- “You are stupid.”
- “You are ugly.”
- “You are worthless.”
- “You are bad.”
- “You asked for it.”
- “You deserve this.”
These and thousands of other things have been said to you. They were said not just once in passing, but repeated..and repeated…and repeated. You have believed them because those with authority and power over you have always stated them as facts. The coldness or the anger in which they were said, made you feel powerless, unable to change their words. You think, “I must be what they say I am or why would they say them? Adults and people who are supposed to love me can’t tell lies, can they? I get punished for lying, so they MUST have spoken truth.”
All that would be awful enough to experience as a child, but then to have all kinds of other abuses – emotional, physical, and sexual – heaped on, was enough to crack your heart, mind, and soul. The abusive actions made the abusive words sink deeper, distorting your ability to know a lie from truth.
You became in your head what THEY said was true, because you were hurt and there was no one to contradict them. The labels have stuck to your soul. You can’t scrub them off or make yourself forget.
How do you overcome this horrid reality that was your life?
First, you need to know where the source of their words come from. Then you need to know why they actually said them. And finally you need to know what is actually true about you. Only then can you make the changes to be free of them and the wounds they have created. This is a long, but necessary process.
1. The Source
The words said over you and to you came from the Source of all lies – Satan. He is the Father of lies. Satan is a murderer, deceiver, and destroyer, of everything to do with we humans, originally made in the image of God, for the glory of God. Satan’s goal is to steal any glory from God he can by destroying God’s creation of human kind – which obviously includes YOU!
Why do I say that? Well, let me ask you this, “What has been the effect of the words and abuse on you?”
DEATH of who you are, who you were meant to be, and the DESTRUCTION of your life ever since. Those are NOT the fruits of people who really care about you. When Satan acted like he was doing Adam and Eve a favor by telling them that God was withholding good from them in the Garden of Eden, what was the result? They believed Satan and ate. We ALL fell through time with them, to the DESTRUCTION AND DEATH that comes from believing Satan, the Father of Lies.
2. Why Were They Said
Now that we know the Source of the words said to you, let’s explore a bit of why they were said to you.
Some will say it is because the abuser was also hurt and had these words said to them. Sadly, that can be very true. But I think the biggest reason flows out of the Source we already mentioned – Satan telling them that they will be able to satisfy their need for power and lust when they can trap you and make you believe their words. You become an object that meets their needs when they see you as the words they are speaking over you. It distances them from responsibility FOR you. It enables them to DEVALUE you and use you up for their own needs. It JUSTIFIES their actions in their own minds. You must have DESERVED what they were saying about you so they could do what they wanted with you. Satan is a Liar and the Father of Lies, working masterfully to make your abuser BELIEVE the fault lies with YOU so THEY can do to you as they wish, while Satan destroys BOTH THEM AND YOU.
Satan may be the SOURCE of the lies, but it is the CHOICE of the abuser to BELIEVE them and ACT on them. THEIR WORDS are the ones that took you to the place where you owned the blame for the depraved things THEY did to you. THEY embody the very words they are trying to get YOU to believe YOU are.
I want you to know something. Read it out loud.
IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!
Did I say it enough?
I wish I could say it for every time the lies of what they told to you were said, but only YOU and GOD know how many times it would need to be spoken.
How does knowing the source and the reason for the abuse, help you believe it was not your fault?
It doesn’t… not yet.
3. What is ACTUALLY True About You
You need to know the Truth, the Source of Truth, and what He did and declares of you in light of it. Lies do not lose their power simply by revealing them. Lies MUST be replaced and reinforced with GOD’S TRUTH found in His Word.
The destruction that Satan created when he introduced the lie about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil – which Adam and Eve believed – was seen by God. God had a plan from before the creation of the world. A plan to show us that He does indeed love us, He is not holding out on us, and He was willing to die on a Cross to make it all very plainly so.
So what does GOD say about you based on the work of the Cross?
- You are His Masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10)
- You are wonderfully and beautifully made. (Psalm 139:14)
- You are forgiven – past, present, future. (Hebrew 7:27-28)
- You are chosen. (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 2:4))
- You are a redeemed child of the King. (Galatians 4:4-7)
- You are blameless. (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Corinthians 1:8)
Jesus died in your place. This shows how much value HE places on you, as well as His intense desire to redeem you from the hands of Satan.
He speaks words of life to you – words that build up, empower, and give hope. When you look into His face, you will not see condemnation, shame, or the demand to carry other people’s sins done against you as if they were your own. He has already done that on the Cross.
Jesus knows you were but a little girl or a young lady. You were over-powered by another person’s evil and intentionally selfish choices. You had no control over those who hurt you. You could not have been bad enough or good enough to make the abuse stop – for yourself or others. You are NOT at fault. You couldn’t have yelled loud enough, hit hard enough, or fought back in a way that would have made it all stop. And to continue to think you could have, is to own the evil of what others did to you as your own. That would be wrong, allowing them to continue to push on you what they alone need to own.
How do you actually stop owning what is not your burden to carry?
1. Read the passages I shared above and use a Bible concordance to look up more passages to build your own arsenal of GOD’S TRUTH. (Try words like: loved, chosen, forgiven, heir, grace, righteous, blameless, inheritance, good, redeemed.)
2. Ask yourself these questions: “If what this passage SAYS is true, what lie do I need to lay down? What do I need from God to believe the truth there? If I don’t believe it, what am I saying about God?” Journal the process of thoughts and prayers the Lord leads you to.
3. Write all this out in a journal, notebook, or on note cards – start a record of truth that you can return to as you you engage the battle to let the Lord restore what sinful persons have taken – life, joy, peace, confidence, worth.
4. Pray for and seek out safe, Godly community. They will be a mirror of truth, encouragement when the lies try to roar back in, and support to speak truth to yourself and others in your life. (I have written a blog that explains how to go about that here.)
5. Check out the coaching packages I offer, where I partner with you to go FROM:
- being voiceless to having courage TO speak truth into hard situations
- being beaten down by those who tried to redefine you TO creating strong, healthy boundaries where you can have your “Yes” and “No”, mean “Yes” and “No.