I stared at him.
Trying to process the words as I searched his face for something to tell me there was no truth to this.
What I found was nothing.
I withdrew every part of my body that was touching his and my demeanor went ice cold.
“What?” I asked pointedly. “I don’t give you butterflies. What does that even mean?”
“No, I’ve never gotten butterflies when I have seen you.” he set his mouth in a grim line.
And you know what? I should have walked out right then. Because what came next was a flood of hurtful things. I heard them. But I didn’t absorb them because I was too busy reeling from this shocking revelation.
The struggle to believe that I am beautiful is one of my deepest battles. It was something I shared with him from the beginning — that I was afraid someone would be with me because they liked my personality and thought I was fun and I helped them love Jesus but they wouldn’t necessarily be attracted to me.
Because I’ve been told, boys like that aren’t attracted to girls like you.
So it’s lingered. This wondering of will the man I’m attracted to ever be attracted to me. 9/10 times they weren’t. And I learned to deal. But he was different. He told me I was beautiful and I believed him.
I never once questioned his attraction to me the whole time we were dating. He made me feel safe and loved. Until he uttered those 5 words that night.
And everything felt like a lie. And all of the lies I fought my entire life suddenly became truth.
We had a follow-up conversation and I asked the questions I needed to know and he admitted to the truth he wouldn’t say that night. He meant to hurt me. Regardless of the apologies and the convincing me otherwise, the damage was done.
That one sentence, those 5 seemingly harmless words independent of each other, struck deep into the most sacred vulnerable places of my heart and ripped a wound wide open. I bled for awhile. I doubted. I re-considered. I freaked out. I feared.
I thought about the absolute power our words have. The power to bring life. The power to bring death. We are cautioned all through Scripture of this power and yet we misuse it so often. We take the words that we think are speaking truth or being honest with someone or sharing authentically and throw a little bit of Jesus in there and convince ourselves our words just brought life.
But in reality they brought death.
They were self-serving words. Phrases and statements and sentiments used to hide our insecurities and wounds. We mask them up in something pretty but in the end they are a time bomb waiting to go off.
And the more we know of someone, the more we know their story, the more we invite them in, the more catastrophic these words can be. Because we KNOW where to aim our guns. Exactly where our target is. We know what will cause them the most pain. So we go straight for it.
But my sweet brothers and sisters.
The gift of LIFE we’ve been given. The gift of Love. Can you imagine if we stopped living afraid? Can you imagine if we took the hurts and insecurities and put them at the foot of the cross. If we told Papa “YOU belong on the throne” not the lies or the words or the things I believe. Because if I live out of THOSE things, I put them on the throne. I worship them.
But loved ones. The power we have. The power to bless and heal and whisper His tenderness. The soothing balm of His truth. We also have that power.
I am so sad for a world, myself included, that decides to live captive to the lies that have the smallest bit of truth. The ones who sounds just enough like truth that we embrace it and live out of this new identity.
Here’s what I know to be true:
You are NOT unwanted like those girls said you were while you were standing in the lunch line. You are NOT the cuts from the basketball team. You are NOT the villain in her story. You are NOT the slut they whispered about. You are NOT the things he said to you when he was afraid. You are NOT beyond repair. You are NOT something to be thrown away. You are NOT too much. You are NOT your mistakes. You are NOT the sum of the wrongs committed. You are NOT worth less.
Papa decides who we are. Papa gives us a new name. Papa gives us a new heart. Papa has won the battle for us. He sent His Son to set us free. We are no longer known by our slave name but as free people. We are not who we’ve been told we are by this broken messy world.
You are Chosen. You are Loved. You are Known. You are Beautiful. You are Strong. You are Lovely. You are Enough. You are Valuable. You are Blessed. You are Remembered. You are Heard. You are Seen. You are New. You are Precious. You are His.
He has given you a new name. Live out of that today. Speak out of that today. Love out of that today.