Agreements: Vow’s Ugly Twin

6 08 2015

An ‘agreement’ is a faith statement. It is faith in the wrong thing…in a lie, not the truth. I confess with my mouth what I believe in my heart. It is the ugly twin of Vows, for the two are commonly found together

Here are some of the agreements we make:

“I’m stupid.”
“I’m an idiot.”
“I’m fat.”
“I’m ugly.”
“I’m accident prone.”
“I’m so co-dependent.”
“I’m unlovable.”

On and on it goes.

These statements don’t originate with us. They aren’t even true, yet we often agree with them as indisputable facts.

Why on earth would we do such a thing? And, where did these ‘truths’ come from?

Sadly, they often begin with our parents. In a moment of anger they may say something like, “Come here, you little idiot. I’m gonna give you what for.”

I could give examples ad nauseum, but I’ll spare you.

Other agreements are made in the aftermath of a painful situation (not unlike vows).

In the fifth grade, I was yanked from a school I loved when we moved to another town. During my final week in that class, the teacher introduced us to the music of Simon and Garfunkel. Their song, “I Am a Rock,” became my life song. It met the needs of my breaking heart.

Well, let’s look at the lyrics:

A winter’s day
In a deep and dark December
(for me it was October)
I am alone
Gazing from my window
To the streets below
On a freshly fallen, silent shroud of snow
I am a rock
I am an island

I’ve built walls
A fortress, steep and mighty
That none may penetrate
I have no need of friendship
Friendship causes pain.
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain.

(Have no friends. Check)
I am a rock
I am an island

Don’t talk of love
Well, I’ve heard the words before
It’s sleeping in my memory
And I won’t disturb the slumber
Of feelings that have died
If I never loved, I never would have cried

(Don’t love, or let people love me. I will get hurt again. Check)
I am a rock
I am an island

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armor
Hiding in my room
Safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me

(Isolate. Read, protect myself with {music for me} Check)
I am a rock
I am an island

And a rock feels no pain
And an island never cries

(I’m sick of being hurt. Sign me up.)
© 1965 Words and Music by Paul Simon

At ten years of age, I decided that all people did was hurt me. I didn’t need people. I didn’t need love, and I didn’t ever want to cry again. Whenever something painful happened, I would withdraw to the safety of my ‘womb’ and shut everyone out.

I still had five moves after this most-hated one to survive during childhood. It was much easier with the ‘armor’ of this song as my shield. I no longer sought to make friends at the new locations. Eventually, I no longer felt lonely.

By the time I was in high school, I knew neither how to make nor keep friends. By then, everyone had their own ‘set’ anyway, so it didn’t matter. I buried myself in books, crafts and especially in making music. I preferred to be alone.

At the same time, I had a huge hole in my heart that my father should have filled. Well, father gave that job to another man. My step-dad filled it all right – with many more statements like those at the beginning of this article. Because he was an adult, and supposedly loved me, I believed him.

Why would he lie to a child?

One by one, I came into agreement with his assessment of me as a human. Some of them I accepted with bowed head, others I determined to overcome (by making a vow).

He loved to call me ‘stupid’ – or ‘Stu’ for short. I vowed to become smart, and used my isolation to learn all I could about many things. I learned about things I cared about, and things I didn’t, just so he couldn’t call me stupid anymore. That didn’t work, by the way.

Do you know what endoplasmic reticulum is? (Do you even care? 😉 )

After I got out from under his tyranny, I took over where he left off and agreed with whatever label came to mind.

I ask again, why would a person do such a thing? As a (wo)man thinks in (her) heart, so is she. My words became a self-fulfilled prophecy.

These agreements stayed with me for 35 years. I was 45, without a friend in the world, in a loveless marriage, and unable to connect with others. That’s a pitiful state in which to find oneself. My mom died that year. A year and a half later, I parted ways with my step-dad, and healing began.

It’s time we began to take these thoughts captive. Let’s hold them up to the truth of who God says we are, and quit agreeing with those who would steal, kill, and destroy us through their words.

God is not honored when we accept these lies about His workmanship as truth.

Do we even stop to ask, “IS THIS TRUE??”

I’ve quit agreeing with others’ opinions about me. I’ve had enough. There is only One who knows me, and He calls me “Beloved” and “Delightful.” He calls me His own, and “Chosen.” Since He knows me better than anyone else…including me…I’m going to agree with Him.

*****

Tune in to the next post to learn why I am no longer willing to accept another human’s assessment of me…and why you shouldn’t either:

Dirt Said What?

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9 responses

11 08 2015
isaiah41v10

I knew a woman who had listened to that song over and over after her husband abandoned her and their young children. And yes, she had huge emotional barriers up. She got very angry at me once when I saw her crying in a weak moment. Reading your post helps me understand a little better.

This is a reminder of how important the messages we give our children are. Even more neutral labels can be harmful.

BTW I know what the endoplasmic reticulum is, but I studied cell biology at university. 🙂

11 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

{giggle!}

I’m thankful that my Father understands the ‘why’ behind the things I’ve done. They seemed foolish to those around me, but they didn’t know the back story – and *why* what I did made sense to me.

Poor lady. I hope she finds the true Rock. He makes a much better God than we!

Thanks for taking time to comment. I appreciate you!
\o/

7 08 2015
vonhonnauldt

It’s sad, isn’t it, how parents mess up their children without even realizing it. I’m thankful our heavenly Father isn’t like that, though earthly parents sometimes make it very hard to relate to Him. As for the “endoplasmic reticulum,” we may not know or care what it is, but we can’t live without it. And, yes, I had to look it up! 🙂

7 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

It was after my mom moved to heaven and my step-dad removed himself from my life the year after that I began to receive deep healing from those wounds. It was my step-dad who made relating to Father so difficult. In my childhood ignorance, I thought God to be like him. Father has been incredibly patient, wooing and winning my heart since then; and teaching me what He is really like. I love His persistence.

Looked it up, eh? That’s too funny. 🙂

\o/

6 08 2015
Pure Glory

Our true identity is so important. The enemy of our souls want us to think that we are defective. Instead when we believe who God says we are, our viewpoints change. Forgiveness of others and ourselves opens the door to believing God. We are awesome and wonderfully made in the image of God! Loved and beloved by him.

7 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

This last year has been one of discovering how much they affected my life, and as a result, what they did to my faith in God. I’m finally beginning to see daylight again. Whew! What a journey this has been.

Thanks for taking time to read and comment. 🙂

\o/

8 08 2015
Pure Glory

Thank God that light casts out darkness! So good that you are back. 🙂

6 08 2015
birdieklh

Oh my goodness . . . thought for a moment or two I was reading my own life! After visiting my folks for 7 1/2 weeks a couple of months ago I found myself ‘hearing’ all the OLD negative things once more – it was an onslaught of words invoking memories I thought I had long since overcome. This blog today has me rejoicing that we are NOT the only ones who the enemy attacks in this way, yet saddened over the fact that you also have these.

. . . but . . . GOD! \o/ Praise Him for His grace, mercy and goodness!

6 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

Due to current issues, I found a counselor last September. She is a godsend. With her help we’ve discovered countless strongholds and demolished them. Many of them started as vows and agreements. The freedom I have as a result is something I want for everyone who knows Jesus. He came to set at liberty those who are oppressed! Luke 4:18-19. So sorry you got the same treatment. What were they thinking?? 😢

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