Hey hey hey!
Before I start my story, I just want to know that I’m not alone on certain issues. Okay. So, is it just me or are there times in our walk with Jesus that we feel SO close to Him? Like times when you spend so much time praying in the Spirit, meditating on His word, talking to Him non-stop that you almost feel like there’s steam coming off your body? You just feel “on fire” for God!
To be honest with you, I love these times more than anything. I love the closeness, I love the communication, I just feel like He hears me and He’s watching me and there’s nothing that can change that.
Well, this day was one of those days. Your girl was having a good day. Okay, before I continue, I’m going to have to give you some background information about me. I look very quiet. At least that’s what a lot of people that meet me for the first time say.
BUT, the issue is that I am very far from it. In fact, I have struggled so badly with taming my tongue that I always seem to “stumble” across the verses in Proverbs that warn against the power of the tongue. I know I don’t read those verses by accident, God is always trying to send me a message.
I’m the kind of person that would enter a room and start to talk even before I touch down on my chair. I ALWAYS have something I had been meaning to say to someone in any room. So, it would go something like: I enter my friend’s living room and there are five people there, then all of a sudden, my eyes meet Lara, and before I think twice my mouth has started, “Lara-baby!! Long tiiiiiiiimeeee! Remember when I saw you at school last month? Yes o! that day as I left you, I just fell down, and men, babe! That fall was bad!”.
Trust me, it’s always the most unnecessary stories. Sigh.
Anyway, I’d sit down eventually and start to think, “why did I say that? Why didn’t I just enter and sit down? Didn’t Ecclesiastes 5:3b say “a fool’s voice is known by his many words?”
Then I would struggle with thoughts of how I’m a fool and what-not. I also have a smart mouth (it’s not easy confessing like this and making myself look like a completely horrible person but James 5:16 talks about confessing your sins to one another, and I’m really going somewhere with these stories). I usually can come up with not very nice things to say to people and 75% of the time I blurt them out of my mouth, and justify them by telling myself “I’m just teasing them”.
But then Ephesians 5:4 says, “let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving”. There’s really no space for crude joking or as I like to call “teasing” in our lives.
The Bible also says that we are going to give account of everything we say. That verse, is one of the verses that give me great chills when I read it.
Okay and finally, I just don’t like awkward silence, and I always feel the need to fill them up with a joke or comment or remark. Somehow, I feel like it’s my responsibility to always fill that void that silence brings.
Alright, so now that you know the ugly truth about my personal struggles, let me go on with my story…
This fateful day, I had been having a glorious day praying, reading the word and even reading one of my favourite Christian books, Crazy Love -by my Spiritual father (Francis Chan), and I was really “in the zone”.
I had a group presentation in my class and I had been practicing hard for it. Every time I wasn’t doing anything, I was going over my lines and making sure I knew exactly what I was going to say. I kept doing this because I really don’t like presenting.
As “mouthy” as I can be, I get scared in front of crowds, I get major stage-fright like cold hands, jerking knees… everything. So, I wanted to be sure I was as prepared as possible.
We were given 15 minutes to talk and I was the one expected to introduce for our group. I was allotted 4 minutes for my part, because it was supposed to be an extensive introduction. When it was our turn to go up, it started. My knees started to shake like the joints had been replaced with jelly and my fingers and palms got cold. I started to talk really fast.
Before I knew it, I was passing off the presentation to the next speaker. I really don’t think I had spoken up to two and a half minutes. This of course affected the whole presentation because everyone had to start filling in their parts with extra information so we could fit the 15 minutes we were given. I felt terrible, and because I knew in my heart that I was a ‘not-so-good’ presenter, I kept speaking in tongues before we went up and begging God for help to speak well.
Somehow, the presentation even went worse than I could have ever imagined. I felt like I had let my team down (I forgot to add that you get marks deducted if you don’t use up the whole 15 minutes, which we didn’t end up using). I just wanted to crawl in a hole and hide. I remember the last speaker kept saying, “what Moyo was trying to say was…,” and just basically going over my part for me again, because I don’t think the words that came out of my mouth resembled anything I was supposed to say.
If I could just cry on the spot during that class, I would have. I don’t know how I forgot my lines. I felt like nonsense that whole night, woke up with a heavy heart and didn’t even know how to pray. I just kept beating myself up, and the shame I felt could not be put in words. I replayed the scene in my head, all my classmates were there, and most of them are awesome presenters. I just felt like an olodo in general.
After a while of wallowing in self-pity, I decided to google, “what the Bible says about shame?”
I just praise God because Psalm 3:3 popped up. It says, “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head”.
It took a while for that verse to settle in and change my whole perspective. I read it and it didn’t really mean anything until it clicked! (The Holy Spirit opened my eyes). Do you realize what it means for God to be the lifter of your head? While I was engrossed in my shame, the devil fed me with all the lies, reminded me how I couldn’t control my tongue, told me to be ashamed because I deserved to be, told me God wasn’t listening, made me sit in self-pity, and all of that.
Then I realized that God is the lifter of my head! Okay, maybe we should picture it, just because this is so deep to me.
You realize the position of shame? It almost always comes with the head bowed. My favourite “shame-position” is sitting with my knees raised up, then bowing my head and tucking it between my knees, then holding my left wrist with my right wrist to hold the head firmly in place (do you see this with your mind?).
Now, imagine God, the King of all Kings, the Father of Light, The Holy one, The One who sits in unapproachable light, The Lord of Lords coming and lifting up my head.
At our lowest, the Lord is the lifter of our heads. He lifts up your (my) head from the shame position to look up at Him. You realize that when you look at Him, you forget about your inadequacies, your failings, your faults and shame. You see His perfection, His righteousness and the devil cannot even dare to come torment you.
He lifts up your head to see His glory, to see that He is sufficient for you, He is your Pillar, He is the shield about us, He is our glory. Nothing can separate us from His love.
Do you see why I love this God? Do you see how remarkable He is? After my eyes were open to this truth, I spent some time with my God, asking Him to heal my tongue, to heal my heart because it’s out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. I’m not perfect yet, but I’m on my way! I have the Holy Spirit in me, and this battle can only be won!
I’m ‘silently’ screaming because I can relate! You’d just do some things and swim in guilt ehn…
I remember sometime last week, I was actually trying to remember a particular sin I had committed so I could ask God for forgiveness again.
God just said, ‘I have forgiven you. Forgive yourself!’
The devil tries to make us believe we’re too dirty for God and that we’re not worthy at all at all. Meanwhile, it’s because we know how unworthy we are that we keep running to God.
I remember one short article I wrote on Social Media on why I need Jesus. I was surprised that it resonated with people. We need Jesus, not because we’re perfect, but because of the kind of love He showers. Honestly, I can say God is my greatest cheerleader. His love for me is unsearchable.
Are you still beating yourself up?
Are you still running from God because the devil told you you’re no good?
Are you still living in shame?
Look to Jesus. Let Him lift your head.
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