Mercy: A Daily Practice of Digging for Truth

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A daily practice + shedding lies + seeing God’s unconditional Love = Journey to Freedom. 

By Musu Taylor-Lewis | Twitter: @mercycanada

Her voice is strong today, almost matter-of-fact as she explains where her journey started, trying to earn God’s love. A downward spiral that led to self-harm, despair and eventually an attempted suicide.

“I was nine years old when I was molested … It was around this time that I began to lose sight of God’s love for me. I began to feel like I was falling apart from the inside out. I began to believe the lies that there was something inherently wrong with me, something broken that could never be fixed and that no one cared.”

Who could blame her?  When it comes to deep and baffling pain, or even the tentacles of shame, any of us could lose sight of God’s unconditional love. Let alone a nine-year-old girl. We see the reflex to withdraw already in the Garden of Eden when the first pair of humans realized they had made a wrong choice.

“Losing sight of God’s love.” It’s a common theme we find with the young women who come through the doors of Mercy Ministries. Whatever the trigger–abuse, school pressure, a harsh word from a parent or even misunderstanding God’s love–the light of God’s love is dimmed each time a seemingly-logical lie gets repeated, whether in the privacy of the mind or out loud.

Thoughts like:

-“God wasn’t there when I was hurting.”

– “Nobody cares.”

– “If I do more, maybe He would love me.”

– “I’m too bad for God’s reach.”

That is why I’ve fallen in love with one particular daily exercise carried out by the residents at Mercy. I’ve watched how this exercise helps restore the ability to see God’s love. I’ve learned this: Seeing, grasping, knowing and understanding God’s love gives hope and strength to cooperate with what God wants to do in our lives. Seeing God’s love keeps us from being dragged down by hurt and failure, events that are inevitable in our world.

A Simple Ritual

Every day the residents get out their truth statements; statements they create based on their reading of scripture. Each girl reads her own statements in private, to counter the lies that have accumulated, trap her in self-destructive patterns and block her ability to see God’s love.

So, instead of “God wasn’t there when I was hurting” she states:

“God is near the broken-hearted.”

When she’s tempted to believe, “No one cares,” she is reminded:

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

When she wants to try and earn God’s love, her heart is stilled by the words:

“It is by grace you have been saved.”

When she thinks, “I’m too bad for God’s reach” that thought is counteracted by:

“Nothing can separate us from the love of God.”

Slowly but surely, over time, these truths bring God’s Love back into view. Eventually it becomes clear that God never left … not ever … not even for one moment. His love has been there all along, in every moment of despair and destruction. I have seen how this simple and powerful truth can transform a life lived with blurred vision from the age of nine.

Now I hear her tell the other side of the story:

“Mercy Ministries was God’s rescue mission. I have never felt so loved. God in His infinite, inexhaustible mercy delivered me from death. I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is good, that He never abandoned me or let go of me once. He pursued me relentlessly, because I am of great value in His eyes, because He loves me, because He wants me. I am beautiful, inside and out, because He made me. I can stop striving for perfection because I already carry the seal of His approval–His Holy Spirit–within me.

_________________________

Dear SheLoves friends,

  • What practices–daily or otherwise–have you discovered that help you on your journey to Freedom?
  • Is there a lie that keeps repeating itself in your life?
  • What are some of your favourite Truth statements?

_________________________

About Musu:

My life is lived out of the calling “to advance Christ-centred work.” I am currently Director of Marketing and Development at Mercy Ministries, working to get the word out about the life-transforming work that takes place here. Prior to my work at Mercy, I directed a Crisis Pregnancy Centre, studied Christianity and Culture at Regent College and co-led women’s programs at my local church. I have four great children and am married to Steven, a gift to me from the Creator.

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Idelette McVicker
If you only know one thing about me, I'd love for you to know this: I love Jesus, justice and living juicy. I also happen to drive a minivan and drink my lattes plain. (My life is exciting enough!) Nineteen years ago, I moved from Taiwan to Canada to marry Scott. We have two teenagers, a preteen, a Bernese Mountain dog and a restaurant. (Ask Scott to tell you our love story.) In 2010, I founded SheLovesmagazine.com and it has now grown to include a Dangerous Women membership community, a Red Couch Bookclub, events and gatherings. I'd like to think of it as curating transformational spaces for women in community. I long for women to be strong in our faith and voice, so we can be advocates for God’s heart for justice here on earth. As an Afrikaner woman, born and raised in South Africa during Apartheid, my story humbly compels me to step out for justice and everyday peacemaking. I have also seen firsthand the impact injustice has had on the lives and stories of women around the world. I refuse to stay silent. I am anti-racist and also a recovering racist. I am a Seven on the Enneagram, an INFP and I mostly wear black, with a dash of animal print or faux fur.
Idelette McVicker

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