We all say things we don’t mean. Whether it is in the heat of an argument or in the sorrow of grief, we all speak words that should have never left our mouth. We’ve all “joked” with someone who didn’t think it was funny or hurt someone’s feelings when we really didn’t mean too. Our tongues lash out, and we punish the ones we call friends and family, including God and ourselves.

Our pastor at Gateway Church is taking us through a series right now about the power of our words, and the positive or negative impact they can have on our lives and our destinys. I think about the words spoken over me and the one’s I’ve spoken through my life and how I set myself up for a lot of emotional struggles and created strongholds that have taken me years to break.

I spent the better part of my life not having much self worth. I didn’t have a very high opinion of myself because I was so self-conscience about the way I looked. I still feel the hurt and pain when I think about the name calling and rude comments. I still feel violated when I recall the one in high school who grabbed my chest in the cafeteria and joked that they must be fake because they were so big. I am still burdened with the emotional damage caused by the boys and girls in high school who teased me about my large chest.

What I didn’t understand at 16 years old was that these moments created a life long struggle for me. Somewhere along the line I made an unspoken agreement with the enemy. In my pain… I believed lies, and I opened a door through which he could easily torment me and influence what I thought about myself.

I went to college and thought I was a big fat nothing. I convinced myself no one would actually want to date me for me and looked for ways to mess things up and prove myself right. I pushed away all the Mr. Rights and ran after the Mr. Wrongs. I made judgements about myself – that I was ugly; that I was a hag; that no one would love me. It was these bitter root judgments about myself that led me into abusive relationships with men. These lies kept me jumping from one bad relationship to the next pretty much cementing lies as truth for the next 15 years of my life.

I can browse through my old diaries and see what an emotionally damaged and broken girl I was. I can trace it all back to high school when I wrote in the pages of my first diary “I am not worth anything. I am a hag. No one will ever love me.” And I repeated them over and over until I believe them. In face, I can read these same sentiments in book after book all the way up to when I truly came to love who I am in Christ. The lies stopped when I allowed the truth of the Holy Spirit to fill and define me.

Why do we as women feel the need to beat ourselves up with our words? Oh how I wish that young girl knew who she was in God the way I do today. I wish I understood then the power words have in our lives… to build us up or tear us down. To bring us promise and hope or to hoist upon us despair and pain.

I am very fortunate to attend a church that encourages us to seek freedom, and it is these very judgements and inner vows that I have had to break free of. I hope to never read the pages of those diaries again. I am not that wounded girl. Today, I am God’s daughter. I am a woman of worth. And someone very special loves me.

Wow… saying that is powerful! Jesus said “…You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

Facing the truth and breaking free of the bondage of lies that I carried with me since childhood has been so liberating. I can breath! I can look at myself in the mirror with ease. I can confidently say today that I no longer care what people think of me because my eyes and heart are set on the only one who should and can judge me.

What is amazing is that God says He knows me, and I am worthy! And the great news is that He know you too! Luke 12:7 says “Why, even all the hairs on your head have been counted! Stop being afraid. You are worth more than a bunch of sparrows.”

At nearly 41 years old… I still hesitate at wearing a tight shirt and still joke about how I don’t like to do any exercises where my chest is bouncing around. And then I have to instantly lay this at the feet of God by saying “Lord, I am sorry I agreed with these judgements; they were lies. I was uniquely and wonderfully made and there is nothing about my body that is ugly or embarrassing.”

What scars from word wounds are you carrying around? Horrible things you said to yourself or someone said to you? We’ve all been the victim of some kind of verbal abuse. It is time to rise up and take a stand against the enemy who bullies us. Pray for God to release His grace and mercy upon you. Invite Him to heal you and provide a new revelation about who you are to Him! Make a pledge to denounce any negative thoughts the enemy drops into your mind and heart. Ask God to shield you with His armor to protect you when you are weak.

In doing this… I’ve come to know the only words that matter are the ones spoken by God, my father. And I trust I will never hear any word from Him that isn’t loving and affirming.