She sat across from me, tears streaming down her face as she shared her story with me. A story of brokenness and pain. She was a young Christian mom of two precious babies, married to a godly man and yet there was a deep sadness about her. Her sadness allowed me to see into her heart, a heart that loved God, desired to be the woman God created her to be.
I did not know her before this day and yet her story was all too familiar. It was a story I had heard far too often. It was my story. You see she had gone to others for help, but the advice had all been pretty much the same. “You need to renew your mind.” “You are believing lies. You need to think on truth.”
Before she went any further I took her hand in mine, looked her in the eyes and said, “Oh sweet girl you are wondering what are the lies and what is truth.” With tears pouring down once again she choked out the word, “yes.” Squeezing her hand I let her know I understood. I too had been there. I can still be there at times.
I don’t know if I will ever see this young mom again but my advice to her is the advice I wish I would have received as a twenty something young mom and wife. It wasn’t until my forties that someone finally took the time and invested in my life in order to help me understand the lies I was believing. Lies that I had heard my whole life that sounded like truth. Destructive words that had gone so deep into my heart that they had taken root and grown strong. These are the kind of lies that need help to see. We need others to help us expose them, to destroy them and then to replace them with truth.
There are two things I shared with her that day. There are two things she needs to know and we, as older women, need to remember.
The first thing I shared is that she needs to be able recognize what lies she believes about God, about herself and about her circumstances. She needs those in her life that she can trust to tell her when her thoughts are based on lies. She needs to be willing to open up and share her thoughts in a safe place.
The second thing I told her is that she must read and study the word of God. His word is truth and the only way to really know truth is to know it for yourself. It’s not a practice that you do occasionally or haphazardly but a discipline that we pursue and seek after. Truth comes when we know and understand the character of God.
But what does this look like in the everyday?
In my life I have a couple of friends I can trust enough that I can call them and say, “Hey this is what is going through my head right now. Am I believing a lie? If I am what is the truth?” These sisters consider it a privilege to walk along with me, there is no judgment. They don’t make me feel stupid, instead they just love me and speak truth. They will take me to the word of God. They have helped me replace lies with truth. They have walked with me through it enough times that today as my knowledge of truth grows it becomes easier to recognize the lies. Lies become easy to spot when we know truth.
I left this young lady with two devotional type Bible Studies to consider doing in her quiet time. Both are written by Kay Arthur called Lord, I Want to Know You and Lord, Heal My Hurts. The first one is a study on the character of God, the second is a study on Jehovah Rapha, our Healer God. Both studies help you dig into the Bible and learn truth for yourself.
A few reminders to those who are leaders, mentors, or the “older women”.
Do not just assume that they know what lies they believe. Sometimes it requires getting involved in the messy part of life in order to help see and know the lies they believe loving their husbands and children. We need to walk with them and help them to see the lies and then show them what truth is.
Be patient with the one who is trying to see the lies she believes. Some lies are so ingrained that she may forget and will need constant reminding until she believes truth. Give them the same grace and love that you have received from Christ.
Finally, please, please stop telling them that they just need to “renew their minds” or “take captive their thoughts.” Yes, this is truth. It is what they need to do. Most likely they have heard it over and over . But what they really need is someone to love them enough to show them. They need those women in their life that will walk with them in love and truth.
We, as older women, who pour our lives into the younger generation, need to remember that not everyone understands or sees the lies behind what they are thinking or feeling. How will they know they need to replace it with truth if they don’t even know it’s a lie? So let us love them enough to walk and talk with them instead of just talking to them.
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