I don’t recall ever playing Barbies with anyone who wanted to be Skipper, do you?  I mean sure, she was cute.  But who wants to be the cute little sister, right?  We fought to be Barbie the Blonde Bombshell. Whoever didn’t run fast enough downstairs got to bee-bop around for the next 30 minutes, at best playing dress-up in Barbie’s dream house closet, or at worst, stuck in the backseat of big sis’ pink convertible watching Boss-hog Barbie make out with Ken.  Ugh. 

Maybe it’s the fact that I’m the little sister. Or maybe the fact that my sister has always been a happy, social, gorgeous talent. Or maybe the fact that I chose my haircuts out of the JCPenney “New Mom, New You” hairstyle look book(9 year olds must stay progressive). Or maybe the fact that my parents named me Leah (you know, the ugly sister in the bible Jacob got stuck with and worked seven more years to win the pretty sister … more counseling is required for me to actually tackle this point).  

Regardless, somewhere along the way I believed the lie that I was second best. 

Now let me be clear.  This lie was never, and I mean ever, brought on by my sister.  She has loved me, gone to bat for me, and supported my dreams even when they have stalled her own. It was also never brought on by my parents.  They are amazing and loved me for who I was and am.  I actually love that they named me Leah   No, this lie wasn’t planted by my family, it was planted by the father of all lies.  I was innocent and naïve and I took the bait without even knowing I had swallowed it.  

Proverbs 4:23

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

The lie that I wasn’t good enough had penetrated my heart, and my life was being determined it. Which explains everything.  Every time I jumped at a little attention, every time I took risks that didn’t match up with my faith, and even into an eating disorder that almost swallowed me as a teenager, that little lie took root and grew deep in my heart and caused me to believe I wasn’t good enough.  That lie quickly grew past a few people comparing me to my sister… I took over and began comparing myself to everyone, and worst of all, comparing myself to the girl I thought I should be.  Perfection became a black hole of striving and an unbearable chain that controlled my life. The verse below sums it up.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; …” John 10:10

Does he ever! And THIS is how he does it!  This is how he wrecks women’s hearts, young and old.  He doesn’t always come at us with guns a blazin’, attacking our faith. No, he’s smarter than you think.  He attacks us where we least expect it, in our thoughts.   He sows seeds of self-doubt, unworthiness, self-pity, jealousy, envy, and on and on until we are so weighed down by all of these chains we could not possibly do the work God has called us to do or live in the full joy of his love!  But notice the second half of this verse:

“….I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Jesus came to give us life to the FULL.  I don’t know about you, but I’d say the first step to a full life is walking in freedom.  And that is exactly what God did.  He freed me of those lies. Now I’m not saying I woke up a new woman.  Actually, even better….

I realized I already was a new woman!  I accepted Jesus as a child and from that day forward, I had every freedom and victory living inside of me.  So I asked God to help me start living like it!  He gave me things to do to put that into practice, two things really.

  • CLEAN OUT THE LIES

I stopped subscribing to things that were not truth (and I mean literally subscribing: as in magazines, shows, relationships, movies, obsessions, books, etc.).   Some people may not be affected by the same things, but I know my weaknesses and I don’t want lies to start slipping back in.   “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Phillipians 4:8

  • FILL MY LIFE WITH TRUTH

I began filling my life with devotionals, books, people & music that reflected the truth about who God is and who He says I am, and most of all, I spent time with God.  I prayed and prayed that He would fill my life with friends that love Him and would encourage me in my faith, and did he ever!  I ask him even now to fill my life with truth, because when you study the truth, then you can identify the counterfeit.  (I don’t know if that last line is actually a biblical principal, but it’s how they caught Leonardo DiCaprio’s counterfeit money-printing character in “Catch Me If You Can”, so I think it’s worth mentioning). 

So I will ask you this.   What lie are you believing? Maybe, like me, it’s a lie that started when you were young and you didn’t even realize it was there. Maybe, like me, a lot of the choices you made were steered by the lie you believed.  Maybe, like me, you will find freedom in God and freedom in who he says you are.

-Leah