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

Accepting Yourself As You Are

Wonderfully-Made-by-Holley-Gerth.com_

When I took a break from blogging, I wrote down notes and questions to reflect on. I discovered one recurring problem I have is not accepting myself as I am. The deep truth is I don’t see myself through Jesus’ eyes.

I’m realizing how often I’m apologizing to myself or others in my thoughts about who I am or what I do or don’t do. I’m trying to come to grips with believing I have a makeup exactly as God wants, and I need to accept myself just the way I am.

I am an introvert. I think I was always introspective as a child already. I get nervous in crowds. Socializing wears me out, even more so with the weight of chronic illness. I am not a good conversationalist. I feel insecure and often get tongue-tied when it comes to what I really want to say. I don’t think of it until later what I should have asked or said. Afterwards I rehash what I said or didn’t say, over-analyze, and worry that I may have said something wrong. {It’s hard to know what comes from my personality and what resulted from abusive situations. But healing takes time, and at the bottom of it all, I’m still an introvert, and I have to realize that’s ok.}

I beat myself up for not being “better” at socializing. I compare myself with the social butterflies who can so easily talk with people, and I fall short. Why can’t I talk more easily like they can? Why do I always have to feel so nervous? Why won’t the words come?

I sometimes do better one on one, but even then I have to keep reminding myself to “Just be you, and look to Jesus.” And I do believe that when I can see myself through His eyes, I am less stressed. If I can see myself as His beloved the load becomes lighter.

Do you accept yourself as you are? Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert?

Here are some important truths we all need to remind ourselves of, no matter what personality we have:

  1. “I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made…” (Psalm 139:14a HCSB) We are marvelously made by God. He created each of us with unique personalities and gave each of us purposes in life that can never be carried out by any other human being. He doesn’t want any of us to act like someone else other than who we are or beat ourselves up for being who we are.
  2. “For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor Him, for He is your lord.” (Psalm 45:11 NLT) We may think of ourselves as “ugly,” but God only sees us as beautiful. He even delights in us and cherishes us.
  3. “Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.” (Ephesians 1:4 NLT) We already are pre-approved. We don’t have to do anything to make ourselves more special or enough in Jesus’ eyes. Through His grace, we are enough. We are special just to be loved by Him. That love will never ebb or flow according to what we do or don’t do.
  4. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor. 5:17) All our sins, mistakes, and old insecurities can fall away through Christ. He wants us to see ourselves as newly created in Him – accepted, redeemed, and loved unconditionally.
  5. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” ( Romans 15:7) Jesus welcomes us, receives us, and accepts us just as we are, no matter what personality we have. He wants us to accept ourselves just as we are. And others just as they are.

“Beautiful”
by MercyMe

May we accept ourselves just as we are
and as marvelously made by God!

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews

You’re Worth Pursuing

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One of you kindred spirits emailed me a song to listen to. “Worth Pursuing” by Laura Rhinehart. A song to the little girl… Thank you so much, Michelle!

I listened again and again as a calming hand reached down deep inside of me and lifted that crying little girl I still sometimes disconnect with.

The lyrics to this song are Jesus whispering, aching, loving me. It took me back to a picture in time. I would climb up a ladder and into an empty grain bin at the top of a rectangular corn crib/barn. I sat there alone, afraid, and worthless. Sitting curled up, hugging my wounds to my chest. Wounds I never told anyone about. Would anyone even miss me if I stayed there? Does anyone care? Does anyone know how much I hurt?

“I saw you as a little girl
When you were in this room, all alone
And you wanted to be found
But no one came and found you”

You SAW me there, Lord? If You saw me there, why didn’t You come into my heart and comfort me? Why didn’t you protect me from further abuse and shame? Why did I still feel so alone, uncared about, and afraid?

“This is your time now
This is your day
Because that little girl inside of you
Is what makes My heart ache”

So God, Your heart was really aching for me then? Were Your tears flowing down with mine? Is today the time for me to realize You were there all along carrying Me even when I didn’t feel it? Was it You that helped me still put one foot in front of another? That breathed the breath of life into Me each and every day? That enabled me to survive?

“You are My love
You’re worth pursuing
You are My love
You’re worth pursuing”

I’m Your love, God? I’m worth pursuing? I’m worth You digging deeper into my heart, reaching in to embrace that lost little girl, connecting me to her as one and the same? Are You showing Me Your love is then, now, and forever?

“I’m finding you right now
Right now, I’m finding you
That girl
And I’m taking you by the hand
And I’m leading you out into a new place
Forever that place that kept you in
Forever that place that held you in
Forever that place, forever that place
Will be shut off”

Oh Jesus, I’m coming. Here is this lost little girl feeling Your strong, loving hand holding mine. Please heal all the broken places. I will skip beside You as I anticipate new places of freedom from that place of loneliness, fear, and worthlessness.

“You are My love,
You’re worth pursuing
You are My love
You’re worth pursuing
You’re not gonna have fear anymore
You’re not gonna fear being alone anymore
You’re not gonna fear, you’re not gonna fear
Because it’s being swallowed up
In My love for you
In My passion for you”

Oh Jesus, please do swallow me up in Your love. Your perfect love will cast out all My fear. You have promised that in Your Word. Pursue that little girl inside of me that still sometimes keeps me trapped in fear.

“I’m so taken by you
And I’m gonna restore all your years
I’m gonna restore every tear”

Oh Jesus, so much in my little girl got stolen. Can all that really be restored? Isn’t it gone forever? But You, Lord, have paid the price for my sins and the sins done against me. Your sacrifice is perfect. Your blood can cleanse away all the filthy stains and make me white and pure in You.

“You will know My joy
You will know My smile
You will know My dance
‘Cause I am going to show you”

Oh Jesus, how I long to learn Your dance. I want to not merely survive. I want to dance in an abundance of the joy of Your love and faithfulness. Break away the chains that still cause that little child in me to weep and give me freedom to fly in the fullness of Your love. Let her no longer curl up in shame but rejoice in Your truth.

“I’m so proud of you
And it’s time for you to know it
You’re so beautiful to Me
You’re so beautiful to Me”

Oh Jesus, the little girl in me still feels so ugly and worthless sometimes. Please help me to see myself in Your eyes as precious and beautiful. As wonderfully made by You. As someone who is loved and always has been by You. Someone who is worth pursuing.

Do you disconnect with that little girl or little boy inside you because it hurts too much to think about? Did you feel alone, afraid, and worthless as a little child? I hope you can open your heart to this song and let Jesus reach in and embrace your crying child, that little one who was so broken by the wrong choices of some people in your life. Let Jesus, who knew you from the beginning of time, take that little child’s hand and lead you out to freedom in Him and His amazing love. You are loved! You’re worth pursuing!

“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 139:14-16

“She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her:
You are the God who sees me, for she said,
I have now seen the One who sees me.”
Genesis 16:13

“So I will restore to you the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.”
Joel 2:25

A Scripture Lullaby – “Wonderfully Made”

May the chains break
and all your broken years
be restored in Jesus!

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews