I can’t stand this one woman! She just rubs me the wrong way. Everytime I go into this particular store and she is working I just get so irritated. She doesn’t know what she is doing and she makes my experience at this store a nightmare. To add to the issue when I am there, I am there for my business. I do not usually have a lot of time and with her she needs at least 3 times more grace than any of the other workers in that department.
Now….hang on just a second! This is not like me. This is not my character. Sure she is irritating but as I left the store (only to come back later because she was going to take way too long) I had to stop and ask God,
What is up with me?
Why is this affecting me like this?
Why does this person bother me so?
Why can I not extend her any grace right here and now….or really ever?
God please show me what is going on with me. Regardless of what other people choose, I should still be able to be who I am called to be. My deep heart and the truer things about who I am should be evident.
Now don’t get me wrong. I believe there are times for zero tolerance but those are usually extreme and obvious instances. This is not one of them. My undies are in a bunch and it would present itself as such that it is this individual’s doing, when in reality something is going on with me.
I hate how the enemy distracts us from what is going on inside our own hearts and tries to put the blame on someone else. I have learned alot over the years about myself but only because I have asked God. Then I stop long enough to actually listen to what the answers are. I don’t get it right all the time but for the most part I have practiced this and I am getting better to not take as long to realize that I need Him and then seek Him in it.
When you ask God to help you be who you are supposed to be and to walk in your truer identity, everything changes.
Now, sitting in my car, stopping, waiting and listening….. I see her through His eyes. I did not see incompetence, I saw a girl who was surrounded by a thick cloud of warfare. This warfare was swirling around her. It represented her story. The many many years of her enemy reinforcing the same lie to her but in a myriad of ways. They all point to one message….”You are not, nor will you ever be…..enough.”
So now, in floods that grace and compassion that I was fresh out of earlier. The pain I could see under the facade of her holding it together was torturous to watch. It was paralysing her to the point that she could not fully function. No wonder she can not seem to do anything right.
I am very visual so I will try to paint you a picture of what I am talking about in regards to warfare surrounding someone. In my own story, I have sexual abuse at the age of 5 over a period of time, different men cat calling after me from 4th grade through my adulthood (everyday walking to and from school for 8 years), boys wanting me to do things even in innocence that were compromising, date-rape at 15, and three other rapes between the ages of 18 – 22. I don’t know if you are noticing a theme here. My enemy did not let up trying to make me believe that those things were the truer things about who I am….a lie that so closely resembled the truth that I believed it for many years.
So as a 23 year old adult, I was trying so hard to be anything but this girl who obviously was attracting all this, or causing this reaction. All these men but I was the only common denominator in all these situations. I believed, it must be me.
I had gained a lot of weight. Part of me was trying to hide so I would not get that kind of attention anymore. When I was pregnant with my first child, the guy I was with told me I was fat and made fun of me. Then he would go out with other women. So there was a part of me that subconciously picked up on that. If I gain weight then they will go elsewhere and leave me alone.
After 23, I really wanted to know why it seemed I had a flashing light on my forehead for men to think it was ok to talk to, or react to me the way they did. God began to open my eyes. He showed me the warfare that surrounded me. It was like this thick cloud made up of the lies that come against me. Unfortunately, they were also the lies that I had begun to believe about myself. Because I believed that this was who I was, I think the lies had a lot more power because it screamed out as part of my identity. Then every time a man would respond to me like that I would chalk it up to one more reinforcement that those lies were truths. So guys who were prone to preying on that type of girl, did. I would walk somewhere waiting for it trying to take it like a woman and just ignore or move on, the whole time feeling humiliated and like I was disgusting.
Hearing from God about who He says that I am and having seen this swirling warfare I began to understand more of why things were playing out the way they were. I began to practice walking in my truer identity. Even when I would get unwanted attention I would try so hard to stand firm and believe I am who God says I am. I am His Beloved Bride. I am the Daughter of the King of Kings. It got easier. Instead of shrinking back and trying to disappear, I stood tall and was defeating the lies with the truth about who I am. I also had my husband who was not yet my husband who was choosing to see me and treat me the way God sees me. That always helps 🙂
Back to the gal at the store…..I was so angry with myself that I fell for it. I took the bait and walked into the trap set by her enemy. I was not paying attention to her warfare. I was duped. I hate being manipulated….especially by the enemy. I practice watching out for that especially when I feel negatively toward someone. I ask God for that sight to see the truer things about them. Why didn’t I with her? I have been very busy starting up my massage business. Not saying that is an excuse, but I am, in my life, distracted right now. I have to be more diligent during these times of busy details to stop and be still. I have to quiet my spirit so that I can hear God and feel the gentleness of His grace as it washes over me. He is pouring out His grace and mercy to me and over me everyday. But if I do not let myself experience it and surrender to receiving it, then I have nothing to extend. I, Jennifer, in and of myself am not capable of offering grace or mercry (whether fierce mercy or tender mercy). Those are supernatural things that are not of this world. I can only get those from God. Just like my identity. I can only get that from God. My life and purpose come from Him first. In that place I can remain Jennifer, the woman God called me to be regardless of what other people choose. It should not change how I walk in my identity.
Now take this picture and apply considering your spouses warfare. How do you fight for them and also walk in the fullness of your identity in Christ Then how do you do the same for your children? What would that look like in those relationships that are close to home?
Take time to consider how the enemy comes against your spouse, your child or your friend. What lies are they prone to believe about themselves? Considering their warfare will help you to not be one of the things in their lives that helps the enemy reinforce the lies. Most likely, you want to be the one to fight for and speak the truer things about who they are.