My vow—not the good kind—was painfully clear to me. Even after the speaker finished I was rooted to my seat. I got it; and I didn’t like what I was getting. I was aware of lies I believed; but not the vows those lies led to.
The paralyzing truth, the clarity of my understanding that morning, was God’s grace toward me even though it didn’t feel like it. My friend sat with me; the rest filed out into their day, unaware. My tears flowed; I hoped they weren’t noticed.
Like everyone, I grew up believing certain things—lies—about myself. I’ve heard it said, “Children are great observers and horrible interpreters”. That was me. The twisted, warped interpretations of my life story led to a personal belief system that affected me negatively into adulthood. For several years I had been on the offensive; battling back with truth from Scripture.
But that wasn’t enough. Those lies—besides being untrue personal statements—created additional subconscious havoc for me. I was clue-less. I made a vow (I didn’t know I made a vow); the vow was powerful. The vow, what I said to myself because of the lies I believed, controlled my behavior.
The lie I believed, I’m not good enough naturally led to the vow. I’ll prove to you I’m good enough. I’ll climb all the ladders in all my God-given contexts. And I tried. I was somewhat successful; it only led to more frustration doing nothing to combat the lie.
“For to set the mind on the flesh is death … For the mind
that is set on the flesh … cannot please God.”
Romans 8:7, 8
For the first time, I saw it; and it was very discouraging. I was trying to kill the lie by my own efforts, climbing ladders and setting my mind on my flesh. Not trusting God.
In desperation, I asked my friend, “What do I do; where do I go”? Her wisdom didn’t seem to help. She gently responded, “Awareness is huge”.
She didn’t tell me to stop living from the vow; she didn’t tell to go and ask forgiveness; she didn’t tell me to beware of future pitfalls; she just said, “Awareness is huge”. She trusted the Holy Spirit in me to lead me and to guide me.
Awareness is huge! My friend was right. It was the gentle encouragement I needed.
My awareness is leading to some ah-ha understandings.
My awareness is helping me answer some of the whys in my life.
My awareness is paralyzing some days as I ask myself, is this because of the vow? My awareness is opening some very encouraging conversations.
My awareness is spinning new angles on the circumstances of my life.
My awareness is changing me.
My awareness continues to peel back more layers of my behavior and lead me to trust.
Awareness is HUGE. Awareness is a gift of God’s grace.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you (make you aware) into all truth,”
John 16:13, parentheses mine
When you think about the lies you believe, do you see them leading to vows to protect yourself?
How are you experiencing God’s grace in the midst of your lies and vows?
My friend often said, “Go on a treasure hunt for grace.” The speaker that morning was a grace treasure for me. So was my friend.