Do any of you struggle with negative thoughts brought on by Facebook? You know, those “She posted a picture of her house and mine isn’t as nice” or “Their family looks so perfect, and mine is a mess.” “She must cook every night these great meals for her family, and I haven’t cooked in a month. I must be a bad mom and wife.” “Her house is all decorated for Christmas, and I don’t even feel like decorating this year.” I hear this a lot, people questioning themselves based on what others are doing or saying. I stay so busy that I do not have time to fret much over these things, but recently, I’ve had a few of them – you know, the “I bet people think I’m a terrible grandmother because I don’t post pictures of the baby 24/7 – after all, I wasn’t even there when she was born! You’re posting things about your business expansion but nothing about your family – people probably think that’s all you care about” – what? Do you have any of those thoughts?
I read this great book several years ago called “This Present Darkness” by Max Lucado, and I have brought it back out to read again. The book is fiction, but it paints this picture of how the devil works and how the angels battle against the demons, all this supernatural stuff that goes on in the world we cannot see. There’s this scene in the book where this little pastor is discouraged, and he’s pondering on how to handle a situation, and this little demon flys by and lands on his shoulder just long enough to whisper in his ear things like “They hate you, you’re never going to make it, just give up! Give up, give up, give up!” I read that book probably 30 years ago, but that scene has stayed with me, and when I have thoughts that I just know are ridiculous, designed to tear you down, mess you up, work with your head, sometimes I literally say out loud, “Satan, just shut up! I am NOT listening to you!”
One of my good friends at church has been battled in her mind for the last month and a half, thoughts like these, as she faces very tough things in her home. It is like fighting your own self, when you’re trying to shut your mind off. The devil is good at being persistent, especially if he thinks he’s gaining a foothold. He will peck and peck and peck at you, worse than a teenager that wants to do something or go somewhere you’ve said they can’t go. Thinking about these things this week, I was reminded of how God sees us – totally different than the world sees us – and I ran across this devotional written by a young woman with Down’s syndrome. It has great truths within it, and we need to keep these scriptures forefront in our mind for when others attack us (or we attack ourselves) over absolutely nothing! May God show you this week His love and give you His spirit over your heart and mind!
Devotional written by “Jenny the Jewel”
I was born with Down syndrome over 30 years ago. This makes some things very difficult for me. When I was younger, I spent a lot of time asking God, Why did you make me with Down Syndrome? Why can’t I be normal like other people?
I told Him all the time that I didn’t like having Down syndrome. I kept thinking that if only I didn’t have Down syndrome I would be happy. I thought that somehow God made a mistake when He made me. My Mom and Dad always told me they loved me so deeply, and that they could not love me any more, but somehow down deep in my heart I always wondered if they would love me more if I didn’t have Down Syndrome.
When I was in high school, the kids on the school bus were very mean to me. They laughed at me, and mocked me and they called me all kinds of bad names, and told me that even my parents couldn’t love me. That hurt me so deeply!
When I got off the school bus in the afternoon, I would be crying. My Mom met me at the door, and we would talk and pray every day. She told me that people used to say bad things about Jesus and call Him names too, so He understood exactly how I felt.
She told me that real truth is only found in God’s Word, and not in what other people say about you. She told me that if I could find anywhere in the Bible where God calls me bad names, or said I was a mistake; she would pay me $5,000. I spent a lot of time reading in the Bible to find out what God said about me. All the Scriptures I found said just the opposite, so I never did get the $5,000!
Some of my favorite Scriptures are: Psalm 139:14 where God says,“I am fearfully and wonderfully made." God tells me in Psalm 17, "I am the apple of His eye." In Deuteronomy 7:6, God tells me that I am "His treasured possession." In Philippians 4:8, God tells me to think about whatever is "true, noble, right, pure, and lovely." I like to think about the truth that God tells me and spend my time thinking about what God says is true. The last Scripture I want to share is Psalm 119:114, “You are my refuge and my shield. I have put my hope in your Word.” My confidence and hope is in God. I know now that instead of being a mistake, I am the Lord’s treasured possession.
I like to memorize Scripture and fill my mind with the truth of who God says I am. This understanding has made all the difference in my life. Now I recognize that God has a plan for my life, and He created me just the way I am for His special purpose. I may still have Down syndrome, but now instead of saying “if only” I didn’t have Down syndrome, I say, “So what, I will glorify God just the way He made me." I know He loves me and cares for me with His whole heart.
The Lord showed me that I am not a mistake, but I am a precious gift…His treasured possession. We have a choice to believe and fill our minds with God’s truth, which will change our hearts, or listen to what other people say and be sad. It is a choice we must each make. In Exodus 4:10, Moses tells God that he can’t do what God told him to do because he was slow of speech and tongue. In verse 11, the Lord said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go. I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” He made me just the way He made me for just the special purpose I was created for. There is special work He has for me to do that can only be done by me, just the way He created me.
If I spend my time wishing I was different, I will never get around to doing those things God wants me to do. Sometimes Satan tries to put thoughts into my head and tell me that I am no good and stuff like that. That’s when I remember the Scripture in John 10:10 that says, “The thief comes only to steal, and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it to the fullest.”
When Satan tries to put lies into my head, I beat him over the head with the truth of God. I do it over and over again as long as I have to. I know God has given me special gifts and talents, and my desire is to use them for His glory. I say it often and I mean it…I love my life!
God does not make any mistakes, and that’s the truth… no matter what we sometime may think. As Proverbs 3:5 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding." Jesus is my best friend, and I love Him with all my heart, and I am fully His.There is nothing more important in my life than pleasing Him, spending time loving Him and reading His Word, talking to Him, and sharing His love with other people. His joy fills my heart!
If your heart is sad because you wish God had made you different, read in His Word the truth of what He says about you, believe it, and let Him change your heart. Nothing is impossible with God. He certainly did change my heart.”
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.