there’s a voice that pops up in my head sometimes, feeding me lies. this voice whispers my greatest fears, propelling them into truth, or at least creating a false vision of truth. this voice vibrates throughout my body, making me see it as real, and forcing its way into my core so much so that i can’t tell the difference between myself and this voice.

this voice spins my words and my thoughts into meanings i never meant. convinces me i’m an awful person. tricks me into believing i deserve awful things to happen to me.

this voice drenches my spirit and soul in a thick layer of lies,  it’s hard to breathe sometimes. sometimes i can’t sleep. i’m too afraid the voice will come in my dreams. reminding me of things i can’t control. of things i can’t change.

i struggle with shame. about what you ask? everything. that’s the thing with shame. it doesn’t discriminate. if i’ve believed a lie about myself in one area, i’ve granted the lies of the enemy to cover all areas of my life.

i feel shame for struggling with shame even though i talk to others about not letting shame take up residence in their lives. i feel hypocritical for struggling with being a victim even though i talk about not having a victim mentality.

the shame the enemy convinces me i hold, is hiding its roots somewhere in me. a place too deep for me to go right now. tonight while at training it came up again. i called my husband and rambled on about something i said, worried it was taken out of context, and what they must think of me. i replayed the entire thing over and over again, each time feeling slightly better, but still shamed.

i wanted to hide in a cave and never come out. and that’s when it hit me. that’s exactly what the enemy wants me to do.

he wants me to give up. he wants me to quit.

i said things tonight i hadn’t intended on saying. i said important things. i said things that needed to be addressed. i said things to light a fire in people’s brains, to get them thinking.

God gave me a voice, but too often i let the enemy’s fingers choke it. i let the shame he convinces me i should have silence me. i hide, and don’t share my feelings for fear of the shame being true.

and the times when i am able to get up and talk, i let him destroy my peace.

standing up and trying to end oppression, sexual and gender violence, and inequality issues aren’t easy. it’s littered with misogyny, ignorance, bigotry, hatred, fear, and just plain old jerks.

some of my statements are met with crude remarks calling me a slew of names like “baby”, “drama queen”, “whiner” , “sissy”, “stupid”, “idiotic”, “man-hater”, “weak”, etc.

i’ve been lucky to have never been threatened with violence from my posts, only due to the fact that my posts are widely seen. it’s one of the risks associated with standing up for change they say. ugh– why on earth would anyone support a culture that thinks it’s okay for people to threaten to rape someone for having an opinion different from their own?

more importantly, why am i the one who needs to toughen up? why is it so wrong to expect more from the people i’m cohabiting with in this world? why is it wrong for me to demand that i feel just as safe as the next person?

why is it wrong for me advocate for positive change in a culture that demands change in most other areas such as music, fashion, and technology?

why is every argument against equality for women met with statements like, “hey, you get to vote, quit complaining!”

why is every argument when i demand people stop telling rape jokes something like, “come on- get some tougher skin. deal with it. have a sense of humor.”

why is every perpetrator who beats a child in school defended with statements like, “kids don’t have any respect for authority these days.”

why do we continue to desire to live in a culture which denies any responsibility for the terrible things we see? and why is it always somehow the victim’s fault they were assaulted, beaten, or oppressed?

the devil is alive and well. he’s tricked us all to play his game with him. he’s betting against us. he wants us to fail. he wants me to fail. he was busy attacking me tonight. which tells me one thing.

God was with me tonight. i’m on the right path, and the enemy wants me to stumble and not get back up. he plans to destroy me with shame. he wants me to believe i am what he says i am.

but i am not what he says i am.

i am what the Lord says i am. i am a warrior. i am an overcomer. i am pure. i am loved. i am worthy. i am wonderfully made. i am valuable. i am qualified. i am capable. i am a woman with a mission. i am compassionate. i am honest.

i am not perfect. i will make mistakes, but i will not let those mistakes define me. i am a masterpiece yet to be finished. i will not let the enemy take me down tonight.

i will continue to learn to not let the shame the enemy puts on me be the filter i process my thoughts through. instead, i put on the helmet of salvation, and the belt of truth.

are you seeing your life through the shame filter or the Christ filter?