Written by Heather DeJesus Yates
Friend, I am a writer, and the constant battle is in sharing my words. (I’m about to share a lot of them and it’s risky for me still!) If the enemy can shut down your voice he can shut down your soul, it’s an age-old tactic, and often comes when we allow him to direct our focus on others in comparison. If we compared ourselves with those who have spoken or lived before us – none of us would ever say a word! Your words are yours, and your story is yours, and all of it is handwritten by God for a purpose, and we need them! God doesn’t waste his creation, all his works point to His majesty…you are one of the many and as a woman – prized above all. As for mattering to Jesus, I struggle with trusting His nature as “good” because life has been and is Hard. Pain in childhood with assaults and whatnot, and hardships along the way in my own life or in the world we see daily, are fodder for the enemy’s lie that God is bad, can’t be trusted, comfort yourself at all cost with all means necessary. So God has been ever patient with me (who am I to accuse God of being bad??) and He has been woo’ing me with His goodness for some time now. He has slowly revealed to me His good intentions behind some of the darkest hours of my soul, and it is disorienting to realize that what I once thought was mean and cruel, was a gift for me. God has taken pain and transformed it into blessing, and I am practicing a pro-active trust for today’s pain – that it too can and will be worked together for some more good in my life (Rom 8:28). Also, I have thought about the woman in Jesus’ story, she lived in Samaria (where no respectable Jew went), and she was broken, an outcast socially because of her poor lifestyle choices, lonely, longing and grasping at Mr. Right Now to fill her emptiness. Did she matter? Not to those in her community. Was she an idiot? Some thought so. But what is Jesus’ thoughts toward her? What is Truth? John 4:4 reveals it to us, “Jesus NEEDED to go to Samaria…” Many took the longer route to avoid it but Jesus purposely went to the rejected place for the rejected woman. She needed Him, but He needed her too…He loved her, and went where she was and met her right in her “I don’t matter, I’m an idiot” season and spoke His Truth to her. She believed him too, afterall, He went out of His way (actually from Heaven to Earth), for rejected women…who else would do that? Because of her belief in Him, His truth – regardless of how others had treated her – SHE experienced freedom. AND lo and behold, she had overflow and shared His love and Truth with the same community that treated her wrongly. What?!? That’s a transformed life, not a slightly improved self-help plan in action. Sister was freed.
A lie I have believed is that life is hard, painful, scary, and God allows for it because He just wants me to suffer all the time…and cannot be trusted to care for me and comfort me, so I need to take care of myself and comfort myself in order to survive this wilderness until I make it Home. Like I said above, I’m learning that this is loaded with lies, like the one first launched at Eve, and made her doubt God, doubt His goodness, doubt His honesty. God used one word to describe Himself when He introduced himself to Moses in the cleft of the rock…and of all the words He could have chosen that would be true, He chose this one: goodness. God is good, and God is in control, and He works all things together for my good…no matter what mess I’m in. Therefore, whatever struggle or pain I face, God has a plan, and He has good for my soul…but it may not feel good for a while or in the way I expect. Comforting myself outside His boundaries for me will feel good for a moment or few, but it won’t BE good for me. Ps. 84:11 “God withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly.” If He is withholding food from me, (not giving me hunger – or giving me satisfaction while I still have food to eat), than it is for a good reason that He is withholding it. If the food is good for me, He won’t withhold it…He’ll give me hunger and room to still eat before I’m satisfied. This may be a life-long lesson 🙂 Life is hard, it will bring pain and trials and I will suffer, but my hope is without end because God has goodness in Himself present with me in this life as well.