“Mommy, sometimes I hear these voices in my head, and I can’t get them out. I just wish they would go away! Please mom, can you make them stop?!”
These are the real words, cried out in tears, from one of my daughters. Not just once, but several times. I’m SO THANKFUL I’ve had the courage to be real with myself and with God about my own voices; the lies on the tape that play in my own head. Because otherwise I would have been lost, with no idea how to help my child.
I pray you can be real about this too. I pray you will have the courage to fight for the freedom God wants you to have from these lies, so that you can teach your precious children how to do the same.
Because I PROMISE you. They are hearing voices in their heads too. Whether they ever tell you that or not. And whether they ever ask you or not, they need you to help them know how to name those filthy lies, give them to Jesus, and let Him wash His truth over them. That’s the secret to freedom.
In my recent blog No Flaw in Me, I shared how “I felt more peer pressure and deeper insecurities as a young wife and mom than I ever did as a teenager. And because this inner struggle caught me so off-guard, I hid it away in secret – out of confusion, shame and pride.”
I did a lot of hiding as a young mom, and not because I wanted to. I longed for someone or something to expose my darkness and speak into it. I had beautiful friends. I was in numerous prayer groups and studies. Sure, we cried about our struggles, but we never dared to talk about the lies, especially the lie of comparison.
So I learned how to keep it locked away – in secret. But I hated that. I so wanted to be free.
And then one day, I heard a talk given by Diana Morin, a Christian marriage and family therapist.
Her talk launched my life in a new direction, setting me on the road to freedom. And it wasn’t even the whole talk – it was only about 2 minutes – where she referred to the lies we buy into as women (and men) about who we are, what gives us value and worth, and what makes us loveable. Then all of a sudden, she moved right on to the next part of her talk.
But I didn’t move on with her – I don’t even know if I heard another thing she said – because when she spoke that word lies, it was as if someone had finally turned on the light in that dark closet deep in my soul that I had kept hidden and locked for far too long.
I felt incredible relief – that someone had finally said the word out loud, and I didn’t have to hide in that darkness anymore. I was able to begin rewriting the tape in my head that my value, my worth, didn’t come from external achievements; I was (am) simply loved because I am. Diana shed light in the dark areas of comparison, doubt, and fear I had carried with me as young wife and mom for so many years.
One of my absolute, all-time favorite scriptures is John 8:32 where Jesus says, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free!” This verse has become a kind of battle cry for me. But I’ve learned that to experience true freedom, I have to arm myself and pay close attention to what Jesus says a few verse later...
In John 8:44, Jesus uses the d-word. He warns us about “the devil”, who is “a liar and the father of lies”. Now I know some of us get a little squirmy talking about the devil. But according to Jesus, the devil is real. He’s a liar and the source of every lie. “There is no truth in him.” (8:44)
Confusion and deception – this is the devil’s gig. His 24/7 MO. Feeding us his filthy lies.
Yep, the devil is real, yet he doesn’t want us to be. He is victorious when we’re enslaved by his lies. Sometimes we don’t even know it; or just don’t have the courage to admit it.
This is where the fight for our freedom begins. Being REAL about what we’re really up against. And doing something about it--this is our battlefield.
As a young mom I had so many lies swirling around in my head and my heart about WHO I was and WHOSE I was; about what made me worthy and loveable. And of course these lies spilled over onto my kids and my husband. I was trapped - until I learned how to live out this verse in John. Knowing the truth, so the truth could set me free.
I discovered that the first step to knowing the truth is facing the lies. I had to have the courage to admit them, at least in my own head. Because they had me all bound up and restless.
The second step was giving the lies over to Jesus. -- “Jesus, I give you the lie that I suck as a mom because I screamed at my kids today.” “I give you the lie that my daughter is flawed because she isn’t interested in dance or gymnastics.” “I give you the lie that my son doesn’t have what it takes because he isn’t as athletic as all the other boys.” “I give you the lie that my husband is a failure because he doesn’t make six figures.” And the list goes on.
The third step was letting Him take those lies and replace each one of them with His truth; washing away the grime of confusion with the healing waters of His truth and love. Not just for me, but my children, and my husband too.
I remember the night my daughter looked up at me with giant tears running down her face. ”But mommy, why do the voices keep coming back? Even though we pray, and I ask God to take them away, they keep coming back!”
More than anything, I wanted to silence those voices forever. But I knew the time had come for me to set her on her own path to freedom. I looked into her tearstained eyes, “Sweet girl, I wish I could tell you that once we pray, those voices will never come back. But they will come back, because the devil is always trying to fill us with his lies. But just like you cried out to me, you can to cry out to God - every time you hear one of those lies. Together we can give that lie right to Jesus and let Him fill you up with His truth and love!”
This is why praying for ourselves, our children, and our husbands intentionally every day is so essential to armoring ourselves (and them) so we can “take our stand against the devil’s schemes”. (Check out Eph. 6:11) Praying God’s Word over them, out loud, also helps them to rewrite their own lies. He is The Way to true freedom. We can live free, and so can our loved ones!
Courageously taking these steps is a daily process - and whether we’re praying with our child, or for our child, or our spouse, or ourselves - it’s what we have to do to engage in the battle. To fight for freedom. And the crazy amazing thing is - God is already fighting for us. And He has won. Yet still He waits - for us to let Him set us free.
Let’s do this, moms. Let’s not wait any longer. The victory is ours for the taking! Let’s reach out to Him and step into that freedom!