake at night with a voice in my head yelling at me that I couldn’t make it, that we were about to lose everything, that this chest pain was a heart attack and since I didn’t have medical insurance, I couldn’t see a doctor and would surely die. It was like a swarm of bees swirling inside my brain at all the ugly hate that was assailing me.
The counselor asked me whose voice that was. At first, I assumed it was me, basing my fears on all that my mother had programmed into to believe that all that was wrong with my life was certainly my fault because I was so horrible. After I claimed it was me, then she asked where it came from. There was only one other person who had ever spoken to me that way, so I said, “My mother”. I was completely blindsided when she said, “No, who else?”
After a few minutes of thought, it was as if a blazing light bulb on a neon sign flashed before me that said, “Satan?” She smiled to let me know that now I was correct. It was such a realization and it made so much sense that I was appalled at myself for having never seen this answer. God had even hinted at it because for months, I kept seeing people in the news who were acting against sanity and good sense and I could only attribute that to being blinded by our enemy.
All that afternoon and night and even to the next day, I looked at this answer from every angle and saw how very true this revelation was. There is an enemy who engages in this kind of spiritual warfare, and the most horribly effective tactic he uses is to blind us to the truth. It freed up a huge part of me that still blamed and held unforgiveness against my mother. I could now put the blame on the true enemy.
Ephesians 6:12 NIV, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Satan is called “The Father of Lies”. There are many scriptures that describe how he and his demons exist to steal, kill, and destroy.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” This is a promise, not a suggestion, not a sweet platitude. God promised us that the NEW HAS COME. It is solely up to us to accept, believe, and latch on to this like a bulldog. Satan works against this in any way that he can. In fact, if every new Christian – even every old Christian who was still mired in their past – would grasp this, Satan would be put out of business.
(To be continued in part 2)
About Rays of Light:
Whereas most blogs are from one writer, these posts are from a variety of authors and styles. These scribes all attend our Kingdom Writers group. We pray our passion to share God's love through writing will encourage you today!
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