Letting Go of the Lies
They say the second year for the widow is the hardest because the denial is gone. I wouldn’t be surprised if this were true of other catastrophic losses. I didn’t think I was in denial; in fact, when Dr. [James] Dobson interviewed me about a year after Steve had died, I even said I hadn’t experienced denial. (I was in denial about denial.)
I didn’t realize I was in denial until I finally went for counseling. I told Sheila about a dream I had had before each of my daughter’s weddings. (They all had married within three years after Steve’s death.) I dreamed that I had driven to the church, alone, and that Steve had pulled up right next to me. I said, “You aren’t dead!”
He said, “No! I just thought you were really mad and I was giving you some space. But I’m back and I’m going to walk her down the aisle and I’ll never go away again.”
Sheila said, “Dee, you have to accept that though one day you will go to Steve, he will never come back here to you.”
I thought, “Am I really so crazy that I thought he might?” I realized, somehow, that I did. I thought if I got through enough hard nights and days, then he would come back to me. I felt like a madwoman.
When a loss is very great, denial is a way of protecting yourself. But in time, you must let go of the lies or you never will be able to speak the truth to your soul.
We may be in denial about loss, about our sin, about the false idols of our hearts. We’re holding on because letting go seems so hard. But unless we let go, we can never grab hold of the rope that will, indeed, free us...
1. Looking back on your life, when have you been in denial about the truth, and how did holding onto that frayed rope hurt you?
2. Looking at David as a model, how was he in denial about his sin with Bathsheba? (2 Samuel 11-12:1-7)
3. Psalm 51 is David’s psalm of letting go of the lies and of coming to true repentance. Read it. Sing it, if you know a song to go with it. Take note of your reflections, particularly in verse 4--and any other verses that stand out to you.
4. Pray through Psalm 51, making it your own.
5. Ask yourself, "What were the hard consequences that were given to David because of his sin?" 2 Samuel 12:7-15
7. Look carefully at how David responded in 2 Samuel 12:16-24. What did he do that surprised the servants? How does this show he was grabbing hold of the truth? What do you think verse 23 means?
8. To what lies are you clinging?
Lord, I pray for each woman or man reading this, pondering your truth. Search us, O Lord, and see which lies are in our hearts. . .the ways we are resisting Your truth because it seems hard. Show us who the real liar is. . .who deceives us so we are not in fellowship with You. Be with each of us, precious Jesus.