Lies, Vows, Grace

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.

9 thoughts on “Lies, Vows, Grace

  1. Beth Smith says:

    Thank you Sue, I am persuing areas of my childhood with a Christian counselor. Areas of my life & marriage have been affected . We are fine but I need to understand some things.

    • sue@suetell.com says:

      I so get that Beth. We all need understanding. I’m so thankful for the counselor who got me started on this journey and the many friends who have encouraged me along the way … like my friend Janine who was with me the day I understood my vow.

      I’m praying for you Beth as you look to God to understand the impact of your journey. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Linda Bonorden says:

    Wow. Yup. My therapist helped me toward a similar revelation a few years ago. She also said that awareness is the best to to battle decades-old kneejerk thoughts. I am thinking, however, that meditation on scriptures about my identity in Christ might transform my thought patterns. We should talk about this.

    • sue@suetell.com says:

      I’d love to talk Linda. Meditating on my identity was the first place that began my journey in this direction. The awareness of that vow came later. I’m thinking my security of my identity was the place that allowed me to move to understanding the vow.

      Yes, let’s talk.

    • sue@suetell.com says:

      Hey Cheri, The whole journey is a gift of God’s grace. One step leading to the next.

      Thank you for sharing. I bet if it encouraged you it will encourage your friends as well. Blessings from here.

  3. Theresa Thaete says:

    Wow Sue! I want to take some time with God to pursue more insight into this these truths. I think this could really be life-changing. Thank you for sharing so honestly and vulnerably!

    • sue@suetell.com says:

      You know, Theresa, it was indeed life-changing for me.

      God needed to bring the awareness … and I’m so thankful for that speaker … then I could trust Him with truth and rest into being who He created me to be.

      So many scriptures have re-affirmed this to me. I love Psalm 138:8 and Philippians 1:22 and many more.

      Love from here, sue

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