I couldn’t breathe, here it was again. That “word”. My head was spinning; heart racing; glands dripping. I’m sure my eyes were dancing like waves in the middle of a hurricane, trying to sort through the situation that brought the “word”. I had expressed my heart creatively: colors, shapes, a picture, but then.. the “word”. My expression dulled.
Tears fell. I had spoken and was misunderstood. I had stood up to be heard, to defend my soul and it offended. It sounded again, that “word”. The courage it took to speak now shattered. My knees were already shaking with fear and it was justified. Fear won.
The butterflies were swarming. I had had a revelation and was freed by its appearance. Bursting with life I had to share. They disagreed with this revelation. “Word” strikes again like a dagger. Doubt sets in like a heavy fog.
He left without saying goodbye; disappearing into the memories. Without using consonants and vowels he spoke the “word” in his wake. Struggling to beat, my heart devastated, I raced to safety behind a wall of ice.
Our friendship was guarded with the loyalty of my heart. We laughed, cried and shared together. Or so I thought. Then the “word” came and dug ditches that became chasms, unfilled.
The piling of words became accusations.
Accusations begot assumptions.
Assumptions begot perceptions.
Perceptions begot expectations.
Expectations begot identity.
They all became the reflection I saw in the mirror. Like toothpaste out of a tube they piled upon my soul. “Words”. Bringing definition and meaning to my life and character. Good or bad, they were framing the world around me. And it wasn’t just the spoken ones; the silence too, gave authorship to these outspoken influencers.
“The tongue has the power of life and death….” Prov. 18:21
This bondage of perception kept me hidden. I feared my own clarity for the “words” to come were deadly. They brought a cloak of oppression and with it, a death grip on my God-given light.
As I began writing this post I was searching my journals for exact words that translated directly into my identity. Instead of finding words I found effects. Words in and of themselves are made up of letters and sounds. You can see and hear words and find all sorts of meanings. Used in one context a word is freeing and another that same word is binding. It is the effect of the word that makes the impact. Like the wind, you can see the effects of the wind but you can’t see the wind.
Words are like clothes and we wear them. We feel them. We identify with them. We are affected by them. How quickly I took the pile of words and began to clothe myself. Each new experience was met with the same expectation; I framed each new moment with those same “words”. They became the running ticker in my head and the effect became the burden, the oppression. These words, this clothing, it wasn’t me. It didn’t fit and most definitely didn’t flatter.
When you are hiding behind something false it gets incredibly stifling. Your soul screams for freedom. My heart and soul know their creator, my longing deepened with each nail in the wall for authenticity.
If you abide in my word… you will know the truth
and the truth will set you free.
Jesus came in, declared you and I as His. He ripped off the heavy, filthy, rancid rags we’ve been wearing. He cleansed, restored, and filled. He is the WORD. God’s message, His words about you, became flesh;
flesh. He brought you new clothes, a coat of brilliant color. In ancient days clothing was a symbol of your social status, it was your identity: royal, pauper, servant, or priest. Millennia has not changed this. Joseph was given a brilliant coat as a claim to his inheritance, as does ours. It represents who we are… what we are. It represents whose we are.
The process of change is often tedious, repetitious and vulnerable (there is a period of nakedness as you remove one coat to put on another). To emerge from the heavy burden of false clothing, I have to replace the lying words rambling in my head for His truth words.
Let His word define you, characterize you. Put it on. Cover yourself.
To Abide, I must remain, a choice I make. So I have replaced “word” with the threads of: redeemed, righteous, beautiful, gracious, daughter, heiress, royal diadem, anointed, favored, blessed, wanted, loved….
How about you? Are you switching wardrobes?