Thursday, February 23, 2017

Power of Words

As I continue through the book The Broken Way, I wonder if Ann Voskamp has been secretly watching me.  I know that's not the case, but the things she writes, the profound deep truths that grace the pages, feel like they are a lifeline reaching out to me.

There is a loud alarm going off in my head from Chapter 14.  It's almost as if I asked God at some point, "What in the world is wrong with me?" and He has held back nothing that He wanted me to know.  And so I am going to share a series of quotes and end this post with two Scripture references that hit me squarely between the eyes.  I will warn you, assuming I am not the only one that deals with this problem, it might hurt.  But I believe that the greatest gifts we will ever receive are born out of the greatest pain we experience.  And this package is not only huge, but it's beautifully wrapped with an enormous bow and inside is freedom.

p. 181  What if you just want desperately, in spite of everything, for someone to remember how hard you've really tried?  There are days when the sharp edge of self-condemnation cuts you so deep that you can be reaching, grasping, but can't seem to remember to believe that He believes in you.

p. 183  If we all listen long enough to the voices about who we should be, we grow deaf to the beauty of who we are.

p. 184  A cacophony of voices about who you should be or how you are supposed to feel or how you have to do this and that to be good enough, and you still don't measure up ~ it can feel like a dark serpentine shadow suffocating you........And His word makes it clear: at the core of every one of our issues is this attempt to construct our identity on something else besides Christ.

p. 185  Self-lies are the destroyer of the soul because they drown out the sacred voice that can never stop whispering your name: Beloved.

p. 190-91  that serpent, the enemy of your soul, his name means "prosecutor" and that's what he does ~ he tries to make you feel alone and on trial, tries to make your life a trail to get you to prosecute yourself.  He poisons you endlessly with self-lies.  And the first tactic of the enemy of your soul is always to distort your identity.  You can feel the hiss slithering up your neck like this deafening replay in your head: Did God really say you were worth anything?  Look at you ~ you're damaged goods.  You're too broken to be chosen.

Isn't the fear that I am not enough really the lie that God isn't enough?  If every belittling of self is a belittling of God, a kind of blasphemy of God's sufficiency and enoughness, then maybe, maybe we don't really have faith until we have faith that God loves us right now more than we could ever dream of loving ourselves.

Grace embraces you before you prove anything, and after you've done everything wrong.

p. 192  That is what we've always got to do, what you and I and all the broken can never stop doing: shake off that lying snake and break free.  Because that lying snake's head's been long crushed.  No, make that pulverized.  For the love, and for the sake of God, let go of the self-lies.

You are always sufficient because God always gives you His all-sufficient grace.

For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Matthew 12:34

For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.
Matthew 12:37

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