The words arrived in the quietest way. Tiptoeing in from the dark recesses of my mind. “Nobody loves you. You’ll never have a love like that.” They weren’t loud. It was just a whisper. Words, a dagger to my soul.
I’d just finished watching a movie where love had triumphed. A deep sigh of longing had wrung itself from my lungs. And the whispered words found their target – my heart. Vulnerable. Wishing. Unsteady.
I almost gave in and swallowed those words as truth. They seemed believable.
But then I was struck again by truth. These words were not truth.
They were the clever ruse of the one who has sought to always destroy my soul. They were his weapon of choice to go after the part of me that will always be somewhat tender. He’s gone after me in this area of my life for all of my life. His words, weapons that have torn my soul to shreds. He’s craftily used others to fuel the lie as their words have hit the tender spot, lancing open the wound again and again. I’ve swallowed the words whole so often. Believing that comments on repeat about my looks and my marital status were a self-fulfilling prophecy that had no choice but to continue. The evil one always hits the spot that is tender. His aim is accurate and sure. And when the words sound like truth, feel like the truth you’re living, and are on repeat, they are easily believed – hook, line and sinker.
But on this particular night, as the lies were getting ready for round two and three and four, I caught them before they could be swallowed in belief. Instead of surrendering to the lie, I spoke truth out loud, Sword of the Spirit in hand, Belt of Truth on my waist, Shield of Faith firmly grasped, Helmet of Salvation covering my head. (Ephesians 6:10-20)
I am single. I do not have a husband. But I am not alone. The truth of God’s Word states that “[Jesus is] with you always to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) No matter where the journey of life takes me, I am with my God and He is with me. Therefore, I cannot be alone. It may appear that I am alone. But I am not. I am surrounded by His presence – before me, behind me, above me, below me.
I am loved. The insidious voice of the enemy says that I am not loved. That is a lie. Even as that lie whispered its evil intent, I started to make a list of those who loved me. Parents, siblings, nephews, a niece, cousins, friends, colleagues. I used their names. I needed the concrete evidence that love exists in my world.
At the beginning of the list, is my God who loves me. He loved me before I loved Him. He is the one who has been pursuing, leading and guiding my life even before I knew it. His love is deeper and wider than I will understand. It drove Him to send His Son to the cross. He, the God of heaven, yearned for a relationship with me so much that His Son bore my sins in His body, paying my penalty that I could be right with Him. (I John 4:7-21) Love does not get deeper, bigger and more profound than that.
The hidden message in both lies was a question of my worth, my value. If no one loves you, if you’ll never have that kind of a significant relationship – where and what is the value in your life. Worth and mattering, that one always gets me. But, the truth of God’s Word reminds me I am known to my Father in Heaven. He knows when I sit and when I rise. He knows the words that come out of my mouth. He knows when I lie down to sleep. He knows that no matter where I go in this world, I cannot escape His presence. He is the one who knit me together and made me exactly the way I am. His hand has been on my whole life – it’s impossible to miss. He knows exactly how many days I have been given and He has a plan and purpose for them. Nothing, not one circumstance of my life, has been a surprise to Him. He is using every bit of it for His purpose and His glory. (Psalm 139, Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28-39) My worth is not attached to people. My worth and being is found in the One who made me and has called me for His purpose. (Philippians 1:6)
The whispered words were marched firmly to the door and were forbidden to enter. The voice of the Shepherd was clear. I am His. He is mine. I am chosen. I belong. I am loved. My worth is found in Him. His Voice, steady and sure, is the one I am attuning my ears to. He knows my name. He knows the path. His words are life – a life more abundant than I can understand or imagine. (John 10:1-18)