Lies We’ve Believed | An AMH Blog Series
Inspired by the book Lies Young Women Believe
I am strong.
My close friends read that and laughed because the muscle percent in my body is like 5%. My limbs are like sticks. I am referring to my strong personality.
Whenever my friend group would hang out in high school, 9/10 I was the one to plan our get together. I would contact everyone, plan the event, make sure everyone was coming and that they arrived safely at home when it was over. I am not one to shy away from conflict. Although it is hard for me to handle with my friends, I like to resolve uncomfy situations. I am outspoken. I like to ask people to be friends with me. I like to tell people the things I like about them – even if I don’t know their name. I call out insecurities for what they are and try to give people an opt-out so they never feel like they have to do something.
Although this might sound like a good thing, sometimes this trait can be perceived as too strong. When people point this out, I tend to shrink into my turtle shell and shut down, believing the lie that I need to change, that my personality is too much for others to handle.
Personal Defeats and Personality Doubts
I recently had a job interview for a job I was about 95% positive I would get. I had planned on being in this leadership position for over a year. And I was genuinely excited about it. I felt like the interview and the group process went really well. I was confident but still nervous that God’s plans would not agree with what I had in mind.
A few weeks after the interview process, I received the email that I didn’t get the job. I was crushed. I was confused. I was angry. And in the midst of all of this, I tried to trust that God had a reason.
After I returned home at the end of January after studying abroad in Mexico, I inquired about why I didn’t get the job. Long story short, it was because of a conflict-resolution situation I had handled.
This specific situation was a situation that I strongly believed needed to be resolved. One that MANY people prayed about for me and backed me up on. And I truly believed that God was walking with me in it. So how could it be THAT was the reason I didn’t get the job when I believed God was calling me to pursue it?
It’s a whole lot easier to believe that God has control of a situation when I don’t know the earthly causes of that situation. In other words, it was easier for me to say “God has something better for me” than to grapple with the reality that I didn’t get the job because of my verbal delivery of a specific situation.
This plucked the string of that lie that I fight constantly…. the lie that I am “too much”. Satan whispers lies into my ear like “People are annoyed with how much you talk, they think you’re bossy.” “When you go up to new people, you make them uncomfortable” “Your friends don’t really like spending time with you, they just pretend to be your friends so that you won’t feel bad.” “It isn’t your place to take charge, they will get annoyed if you do”. “You are too awkward to function.” (that one is a little funny, I admit).
Since these lies typically only manifest into a nagging voice in the back of my head, they don’t corrupt my life on a severe level. When they do, I question the outcomes of my “too much” personality – I stop being the full person who God made me to be and become less effective to pursue God’s calling on my life.
My Personality and His Purposes
In the book Lies Young Women Believe, Dannah Gresch shares that a whopping 95 percent of girls have listened to the lie, at one point or another, that “I have to perform to be loved and accepted.” It’s not exactly the same as feeling like you’re “too much” but it’s similar in the way that it places my personality or performance above the power of God’s plans and purposes for my life. It makes me think my value comes from something about me or something I do.
But that simply isn’t true! Dannah says, “Your value is not determined by what you do, but by how God views you.” (pg. 77) God made you uniquely and wonderfully. You are free to be yourself when your “self” is rooted in Him.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:13-16).
Although there have been many points in my life where my friends tell me not to do things in public because they are too awkward, or people turn down my in-person friend requests, or people become upset when I take charge, I have to remember that God made me exactly how He made me for specific purposes. That my personality and tendencies are a gift – and I need to treat them as such, using them for His glory, not my own. I should be aware of how I am perceived in situations – it’s part of living and interacting with other people. However, I can’t spend all my time worrying about being too outspoken or not loud enough – because the perception will change with every group of people I am with and every situation I am in. Obsessing over it takes my eyes off God and causes me to doubt. Everyone (including Satan) will have an opinion of who I should be – but when I am living according to God’s word and plan for my life, my eyes are on Him and His ways.
My prayer for you during this blog series, dear readers, is not that you would identify with all of our stories. Although we love relating to you, my prayer for you is that you would be exposed to the lies that Satan is feeding you. We are writing about only one lie that we have believed, but the devil is crafty. There have been plenty. My prayer is that in reading this series you would search your heart – your insecurities, the places of yourself that make you feel most vulnerable, the aspects of your personality that are sensitive – and that you would ask yourself where Satan is seeking to destroy you. Because Satan doesn’t attack you where you feel secure in the Lord. He attacks where he knows how to cut deep. He will make you feel alone – like you’re the only one experiencing what you are experiencing. As you keep up with our series throughout March, I hope you are encouraged that your insecurity might not be as rare as you think it is.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
Jesus wants you to have full life – but you cannot live in freedom with the chains of Satan’s lies tied around your wrists. You must recognize them, rebuke them, and ask God to speak truth over your lies – to remove your chains so that you may use your hands to do good work for Him.