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

Learning To Trust Our God-given Voice

Do you ever feel stuck between a myriad of opinions? So many that your own voice is smothered? Or maybe you finally get more brave and you venture out with your voice, but it is rejected, criticized, or ignored. And you wonder – Doesn’t my voice count at all?

Coming from a religious background where ministers were put on a pedestal as the voice of God Himself, it felt like our thoughts didn’t count. Their interpretations of Scripture became law. So if I felt a verse meant differently than what we were taught, I scolded myself and tried to smother it. I didn’t want God to rain down fire and brimstone on me. I had no voice at all. I felt like a puppet, only moving where or when someone wanted it to.

God has released me from that mindset, but it has been a long process, and I’m still a work-in-progress. God is showing me more and more how much love He has for us, not condemnation, and how His Spirit can shed light in each of our hearts. How He has given each of us a unique voice.

There are times legalism still digs its talons into my scars and scrapes them open again, but Jesus shows again and again that in Him is freedom, not chokeholds on who we are. He wants us to be who He created us to be, not who others want us to be.

My insecurities still sometimes rear up their ugly heads and distort my thinking. And I falter. Surely that person is more knowledgable than I am, so maybe their opinion is right, and mine is wrong.

To be honest, I am often afraid when I post, reply to comments here, or comment on other blogs. Doubts and fears rattle my heart. What if I write the wrong thing? Once it’s out there, I can’t take it back. What if I don’t glorify God in these words? What if what I say or don’t say hurts instead of helps? I never, ever want to add to the weight of a hurting soul.

Then God whispers, “Follow your heart, My child.”

But God, what if I don’t trust my heart? What if my heart is in the wrong place? 

Step by step, God is leading me to trust Him and His provision more. He confirms to me that if He is my treasure, my heart will be there, too, attune to the rhythm of His own. He wants me to place my heart into His, to rest in His all-sufficient grace, and to allow His love and grace to flow through me. Freely and without restriction.

“For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:21
“May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to You,
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
Psalm 19:14

However, on this earth, we remain imperfect and broken, don’t we? We may sometimes slip or go astray from following God’s heart. But He will never condemn us. He understands how sorry we feel and how much we desire to follow His heart. No matter how badly we mess up, He wholeheartedly forgives us.

He values each of us. He loves us just as we are, unconditionally. He has given each of us a unique voice, and each of our voices is special to Him. He wants us to follow our hearts, our intuitions, what we truly believe is right.

Through Your Eyes
by Britt Nicole

Memory Triggers Battle With Truth, But Truth Will Win

unfailing-love

I wrote a blog post for this week, but I deleted it all.

The second time I wrote, I still deleted most of it to start once again.

ccseedsofloveGod wants me to write authentically, but He also wants me to filter what I publish through His sieve of love. Love towards Him and love toward others. That’s why I like to write days ahead of time and keep praying for direction. When writing vulnerably, I have to be careful. Sometimes it turns out that my writing is more meant to help me process raw emotions, not something He wants me to publish for all to see.

“But speaking the truth in love
[in all things—both our speech
and our lives expressing His truth],
let us grow up in all things into Him
[following His example]
who is the Head—Christ.”

Ephesians 4:15

Too many times in my life I speak or write words that should have remained between myself and God. And sometimes a trusted counselor or friend. So as I write here, I am learning to ask myself – Does this glorify God? Does it radiate with His love or with my bitterness? Does it point to hope, healing, and freedom in Jesus?

Having asked myself these questions, my post is considerably shorter…

I read a blog post that triggered a time when my heart, too, was being judged. When it felt like a giant foot stomped on the deepest feelings of my heart and ground them into oblivion.

In times like this, I teeter on the edge of the Rock that is Christ Jesus, ready to slip and tumble back into a trap of the past where my voice was silenced. Insecurity, fear, and shame battle with Truth. I desperately stretch my hand back to Jesus, begging Him – “Help, Lord! Please take my hand and hang on to me! Keep me on Your sure Foundation of Truth!”

“I cried out, ‘I am slipping!’
but Your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
When doubts filled my mind,
Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”
Psalm 94:18-19 NLT

Memory triggers of past pain can suck us down like quicksand, but Jesus’ love can plant us back on solid ground. He can give us the strength to believe that in Him we are strong and He can keep us from being swayed into a pool of uncertainty again where our voices don’t count. When we remember again that our identity is in Him, not in the painful past, our hearts calm and rest in His love and assurance.

If memory triggers drop the bottom out from beneath us, Jesus’ hand is stretched toward us, waiting for us to grab hold. He longs to help us. He is available 24/7 to hear the pains of our hearts. May we ask Him to ground us again in His Word and our identity in Him. He loves us deeply, and no one can ever take that away.

“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.
No one can snatch them away from Me,
for My Father has given them to Me,
and He is more powerful than anyone else.
No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”
John 10:28-30

A Child's Trust

“Love Take Me Over”
by Steven Curtis Chapman

“Love, take these words that I’m speaking
Love, take these thoughts that I’m thinking
Love, take me over
Love, fill up all of my space and
Love, stand right here in my place
Love, hear this prayer that I’m praying
Love, take everything that I’m doing
Love, like a river, flow through me
Love, take me over”


ccjesusloves

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