“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”Proverbs 18:21 (KJV)
Surrounded in darkness and complete silence save for the steady whirring of a floor fan, my eyes are squeezed shut as my hands grip the edge of the soft, thin sheet. All I wanted was peace and jubilant dreams to surface as I sleep, but instead, once again, I lie here drowning in dread, despair, despondency. My heart pounds erratically as the mental assault continues, degrading and demeaning words coming to the forefront of my mind. ‘You’re ugly; why do you think no guys are showing interest in you?’ ‘You’re invisible to others.’ ‘No one cares about you.’ ‘You don’t have a purpose.’ ‘You’re not even motivated to do anything.’ ‘You’re a failure.’ ‘Not even God wants anything to do with you.’
And that’s it. The dam is broken to release a flow of tears. In the queen-sized bed, I feel as if a hand is squeezing around my heart as those words remain, eroding at my self-esteem, my heart, my soul. It’s one thing for people to walk away; it’s a fact of life that everyone isn’t going to be your friend or want what’s best for you or even like you, but the notion that even God doesn’t want anything to do with me is too painful to bear because that would mean I’m truly alone. As if the words aren’t enough, my mind reaches into my memory to support the malicious claims. The numerous “friends” that have walked away. The rejections from schools for a career I thought I should seek. The many moments when guys either stood me up or ghosted me for reasons unknown. The various times I’ve left church—a safe-haven—feeling worse than I did when I walked in. What is wrong with me that I’ve ended up here? I know of God but feel so far from Him and keep falling prey to the lies of the enemy.
The covers shift as I turn onto my other side, grateful that my breaths were starting to even out and the tears subsiding. I’m just so tired of crying, hating myself, thinking I don’t deserve better because of what I consider past mistakes. “God has favor on you,” a voice reminds me from a tucked away memory. The random statement in the middle of a leisure activity takes me by surprise, but the decree has never left me. Then I must recount the times God has spared my life when in car accidents and in places I shouldn’t have been. “God will reward you for your faithfulness” comes to mind as I remember those who’ve said this to me. Then I think of those moments. “Enjoy it because you deserve it,” assures me seconds later and bringing with it my first official date where the guy liked me and I liked him. A smile turns up the corners of my lips as I recall each moment: the ease of conversation, the laughter, the food, how good he looked, and even that departing hug.
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Matthew 7:7
Suddenly, I’m climbing out of the bed with the truth of God’s Word resonating in my head. I then kneel beside the bed and clasp my hands together while closing my eyes.
“Lord,” I begin in prayer. “I need You to take these negative thoughts from me. I speak peace that surpasses all understanding, joy, hope…Create in me a clean heart and renew the right spirit within me. I know that You are with me. Please, keep my mind and heart focused on You. Thank You for Your love, grace, and mercy. My future will be better than my right now and my past, in your son Jesus Christ’s holy name. Amen.”
Instantly, peace renders and hope envelopes my heart and mind. Everything will be fine; God’s already exacting a change in me and I look forward to seeing what He has in store for me.
The fictional scene, although sprinkled with some real-life experience, shows that sometimes we have to rebuke ourselves. It’s imperative not to allow your past failures and mistakes, your current worries and doubts, or potential issues keep you from reaching the place God’s called you to be. Admittedly, I have done that, allowed what I perceived as flaws and mistakes keep me from pushing forward in life. And sometimes the attacks of the enemy may not come from others but can start in the mind. If the devil can keep you distracted from what God’s called you to do, then he’s accomplishing his goal of stealing, killing, and destroying, but you have the power to withstand the enemy—to foil his tactics. God equips us with what we need to fulfill what we’re meant to do, and part of that arsenal includes God’s Word and faith. Believing the lies of the enemy could cause you not to move forward in your goals, but speaking God’s word into your life and other affirmations can make a difference.
I am so thankful God has been showing me myself throughout this year. He’s reminded me of how He sees me and how I should see myself. As long as I didn’t believe in things happening for me, it didn’t, but when my thinking changed and my faith built up, things changed. I cannot deny that God has kept me and blessed me throughout the years, and I’m not even going to front like I understand why certain stuff has happened the way they have with certain areas of my life. I’m in the midst of it, certain I won’t know until later down the road. What I do know now, though, is that God loves me. He’s still a provider, healer, way-maker, mind regulator, all-knowing, and all-powerful. He has a plan, and I’m just so grateful that He didn’t give up on me, that He loves me, that He sees the best in me when at times I’ve only seen the worst. I’ve learned that life and death really are in the power of our tongue and that we should be mindful of the words we decree, think, and believe.
The following poem sums up this idea of how powerful our words can be, and I hope that someone else is encouraged by this. You can defeat the snares of negativity or whatever else it may be that’s trying to hold you back. No matter what the struggle is, God can change it. In case you need the reminder: you are not alone, you are here for a reason, do not give up.