Truth vs. Toilet Paper
Do you ever believe lies?
I find myself in a season of believing lies, lately. I can’t really confine it to a single month, but for the sake of this post we will just call this season “April”.
I hate Aprils. If you don’t believe me, check out this post from earlier this school year and pay special attention to how Aprils have gone for me the past few years (and feel free to laugh a little at the irony). April this year has been rough, too. Not all the same reasons, not all different ones either.
Back to lies: I don’t know what they are to you. The lies I catch myself believing often have something to do with not being loved or being able to love well. I imagine some people reading this may also believe those kind of lies. Maybe your lies deal with whether or not you are man enough or if you are woman enough. They could be about your past and how you will never overcome it. The lies you sometimes believe (or all the time believe) could be about many different things, I guess.
Back to April: For the sake of transparency, I’m just going to be honest about what has happened. April began with my girlfriend and I breaking up. This didn’t go down horribly or immaturely, and I have no personal vendetta against her. She is really just a wonderful person. I care about her well being, and I pray for her often… but there is still pain. I think there is probably pain in every breakup, even the healthy ones.
Here’s where these lies I keep bringing up start to intersect with our beloved April: Remember what my lies tend to revolve around? Not being loved or being able to love. It is not too difficult to see how a break up (of the first relationship I had been in 5 years) could bring these lies back in the picture…
You are not lovable. You can’t ever love someone. You’re a bad boyfriend, friend, believer, and person. You’ll be always be alone. You are not worthy of love. You’ll never be able to love a woman.
Some of these lies are ridiculous. Maybe all of them are. I’m not the first person to buy into ridiculous things, and unfortunately I won’t be the last. I didn’t embrace the lies right away, but I started to listen to them. I gave them too much airtime. Then they began to randomly show up in my head.
Guilt. Shame. Hurt. Insult. Failure. Inadequacy. Lies.
Stupid April. I could devote more words to Stupid April if you had time. Phrases like “the doctor is concerned” or “too old for this job” or whatever. These, unlike lies, were true. The doctors were concerned, and my grandma is sick. I am too old for that job, and I didn’t get hired (at least in part) because of it. Instead, I’ll just clue you into the lies that came with these things.
It isn’t going to be okay. If you didn’t suck, they would hire you. You are stupid. You missed your chance. God can’t use you because you were dumb and took too long. No one loves you, and those who do are not gonna be here to care much longer.
Lies. All of them. I let them run over and over in my mind. All of these lies became friends. Some of them created new lies, others dug around in my brain and found old lies to replay. I would find myself being unable to escape my own mind, just laying there and feeling awful.
Enter the hero: Truth. At the end of the day, lies are just not true. When we get to that place of believing lies, we must be reminded that lies are lies, and Truth is Truth. They do not possess the same weight. Truth is heavy and grounded. Lies, if people, would find themselves on that show called “Catfish”. They pretend to be Truth, but in reality are just not real.
If Truth were like a Giant Redwood, then lies would be like wet toilet paper. You can throw all your crap at a Giant Redwood if you want, but in the end it isn’t going to damage the tree. Truth turns “crap” into fertilizer; it just makes the Truth seem stronger.
Wet toilet paper is just about useless, unless you are trying to make a mess. I don’t want to make a mess of my life, but that means I have to quit thinking lies are more than just sopping wet pieces of 1-ply TP.
The Truth is that God created me, and cares about me. The Truth is that I matter to Him and He has given me ministry to do. The Truth is that I am well cared about and loved. The Truth is Jesus.
Here’s what we have to decide: Would we rather walk through the Redwood National Forest and be amazed at the trees or sit in the public restroom and play with wet toilet paper? Would you rather live among Truth or would you rather try and make something out of those lies?
Is it always easy to forget the lies? No. That’s why we need people that also want to live in the Truth around us. For me, without my best friend Nick gently reminding me of truth and occasionally hitting me upside the head with it, I would be still be playing with some gross, nasty wet Cottonelle.
If you find that you’re drowning in lies, ask yourself who you are letting speak into your life? What Truth are you holding onto? Is it really Truth, or is it some name-brand version of a lie?
Did parts of this April suck? Yeah. Did I tweet about it sometimes instead of trying to see the trees in our metaphorical Truth forest? Yes. I’m not still there, though. I have been missing the good about April because I was looking at the… well, crappy parts of it.
Don’t be like I was this month. It isn’t fun. It isn’t even helpful. Do I wish I had gotten that job? Yes. Absolutely. In the end, I didn’t. And they lost a really great potential employee. But that doesn’t define me. Do I wish my grandma didn’t have kidney cancer? Yeah, but she’s a fighter and she loves the Lord. I am blessed to be her grandkid. Do I wish my relationship had worked out, whatever that means? Hell yeah. I really wish that, but it didn’t. Moping and buying into a low self-view because of it will not help her or me deal with it. I have to come out of the lies of that breakup. I have to remember the Truth and what really defines me: I am a child of God.
Has this April felt like hell to me at points? Yes. Was it really hell? No. Some really great things happened, too. So I guess at some points it felt more like a “helluva April” instead of just hellish.
Let’s try not to allow ourselves to play with crappy toilet paper when there are trees outside for us to marvel at and climb.