The lies went something like this:
You do not matter.
You are a burden.
People do not call to check on you, why do you bother with trying to establish friendships?
Friendships do not matter? That isn't what life is about!
Stay inside, it is the easy thing to do and no one will notice.
You are too needy.
I believed them. My heart was, and to an extent still is, heavy. Blogging about this and being transparent is not easy for me, but if I didn't write this, I couldn't share the blessing that came out of hearing lies. God! God, He spoke louder than the lies this time. Maybe He does every time, but this time I really heard it. The truth left me standing there in the middle of the church parking lot praising God.
When we first arrived He spoke through two children. He used a still small whisper, but my heart was so hardened with lies. Savannah, who is four, ran up to me and said, "CASE!" The child was excited to see me. She did love me. Sadie, who is five, wanted to sit next to me during church. I played with her hair, trying to ignore the tears that wanted to stroll down my face. I still could not hear or see truth. The truth that we were wanted and we were loved. Rylie, who is five, wanted Alan to hold her. There were other people around, but she wanted Alan. I still could not see or hear! I was ready to leave and be alone. Alone, with my family of three, where I didn't have to be fake.
Then, it happened. God spoke so loudly that I couldn't hold the tears any longer. I could not be fake. They were all going to see the tears, the pain, and they were going to see me. God used one of my first cousins, a guy I have looked up to since I was in diapers, to speak. Nathan did not know how much oppression was strangling me, but that day he wrapped his arms around and told me he loved me. He told me I was like a sister to him. He said, my girls need you. Then his sweet wife walked up to me and she wrapped her arms around me. I lost it! Others saw my tears flowing and didn't reject me or act as if I was "crazy" or a burden. It was completely opposite of that.
I can't stop thinking how awesome it was that God chose to use Nathan to speak truth. You may think, what's the big deal, he is your cousin. In 29 years of thinking he was more like a brother than a cousin, it was the first time he told me I was like a sister. It was also the first time he really hugged me like a sister. His wife and those kids... I will never be able to put into words how special they are. I could go on about others who have reached out after seeing the real me. It's not like this is the first time they have seen me battle, but it feels like the first time. I was able to spend Monday at the Sharbs house and celebrate Lis's birthday. It was so good to watch the kids play. I also love how Jen and Melissa are so in love with God. They are full of joy. It is the joy that comes from the Lord. I have since realized I do need friends. When I am struggling I need to let those friends know I can't be alone, because the pain is too much and in this moment, I need to know I have brothers and sisters in Christ who will hold me up when I can't stand by myself.
I am still not sure why I believed the lies and I still here a voice saying, "They will forget and you will go through this struggle again."