Only God’s Truth Can Fill Up What Bullies Take Away

“You see, we have a bucket inside of us,” She spread her little fingers across her heart. “When someone is mean to us, it empties our bucket. But if they say they are sorry or if they say something nice, it puts something back into our buckets.”

“Oh, I see… So if I say ‘Kamryn, I love you. You are so special,’ will that overflow your bucket?” Her face beamed as if to say, “Yes! You got it, Grandma!”

This story my grand-daughter heard nearly four years ago in Pre-Kindergarten concerning bullying really touched my heart. So simple, yet so profound. Scoop by scoop, condemning remarks can empty us of our security in who we really are. We can start basing our value on what others say instead of who God says we are.

We can become our own bully when we believe the lies cast on us by others or by Satan: What is wrong with me? I’m so ugly. I’m so dumb. I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve to be happy. I’m not worth it. I’m unlovable. I’m not strong enough. I can never do it as well as he/she can, so why even try?  And on and on… Shovelfuls of the “me God created us to be” go flying out of our buckets until there is nothing left to give.

Do you beat yourself up a lot? I’ll admit I do. I have a hard time liking myself. I wonder if it’s prideful or selfish to be kind to myself. But I am learning inch by inch that it’s not only ok to love ourselves, but it’s what God wants. This is not about self-adoration or narcissism. It’s about appreciating the unique person God created us to be.

“When you wound yourself with your words,
it’s the same to God as if you were doing it to someone else in your life.
Jesus said to love our neighbors as ourselves.
That means all of the ‘one another’ statements in Scripture
(i.e. be kind to one another, encourage one another)
apply in our relationship with ourselves too.”
Holley Gerth

So how can we be kind to ourselves? By filling our emptied buckets with God’s Truth. A solid, secure Truth that no one can steal from us. A Truth that will more than fill up what self-criticism or others’ bullying comments have robbed from us.

Every word of God proves true.
    He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection.”

Proverbs 30:5

God’s Truth for our emptied, wounded hearts:

💞 I am wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

💞 I am His masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:10)

💞 I am redeemed with the blood of Jesus. (Isaiah 43:1)

💞 There is no condemnation for me when I belong to Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

💞 I am precious and honored. (Isaiah 43:4)

💞 I am His royalty, a crown of splendor in His hand. (Isaiah 62:3)

💞 I am His own special treasure. (Malachi 3:17)

💞 Nothing will ever be able to separate me from the love of God. (Romans 8:37-39)

💞 Because of His faithful love and mercy, I will never perish. (Lamentations 3:22)

💞 He will restore my ruins. He will rebuild what is broken. (Isaiah 44:26)

💞 He fills my emptiness with good things. (Psalm 107:9)

💞 I can do all things through Jesus who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

We can’t always control the inward and outward bullies in our lives, but we can learn to be better equipped to handle them, both past and present. We can allow Jesus to fill our emptiness with His Truth, His healing, and His love. Then we will be able to base our identity, not in those negative voices, but in Jesus, who emptied Himself so our emptiness can be filled with Him. In Him, we are redeemed. In Him, we are secure. In Him, we are free.

“Beautiful”
by MercyMe

With God’s Power, Our Potential Can Bloom

possiblewithGod

Her hand shielded the side of her mouth as she whispered to my friends. Their eyes widened as they stole glances my way. Then they all looked at me and laughed. At lunch time, they no longer wanted to sit with me or talk to me, and I was too insecure to stand up for myself.

When I started out in Junior High, I had many friends, but one spiteful remark stole them away. I will never forget the girl’s name. I still visualize her freckled hand cupping her mouth, her reddish-blond head and lanky frame leaning towards attentive listeners. I still don’t know what she said, but I do know my life drastically changed. My friends disappeared, my confidence plummeted, and I often traveled solo through the rest of Junior High and High School.

Bullying, especially as a child, hurts a deep part of our souls and can change our entire perspective on life. Whether from a peer, teacher, parent, or other family members, cutting remarks and rejection come back to haunt us in our adult lives. They can keep us from believing in our God-given potential if we let them.

We may cringe in fear of more hurt and rejection. Hesitate to stretch ourselves. And it’s especially when we do step out of our comfort zone and take a risk to do something God calls us to do, those past voices blast us until we retreat. Our hearts again close in a tight bud instead of opening up in full bloom so others can drink in the beautiful gifts God has given us.

But remember how God opened a way through the Red Sea for the Israelites? The Egyptians were hot on their heels and mountains blocked either side of them. And they had no way to cross the sea in front of them. Then miraculously, God opened up the sea and they could move forward. They were not devoured by their enemies or drowned by the deep waters, because God had it all under His control.

That powerful God is still the same today. He can open a way for us to advance in using the gifts He has given us. He can swallow up and destroy all those negative voices of the past.

“What is impossible with man is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27 NIV)

“In Your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall.” (Psalm 18:29 NLT)

Negative voices do not have to define us. Through God, each of us can live out our full potential. He has given each of us a special purpose on this earth, and He waits to level the mountains for us as we step out into the unknown. “You are not here by accident. God has summoned you here. He has something in your heart that He is shaping that you are in the process of birthing. Don’t shrink back. The world needs what you have to bring to the table. Step up. We are counting on you. There is more at stake than you could possibly imagine.” (Michael Hyatt at a “She Speaks” conference)

School Days

school bus

Yes, I’m still around. There has just been a lot going on these last weeks, and I just haven’t had the time or energy to write here.

Can you believe it’s the middle of August already? Some of my grandkids have started school already today! And others are soon to follow.

Do you have a child going to school? I just have to share this heart-stirring article and letter with you, and I hope you will share it with your children.

butterflyiconThe Talk