Defeating the Lies
In our few minutes today, I’d like to talk about some lies that try to sabotage every widow I know. Then, I want to suggest ways to come out a winner in each mental combat situation. The best way to defeat a lie in our mind is always to replace it with a truth that we can use as a weapon. Jesus said He IS the TRUTH, so using His word at those times is our best way to survive.
I suppose we’re not unique in being assaulted with lies, just more vulnerable than most. I Peter 5:8 says, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Let’s look together at four very common lies that will try to devour our peace, our confidence, and our relationships.
The first is this: No one understands what this is like! The fact is that there are nearly 300 million widows on this planet who truly do understand. The problem is that many of our friends and family actually DON’T understand unless they have lived through this. When we accept this lie as truth, something happens in our hearts that leads us to a place of isolation and depression. (I did a post called “Solitude or Isolation” back in December that would be helpful to reread.)
Because we frequently live alone, and many are not working outside the home, we need to keep close track of how we respond to this lie. If we find ourselves not answering the phone, refusing to attend social events, staying home for days on end, or not reaching out to anyone, that’s the time to take action. In order to stay healthy mentally and emotionally, and in order to heal from the trauma of loss, it’s imperative to find and participate in community with others who do understand.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 tells us this:
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Most of us would agree that we preferred being part of “two” rather than one, but this passage isn’t necessarily speaking of marriage. A three-fold cord can be you, a friend, and Jesus.
Second, No one can help me! Believing this lie leads to trying to get through this terrible trauma alone. We believe because no one understands, it follows that no one can help! This keeps us from sharing our struggle, our pain, or our needs with anyone. It destroys what relationships we do have left.
The truth is there are many people who care deeply for the widows in their circles. They often simply don’t know how they can help. I encourage you to find one or two others, (or join a Refocusing Widows group!) where you can share your heart. Be courageous to share what you really need in the way of help with those friends who would really love to help! This is one of the hardest things a widow does, and one of the hardest things for her friends to know unless she tells them. Galatians 6:2 tells us: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Obviously they can’t help us carry unless we first tell them what the burden is!
The third lie is this: If anyone knows this, they will judge me. First of all, this probably isn’t true, but what if it is? Some people really DO think you should be done crying in six months or a year. Some wonder why you still wear your wedding rings? Some may tell you that you should just get on with your life. They are the ones who truly don’t understand. However, too much concern about what others think of us keeps us isolated. Remember what I said about that earlier? Your true friends will not judge you. They will give you the time and space to talk, cry, be angry, and grow into a new season of peace and joy. The Apostle Paul teaches us in I Corinthians 4 that we don’t stand or fall on the judgment of others. Be at peace that God knows the heart! There’s an old Gospel song that can bring comfort in this:
No one understands like Jesus,
He’s a friend beyond compare,
Meet Him at the throne of mercy,
He is always waiting there.
The last one may be the most difficult for us to overcome. If I had been more spiritual, this would not have happened. There may be people who communicate that if you had more faith, your spouse would have been healed. There may be those who think your tears and sadness indicate that you’re not leaning on the Lord. There will always be those who find some lack in you but know this: the Father has made you perfect in His sight.
These are the questions we ask ourselves in the middle of the lonely nights when we can’t sleep. Did I pray enough? Should I have been fasting? Was I not paying attention when I should have been engaged in spiritual warfare? Should more people have been praying for us? Why did that accident happen? Should I have been praying for more protection? Why did that heart attack come so suddenly? Why did he suffer with Alzheimer’s or ALS or any other terrible disease?
God answers all of these questions by telling you that you are enough just the way you are. Only He is all-knowing and all-powerful and all-wise. We could not know the future, and given the same set of circumstances, we would make all the same decisions!
Be encouraged today! Know in your heart that the roaring lion has no teeth when we face him with the TRUTH of God’s word.
Your comments or feedback are welcome, or you may email me at email@example.com. Feel free to share with others who may be helped by this.
So good. I actually just preached on this passage yesterday and made the same comparison. Unity in the Lord with others strengthens us no matter what. He is faithful.