The messages that we internalize as our reality have a profound effect on the way we live our lives. If you have a miserable narrative, you often experience a miserable life. If you have an epic, amazing narrative, you probably experience an epic, amazing life.
I am going to hit on some lies I believed growing up.
- Perfection is something you must strive for.
- Father God only loves me because Jesus bribed Him with His death.
- When guys lust after me or act inappropriately around me, it’s my fault.
- God doesn’t trust women; He won’t let them lead in church except with their husbands or as a children’s pastor.
- My sexuality is bad, and I would be better off without it.
- “Left Behind” portrays an accurate representation of what God is like and what our future looks like.
- If I don’t confess all my sins to God—even though I prayed “the prayer”—I will go to hell. #peformperformperform
- God only does miracles when you are doing stuff for Him, like mission trips.
- When you mess up, God is disappointed in you. #performperformperform
- I’m a sinner.
So, add all that up . . . and crap self-esteem. Very performance-based. Up and down. Up and down. A bit misogynistic. A bit doomsday. Umm . . . anxiety, much? Talk about running day and night on a hamster-wheel of religion. I was in a relationship with a divinity with multiple personalities and narcissistic tendencies. (Jesus loves me; Father hates me, but blood appeases Him?!? Also, it’s all about Him and serving Him and doing stuff and jumping through hoops for Him so I won’t be eternally tortured. That sounds like a nice, healthy foundation for a relationship!)
I was miserable, but I was told this was it . . . so like it.
I knew I was created for love. I knew I was created for worship . . . but dang. Not like this.
Since then, I have learned some different messages. It makes for a better life story.
- God really thought I was a great idea and made me perfectly; I am freakin’ awesome!
- Women are amazing, display a beautiful part of the heart of God . . . and are born to co-lead!
- People acting dumb has do with whatever’s going on with them; they’re better than that anyways and just haven’t figured it out yet.
- Jesus and the Father have the same heart towards me. The Father was always 100% for me.
- God is not a narcissist; God is relationship.
- God is not a hierarchy; God is a Divine Love-Dance.
- Holy Spirit does fun stuff like miracles because Holy Spirit likes to and is really, really good.
- The theology of abandonment is a bunch of satanic b. s.
- I am fully included; the cross was basically a giant God-hug. He used our rejection of Him and turned it into a great display of His acceptance of us. He is in no way disappointed in me.
- I am a saint.
My life feels a whole lot better now. I like it a lot more. Guess it matters who you let narrate your story! Now, I have this whole wide world filled with goodness to explore. I have a Trinity I can’t but help fall head-over-heels in love with. I like being a woman. I’m not scared of hell. I like who God made me, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to judge other people—no matter what whack-a-doodle stunts they pull! I feel happy.
Love you! Hugs!
The Joy Detective