March 2, 1992. On that day long ago, I was an unmarried, 19-year old college sophomore sitting in a plastic chair in a small room staring at two lines on a pregnancy test.
I don’t remember if I cried or not. But without a doubt, I remember feeling like I was drowning in the non-stop waves of shame, guilt and failure crashing against my heart.
The rest of the day was a daze. I went to campus and stood next to the current undergraduate student government president as his running mate as the election results were read. It should have been a day for celebration. Yet, all I wanted to do was run to my dorm room and crawl under my blankets.
I was standing in the crowd, but my mind was far, far away. I thought about telling my parents. I imagined the disappointed looks on the faces of everyone at my church. Cycling every few seconds was one thought that I couldn’t stop thinking and it made me sadder than every other thought combined:
I let God down. He must be so disappointed in me.
I envisioned that God was sitting in heaven shaking His head whenever He looked down on me. I could see His disappointed dad eyebrows scrunched up and His frown pointed in my direction.
In the days that followed my trip to the local crisis pregnancy center, I woke up, went to class and then came home and cried in my dorm room.
I tried to pray. But I couldn’t. God doesn’t want to hear from me.
While I was too afraid and ashamed to talk to God, there was a voice, a whisper that spent a lot of time talking to me. The Whisper never seemed to run out of convincing words to say:
“You’ve messed up so badly that you can never fix this.”
“God will never bless you again after what you’ve done.”
“Watch out, something bad is probably going to happen to you.”
The Whisper otherwise known as the voice of lies from the pit of hell, filled the space in my heart and mind with fear.
The Whisper walked with me to class each day telling me that my future didn’t matter because I’d already messed it up beyone repair.
The Whisper sat on my pillow at night chattering away, keeping me awake so that my mind would work through endless “what-if” worries and worst-case scenarios – each one overwhelming me with hopelessness because I had no way to help myself – and I was too afraid to go to God.
I wanted to believe that The Whisper was lying, but I’d messed my life up so badly that I was afraid that Its words were true.
Like Adam and Eve hid from God after they sinned (Genesis 3), I made plans to run away.
The week after I found out that I was pregnant, I contacted a childhood friend who lived thousands of miles away across the country. I planned to leave so that I didn’t have to face my parents, church family or God.
I didn’t know back then that The Whisper tempted me to leave so that I could be farther away from the relationships that could love and support me. Just as a limping wounded animal on the African plain, I was vulnerable. If something didn’t happen, The Whisper would tempt me to leave the God and people that cared about me. In my wounded, fearful stated, I would be devoured.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” -1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)
Over the next few weeks, I will tell you about how God used the events of March 2 to re-shape my spiritual life and future. This isn’t a story about quick fixes or simple solutions, rather I finally experienced the freedom that comes from grace.
If you’re struggling with a mistake in your past or The Whisper is tormenting you over a struggle in your Christian life, I’m glad that you’re here. Today, I want you to know that you aren’t alone.
I wasn’t planning to share today’s story. However, when I looked at the calendar and realized that it was 29th anniversary of what seemed like the end of my life as I knew it, instead, it was the first step in the journey that would lead to toward God’s greatest gift for me…His grace.
I don’t know what’s making you afraid of God today, but can I ask you to do one thing? Tell a trusted Christian friend about the whispers that are making you afraid of God. If you don’t feel like you can talk to anyone, you are welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pray for you.
Let’s pray together right now:
Dear God, You are the God who loves us, in spite of our mistakes and failures. Today, I pray that my friend would recognize when Satan’s whispers try to make her afraid of You or tempt her to question Your love. Remind us that Your love for us is based on Your perfect promises, not our performance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW: Have you ever felt like you’ve messed up your life so badly that God couldn’t love you anymore? Lately, are there any lies that The Whisper tries to speak to you? How do you handle them?
INTRODUCING BARB’S NEXT BIBLE STUDY!
Let go of feeling like you are not a “good enough” Christian and find freedom in Christ by studying Paul’s letter to the Galatians in my new study, Breakthrough: Finding Freedom in Christ.
Have you ever felt that being a good Christian means you’ve got to follow a bunch of rules and measure up?
If so, you aren’t alone! In this six-week Bible study of Galatians, Barb Roose shows us that even the believers in the early church struggled to let go of rule-keeping and performance in order to embrace God’s free gift of grace.
If you’ve ever struggled with feeling like God is disappointed with you or felt trapped by rules or religion, this study will provide a path to discover your freedom in Christ.