"I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast towards you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you, you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
If church is where God is, why do I feel so alone there? If Christians are called to love everyone, why do I feel unwanted? If they say I'm "smart," why am I failing? If God is my strength, why am I so exhausted - physically, mentally, and spiritually? If God is always speaking to us, why do I feel so empty? If my friends, who text me, saying I'm "funny" and "amazing" and all that, say all these nice things, why don't they ever talk to me in person? Why does no one look as excited to see me as they are when they see other people? Why am I constantly alone, even though I've been in this place for more than a year? My friend, who I've known for years - why does he say goodbye to my younger sister with a big hug and nothing to me, who's standing right next to her, not even a simple "Bye"?
I'm alone. I'm abandoned. No one wants me. No one cares about me. I'm a failure. I'm not good enough.
My head is pounding as these thoughts ram against my heart, one by one. My throat is tight, but I'm not sick. The tears start to fall.
As I'm battling this invisible force, something my new friend told me the other day comes to mind. I envision a baseball, with the words I'd been dragging myself down with written on it. The words failure, alone, unwanted, unloved, not good enough stick out at me and threaten to drive me to tears again. But as I envision this baseball, with all the negative words on it, coming at me at full speed, I grab out my bat - the word of God - and I take a swing. And that ball is off - away from me. Statement after statement, I shoot it down with God's truth.
No, I am never alone. God will never leave me nor forsake me. He is always with me, even when it doesn't feel like it. I am not alone.
I am chased after by God's reckless love. He left the ninety-nine to find me. He will never abandon me, because He is faithful and He loves me. I am not abandoned.
No one wants me.
I am wanted by the Almighty God, who created the universe and everything in it. He predestined me to be a Child of God, and He will always want me and take me in. I am wanted.
No one cares about me.
God cares about me. He cared enough to send His son to die on the cross for little me - that's love. He cares so much that He knows the number of hairs on my head and my every thought, my every move. He's watching over me. I am cared for - by GOD.
I'm a failure.
God says I am more than a conqueror. I am victorious in Christ, and I am not a failure. With His strength, I will do better and work harder. I can do this, because God's got me. I am not a failure.
I'm not good enough.
It doesn't matter if I'm not good enough for the world. I'm not supposed to be accepted by the world, anyway. If the world is accepting me, I'm living my life the wrong way. God loves me as I am and He accepts me no matter what. Christ is enough for me.
Family, I know you've heard this before. The little whisper in your head that beats you down, day and night, and scares you to death. Because, maybe it's true, like that voice says. There is a war going on. There is always a war going on. Satan is constantly attacking you, telling you lies like the ones he told me. You need to be ready, with your baseball bat in hand, ready to hit that ball of lies far, far away. As my friend said, sometimes you'll miss, but it's okay. You tried, and that's what's most important. Some days you'll get to first base, other times you'll hit home runs and even grand slams! And soon, with the power of Jesus Christ, you will be able to hit home runs with one arm. You'll be ready for anything that comes your way.
But you NEED to know who you are in Christ. I know I've stressed this before, and I'm going to stress it even more. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. If you know who you are, nothing will shake you, because you know that your identity, which is in Christ ALONE, will NEVER change. NEVER. Speak life over yourself. Say it out loud, loudly. All the time. Say it like you mean it- and soon you will.
It's also important that you know your Bible well. That's your weapon - the Bible itself says that it is sharper than a double-edged sword. You need to know how to use it and when to use it. Think of it this way: say there's a teenage boy who has never been to war and knows nothing about it. Now say someone gives this boy a gun, which he doesn't know how to use, and plops him in the middle of the battle. Will he survive? Probably not. In the same way, you need to know how to use your weapon in spiritual warfare so that you are not deceived. You need to know what to do before the battle arrives, not find out during.
This week, I encourage you to envision a baseball bat and a ball of lies coming at you. Swing away, and speak the truth over yourself out loud. Rebuke the devil; he WILL flee. Push through. God is your strength. He has you in His hands forever.
"I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart;
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"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all of my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."