As I opened my eyes this morning and slumber left my soul, these words spoke silently to me: “Glitter- proof”. Now, I don’t normally think about glitter or work with glitter nor have I been near anything glittery for years! Except at Christmas time, hanging tinsel or lights. Ah, there was that Christmas decorating project last week. However, my fascination with glitter at the time was not even engaged. I appreciated the beauty of it, but its impression was not lasting.
But this phrase kept speaking to me over and over, “glitter-proof” and, more than that, what did it mean?
Don’t think me strange when I tell you that I have these moments often, upon waking. At times, even before waking. A phrase, a word, an idea. It’s like a Divine impartation! As a songwriter and writer, these moments are treasures that I have learned to take heed to because God could be speaking something to my heart. First, for me and then, for the masses. I take seriously the call to encourage God’s people.
As I thought about the phrase, I pondered its meaning. The use of the word “proof” after a word always has meant to make it unable to do or have what the first word indicates. “Fire-proof”; something unable to catch fire. ‘Water-proof”; something unable to get wet or be affected by the water. On and on! You get me, right? So I applied this process to “glitter” and heard the following clutter of thoughts: HOW THE HOLD OF OUR PAST MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO SHINE THE WAY GOD PLANNED US TO. OUR PAST MAKES US “GLITTER-PROOF”.
Immediately, I was tempted to dismiss this idea because I had grown really tired of hearing it and seeing book titles all about destiny and being your true self and finding your identity and quite frankly, I had grown numb to their message because I felt they were all the same. “Do these five steps.” “Quote this scripture”, “Let go and let God”!!! I was done! I thought, “No one in the world knows how to get beyond their past and I certainly didn’t hold the answer in all the battles I’d faced to let go of mine”. Or did I? Was God trying to show me the answer or bring it to light?
After all, I reasoned, ” I am a ‘new creation in Christ Jesus, I forget those things that are behind and press on to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus laid hold of me’ and all that jazz! That is the truth right? And “the truth shall make me free”!
But, to be honest, it had always felt more like my past had a hold of ME and IT wouldn’t let go, instead of the other way around!!! You see, for most of my adult life I had been to therapists, counselors, physiatrists to “let go” of my past and all it ever did for me was make the hold of it stronger. Now, I am not discounting the help of these wonderful folks, they are truly remarkable. But my goal was to get free and, in my experience, I had been given even more information that kept me bound and, as a result, only tightened the chain around my neck. I couldn’t glitter to save my life! Especially as I discovered, more and more, that no one really had the answer to my brokenness!
ONLY GOD Did!
And His Word became my healing balm and medicine!
All bondage starts with a very small word that holds HUGE implications: a lie! Think about it. Think back to any incident in your own life; in your childhood or even as an adult. Maybe you were rejected as a child as your parents may have had to work constantly to manage the household or you were bullied in school, or worse, abused in profound ways. These incidences have HUGE impacts on our small, underdeveloped minds and our broken souls, hence we take rejection personally and begin to believe the lie that we are unlovable, unworthy. These lies are, of course, enforced each time we experience rejection to any degree and the lie compounds until we are steeped in worthlessness and even rejection of our very selves.
This is what happened to me. I had so many experiences of rejection and abuses in my childhood, inside and outside the home that I had become, in my own mind, one big blob of junk and disgust, unworthy of any kind of human kindness! I know that sounds really extreme but the lie had morphed into such deception that I believed every feeling of worthlessness I had. Every “feeling” I had was the truth until it became nearly impossible to believe the truth about God, myself or anyone else.
And I know I am not alone in these feelings, and these lies. It is universal! I have talked to countless people who share the same testimony as me. And why wouldn’t they? Ours is a broken world, full of broken people, trying all we know to live a life that shines and has meaning and when we think we are not worthy, we sink into an abyss of workaholism, alcoholism and drugs, and abuses of all kinds to sooth the wounds we feel. And these escapes only serve one purpose: to create more wounds in us and to perpetrate, through us, more hurts onto those we love and care about the most. And our brightness fades and our light goes out!
These wounds of self-hatred and sorrow only bring about more wounds and we run in vicious circles trying to make ourselves better so we can be more acceptable to ourselves and to others. To no avail!
Sound familiar? We do it all the time!!! And we do it as Christians! Oh sure, we might not abuse drugs and alcohol but we work ourselves to death in the church out of guilt or condemnation or for approval. We abuse food, watch TV or the internet or we become critical, self-righteous and perfectionistic and drive people away and so rejection is reinforced along with our feelings of worthlessness!
But there is an answer! More than a glimmer of light……but the shining of a brand new day!!