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The Box

“You failed again! I told you, you would. And I know you will keep failing.”

“You don’t deserve to be a wife or mom. Someone could do it better.”

“You are just going to mess up again. You think you changed but this moment proves exactly what we both know is true, you haven’t and you never will. You will always be that needy girl. Desperate and alone. It’s only a matter of time before you slip up again and lose everything.”

“They might see the pretty outside but you can’t fool me, I know who you really are. And soon, they will too. Your past will always define you.”

For years these lies have made their home in the recesses of my mind. In the dark dusty corners, they wait to pounce at just the right moment. For far too long I have bought into Satan’s lies before I even realize that I traded in fact for fiction. They became so normal. Too normal.

Each failure in my life, wrapped up in Satan’s ominous deception, has felt like a major setback. Whether in my rebellious teen and young adult life, my marriage, or now as a mom, Satan loves to take each of the scenarios of failure in these seasons to build a case against me. A case that declares that I have not, and could not, actually be changed. That redemption and the truth of Jesus clearly is not enough. Maybe for someone else, but clearly not for me.

The agenda behind Satan’s deception, is that he wants you and me to believe that when we fall there is no getting back up. There is no second chance. The story is over. We are marked by shame, guilt and regret. And even if we dare to try again, with each sequential failure, Satan adds to the pile in the case against us, that declares we are too far gone for Jesus. We are far to broken to be worthy of healing and love. Every mistake after, Satan slams the ever-growing file of failure on the table, points his finger in our direction and reminds us who we really are. We are beaten down by accusations until we finally throw in the towel, making our bed in disappointment and fear. Wrapping ourselves in the ratty blanket of embarrassment and self-hate, we allow Satan to win by finding comfort and home in the identity he has given us.

But the truth God longs for us to hear above the roar and rumble of the evil one shouting in our ear, is the gentle whisper of a loving father declaring that every set back can be a set up in his hands. Every mistake can be a place of healing and restoration, a miracle in the making, an opportunity for us to do a 180 turn and start over. The truth of the matter is that every time Satan brings up our past, he is trying to give us an identity in a place we no longer belong. Once redeemed by Jesus we are forever safe in his hand and NOTHING can change the new name he gives us. No amount of failure can mare the robes of white he wraps us in on the day of our salvation.

When Satan tempts us back into old patterns of thinking and we trip over the same old story, we must allow Jesus to pick us back up, brush off the dirt and keep running the race he has set before us. Casting off the sins that so easily entangle us also means we have to cast off those old labels Satan has used against us. We have to look him in the face and tell him NO! We must throw the file of shame back in his face and remind him who we are in Jesus, holy, righteous and redeemed. We must constantly combat Satan’s lies with the truth of Jesus we find packed into scripture.

We have been at war with the devil since the day we were conceived. And yet God has always been writing a far greater story for us than Satan ever could. God has gifted us the greatest weapon against the evil one’s attacks but we rarely use it. The Bible says that no weapon formed against a believer can stand, but do we live like we believe this? Do we sharpen our sword daily, diving deep into the truths of the scripture? Meditating on the unchanging words of God as much as we meditate on our regrets and our past?

For so long I lived stuck in a box I allowed Satan to put me in. Banging on the sides. Screaming for help. Wishing I could get out from under the weight of the lies he piled on top of me. Faced daily with new accusations screaming at me from the walls around me. It wasn’t till I reacquainted myself with the truth of Jesus love, that I realized the box had always been open. I just needed to look up, take the hand of Jesus and climb out. We so often get caught up in our shame and regret we never notice the chains that hold us are not locked at all. We willingly walk ourselves into captivity and the deeper we go, the louder we allow Satan to get, and the more numb we become to the heart of Jesus. The code we need to escape is already in us. The truth that once a daughter of Jesus, always a daughter of Jesus, is the key to freedom. We just have to be bold enough to use it.

The bible is jam packed with stories of rescue and rebirth and yet somehow, we still think it couldn’t be true for us. The love of God is so great it is beyond description. And because of his love, he sent his son to die for everyone one of us so that he can continue rewriting history, one redemptive story at a time. Jesus came to save us so that he can stand between us, and all the accusations thrown at us by the evil one, and wipe our slate clean. Over and over. The bible is full of new names God longs to gift us in place of Satan’s facades over our lives. The choice is ours. We can keep going down the same old tracks every time we are tempted, and or fail, allowing Satan to deepen the lines of deception, or we can switch the narrative. We can stand in the mighty power of Jesus name and stop the enemy in his tracks, rewire our thinking, and fight with weapons unseen.

God loves you. Nothing you do, good or bad, will ever change that. Not the biggest history of faults and failures. Nor being the greatest success. Not screaming at your kids. Nor being the perfect mom. Not having sex outside of marriage. Nor being the ideal house wife. Not lying, stealing or drinking too much. Nothing can stop Gods immense love from chasing after you. He is, and always will be, coming after the hearts of his people. Boldly declaring, “I LOVE YOU! I see you, faults and all, and I still want you as my daughter. Come, find rest in me. Watch me rewrite your story. I am always up to something good. I make beauty from ashes. I turn mourning to joy. Don’t you see it? I am making a way. I am doing something new for you. I will never stop loving you!”

Today I invite you, dear sister, to step out of the box of shame and defeat created for you by the lies of the evil one. Because of Jesus’ work on the cross, the top of the box is open. As a daughter of the king, you are already free. You just have to take Jesus hand; then trust him to take care of the rest. He will never stop fighting for you. He can and will make all things new. You don’t have to stay stuck. There is freedom in his name, Jesus.

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