FANTASY VS REALITY: PART II—FACING DRAGONS
Approaching this topic makes me brings a certain image to mind: I’m walking on a dirt trail. It’s a bright and sunny day with fluffy, white clouds in the brilliant blue sky. Then suddenly the trail dead-ends into a cave that is pitch black and looks ominous.
I don’t want to go inside, but in order to get to my destination I HAVE to pass through.
Facing yourself and dealing with your inner demons can be one of the scariest things for you to do, but it is necessary in order for you to move forward.
And so, the adventure begins…
I’ve tossed this around in my head, you know, “When exactly did this all start? Was it when I was exposed to sex too young from watching R rated movies? Was it the music I used to listen to growing up? Where there certain kids that just rubbed off?” What, when, where, how, why—those are things I could spend my whole life trying to figure out. Going back to Part I of this series, romanticism is a subset of loneliness. It’s a device that Satan uses as a pacifier to temporarily distract you from how lonely you feel while simultaneously tainting you: your thoughts, the way you view things, your values and morality. It distorts truth until the lie (romanticism) becomes a truth for you. The devil even lets us customize it so that it suits what we think true romance, love, passion and intimacy are.
My loneliness…my loneliness was birthed from Satan himself. It is something I don’t want to touch because truthfully even now it hurts. I have never had a child, but I would equate loneliness to carrying a child inside of you for nine months. All the screenings come back clear, doctor visits are giving a great outlook—seems like you’re going to have a health, beautiful baby—only to give birth to a baby that had been stillborn the entire pregnancy.
And somewhere, deep down inside, you wonder, “What went wrong? What did I do? I don’t understand how this could happen—everything was FINE!” It leaves you with a bitter sting; tears seem to permanently stain your face even when you’re smiling because people can see you’re not okay, regardless of how much you say you are.
From my father who wasn’t present in my life as much as I wanted him to be, to so-called friends who used me and deserted me, to boys that overlooked me because I didn’t look as pretty nor was willing to sleep around…I always felt discarded somehow. I recall always feeling like an outsider even around family members. I can remember those times I felt like a ghost, especially during my time in college, “No one hears me, no sees me, no cares.” All these things cemented what the enemy had been whispering in my ear for a very long time: You’re nothing. You’re worthless. No one loves you. No one wants you. You’re trash, you’re ugly and you’ll always be alone.
Certain things are catalysts; they set the stage for what becomes a stronghold in your life. Something led you to do what you do; something led you to go where you are now. No one just wakes up one day and says, “You know what? I think from now on I’m just going to feel lonely so much that it makes me hate everything about me. I’m not going to trust people when they befriend me or say they care about me because I’ll feel so worthless and irrelevant that I’ll think they’re all lying. I will let loneliness consume and completely destroy my life.”
No, that’s not how it works.
Lucifer is very crafty; he searches for weaknesses and openings until he can find the tiniest sliver of cracks. He carefully and steadily works his way in, and finally, you wake up holding death wrapped in a blanket. One after another, after another, after another…
What I didn’t know then was that it was me, but it wasn’t me.
I made the choice to masturbate. I chose to indulge in lust. I entertained thoughts of perversion. I’ve never watched pornography, but I watched sexually explicit films and shows with graphic sexual content. I made the decision to read books with vulgar depictions in them. I even recall searching for pornographic images once when I was in my teens—I didn’t anything out of it though; the images I created in my mind were way more exhilarating.
So yes, it was me but the reason for why the loneliness was there wasn’t because of me. It wasn’t that I was a mistake, or that I was undesirable or unlovable. It was because the enemy has a job to do and his goal is to kill us. I sought out those things because I thought they were what I needed to fix the problem. I thank God that it didn’t get as far as having multiple sexual partners (looking back, I think I was in danger of heading down that road.) I’m still a virgin, but my purity has been damaged. Spiritually I have damaged myself because I failed to realize then what I haven’t quite grasped still today:
God is all I need.
I have a relationship with Christ, but it hasn’t become personal to me, not yet. It’s what makes the difference between an acquaintance and a very close friend. I have many acquaintances, some of whom I call friend, but I don’t have very many close friends. A close friend is someone you has seen parts of your ugliness. They’ve seen what a horrid mess you can be at times and still love you despite it.
Jesus wants to be even closer than that to me.
The thought of this frightens me so terribly, that even at this instant, I can feel the anxiety rising. I know that He already knows everything about me—He created me. I’m aware that Jesus loves me anyway and He accepts me, yet it’s still overwhelming. I know can’t hid anything from the One who knows all, hears all and sees all but I still find myself trying to do so. Makes you wonder why, doesn’t it? Why do we do that?
Truthfully, I think we aren’t ready to see ourselves for who we truly are.
That’s why when every time the moment comes for us to walk through that cave full of monsters inside it we turn back down the trail. When the season approaches for us to actually walk through our own “valley of the shadow of death” we come to a halt, reconsider and back away.
I’m beginning to see that God is literally right there. I don’t even have to go far to meet Him because He’ll come to me. All I have to walk towards Jesus and He’ll be right there to swoop in and embrace me. I just don’t like having to deal with those hideous truths I’ll have to walk past while they stare me down. I don’t enjoy the thought of having to fight the same fire breathing horntail I’ve been feeding all these years because I’m not sure if I can beat it…
…or if I even want to.
So, like many of us have done, I choose to run. I neglect to consider however that every time I do that, the trail doesn’t recalculate itself to a more comfortable route for us to get to Jesus. It remains the same. We drift further and further from Christ and head straight to Satan, gladly accepting those chains and shackles.
Because we’d rather allow the devil to be our master and wither in bondage than to accept the truth for what it really it is.