word of the day: lie \ˈlī\ to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive; to be in a helpless or defenseless state
I once wrote that “I could probably write a 328 part series about the lies I believe on any given day.”
The themes of that post, written a little over a year ago, have been on my brain since we moved to Ohio. Specifically, I keep thinking about this:
The first eight definitions of the word “lie” have to do with something that remains motionless. Helpless. Defenseless. That’s what happens when we believe a lie isn’t it? It is meant to paralyze us. Take away our direction. Keep our boat in place.
It always helps me once I detect the lie. Instead of a weight that hangs heavy around my heart, it becomes a fly that just needs swatted away once in a while. It’s still annoying, yes, but it’s not enough to keep me from paddling.
Every day, a million thoughts go through my head. Many are good and some are bad and a few sneak in parading as good which are really bad (I’m breaking all my own writing rules here about choosing strong adjectives). The latter two categories, in many cases, are lies, and if I’m not careful, they really do have the power to paralyze.
I can’t stop thinking about all the lies. So, I think I’m supposed to write about them.
I don’t really want to write about them. That’s why I’ve been posting about how much I love my dishwasher and about how much I hate Eastern Standard Time and about all the hilarious things Lily says. It’s easier to be clever than it is to be vulnerable.
I’ve been working to name the lies. isolation, entitlement, and fear tend to play dominant roles (although I don’t like to give them the satisfaction of capital letters), and in writing about each one individually, I hope to expose the lie and counter it with Truth (a well-deserved capital letter there).
If this is the introduction, then here is the thesis: There are two things I need you to know if you intend to read any subsequent posts in this series.
First, my propensity to believe lies is not new. It is not a result of our move to Ohio. I believed all these same lies my first semester of college when I cried behind closed doors every night, or when I kept getting rejected from teaching interviews, or when Jake and I went to Africa, or when Lily was born and I didn’t feel particularly happy about it. You name a chapter in my life, and I’ll name all the lies I believed. I only say this because the lies I believe might also be the lies you believe even if you’re living in a totally different life stage than me. Lies are tricky that way.
Second, lies have to originate somewhere, so if I’m going to talk about them, I have to talk about Satan. He is the accuser (Job 1:6); the father of lies (John 8:44). He is on the prowl (1 Peter 5:8), and his end goals are death and destruction. The worst part is that he is smart, and he knows how to make a lie sound pretty good. How to make it your idea. How to twist the truth just right. How to prey on your most vulnerable moments. He doesn’t want us to find the lies because then we expose his voice behind them. And when we expose his voice, we expose the fact that (spoiler alert) he doesn’t get to win. God does, and there is (I’ve found it) great hope in that. We can beat the lies.
I don’t intend to write a 328 part series. If it starts to get too heavy, I promise to take a break to write about clever things like how I’m pretty sure Jen Hatmaker can see into my soul or how all I want to do every moment of every day is watch The West Wing.
In any case, if you choose to stay tuned, I hope the lies I wrestle with on any given day can help you wrestle with and name yours. What good is this life if we can’t go through it together, after all?