Sometimes I am an idiot. With all my thinking I “know” people, like I can see into them and read who they are. Mostly I can, its a gift. Kinda. But then there is that knee-jerk reaction… she is tall, thin and unusually pretty. She is that girl. The ones who I never fit in with. The ones who laughed at me and mocked me, excluded me. Yes. It is high school and middle school all over again.

So I know her. We have met before. We will not be friends. I am the nonconformist, I march to my own special beat… and she, well she is obviously too vain to be friends with someone who doesn’t conform to the status quo. Boat rocker. I know she’s judging me, disdainfully looking at me… putting me into the “other” category, the dismissed from inclusion list

Mhm. This 30 second assessment occurred in my head today. Me, oh so insightful… so walking it out with Jesus. Being my regular “inclusive” self while secretly creating a wall of judgement between myself and this other woman before we have even spoken a word to each other.

Oh my lovely flesh… all weak and insecure. The lies you tell me. The lies I think for a nanosecond could be true. Those past hurts and rejections still live in my memory waiting to be recalled into action. To preserve all the scars I bear, these hurts could rule my heart if given enough attention.

So with the lies ringing in my heart I wait for this woman to demonstrate her shallowness and obvious superficial fakeness… and feel that lie deflate in my heart. She is genuine and true. Passionate about her faith, loving children, desiring to be called into missions… humble, and gentle AND kind.

And then I can so clearly see the lie. It started so small and in less than a breath it grew, poisoning my heart and feeding my fears. It tells me a truth, “I know people” and then adds in the lie, “you will be rejected”. Survival teaches us to protect ourselves… and with a sufficient wall in place? I will be safe from harm.

It starts so small… seemingly harmless, just waiting to be fed. And once you feed the lie, it grows exponentially and begins to consume your joy.

As soon as she spoke, I knew I had been wrong. Frankly? I was ashamed and relieved all at once. Ashamed that I so quickly misjudged her and relieved that the lie was so quickly revealed in my heart.

Not one of us is immune to the enemy’s lies, he works in the smoky realm of half-truths and feeds off our innermost fears and pain. BUT… he can only thrive when we feed him. The enemy requires our attention and focus to survive. He will poke at our wounds until we lose focus on God for a second, and then he tries to keep us bound in blindness from the light.

In my glorious tumble off the path of God today, I was reminded to keep my focus on Him … ALWAYS. The enemy will do what he always does, but through the grace and mercy of Christ, he will not succeed. We may stumble for a moment, or longer, but we don’t have to stay off track. In the same nanosecond it took me to fall, I chose to give it over to God and repent. Boom. Just like that.

So today I fell out of grace and back in again before lunch… Thank you God, that your mercy knows no end. Thank You that You work through our weaknesses to strengthen us and transform us into Your Holy image. With each lesson, let me grow more and more deeply into the likeness of Christ who dwells within me. Open our eyes to see one another as you see us…. as Your chosen people, set apart, united in the name of Christ Jesus. Amen.