When the Lies Start Shouting, Keep Your Eyes on the Cross
I was lonely. The feeling ached within me, sharp and pulsating, like a rusty knife twisting my flesh. I was tired of being single and tired of feeling left behind, like the lives of my friends left me trailing in the dust. I saw the stories people posted on Instagram — photos of fresh new babies and wedding plans. I knew two things deep within me: first, Instagram never tells the whole story, and second, God’s timing for my life is far better than mine. But still, I was lonely.
It was 11:30 at night on a Monday. I was still working in a major city, but I lived in a small village an hour and a half away. It was at night when I drove home when the worries would come. It was often in this long stretch of time — after I’d worked a busy shift and was tired — when my defenses were lowered. It was when the fear snuck in. It was when shame whispered lie after lie as I watched the city lights sink further behind me in my rearview window.
On that particular night, I was feeling rejected, defeated, and left behind. I couldn’t help but wonder if God had forgotten me. Could He see me? Did He know how lonely I was?
As I drove, I heard a loop play over in my head.
You’re just not lovable. That’s gotta be the truth. Maybe there’s something wrong with you. Something off. Maybe you’re just not lovable.
I was angry at the loop of lies flinging through my mind, and I slammed my fist against the steering wheel. I was irritated. It was too late for this. I couldn’t fight them. The more I heard the lies, the more I kept wondering if maybe they held a sliver or two of truth.
Suddenly my gas light appeared, signaling I needed more fuel. I was in the middle of the highway after midnight and my gas was almost gone.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I muttered. I wasn’t very close to home, so I found a spot to pull off and looked for a gas station with cheaper fuel.
I pulled over, popped the gas cap, grabbed my wallet, and got out of the car. I punched in my debit pin, unhooked the plug, and shoved in the nozzle.
All the while, I couldn’t get the lies out of my head.
Maybe you’re just not lovable.
Tears threatened to spill. I wiped my eyes angrily. I didn’t want to be in this place. I wanted to be content. I wanted to be grateful. I wanted to trust that God has great plans for me, whether or not they included a good relationship or marriage or a baby.
I want to trust and believe in the goodness of God, but sometimes the lies are so loud.
I heard the gas glug glug glug as it began to fill my tank, and I looked up into the night sky. Everything was black, except for what landed right in front of my vision.
There, on a hill going up the escarpment, was a bright, shining lit-up cross. I knew the cross immediately. It’s been lighting up this area since 1966. It was built to shine over the city.
Even though I knew that cross has been lit up every night for years, at that moment, it was just for me. I think God does that sometimes. He takes the ordinary everyday things and turns it into the divine, as a way to fuse His love into our very being.
I couldn’t take my eyes off that huge, brilliantly lit cross. I stared at it and heard God speak to me, deep within my heart.
Unlovable? Look at the cross. I died because I love you that much.
Tears fell. I returned the nozzle, capped the gas cap, and slid into my car. I couldn’t stop staring at the cross.
Jesus, who was rejected and despised by so many, died for me. The God who made the entire world put skin on, took my sin and my shame upon His very being, and died for me. King Jesus loves me. It’s the foundation of my faith, and yet I forget it so often.
I drove home, meditating on the love Jesus has for me. I can’t be unlovable because He died on that cross for me. He showed me the very essence of love.
When the lies start shouting, I’ll keep my eyes on the cross.
When shame threatens to unravel me, I’ll keep my eyes on the cross.
When I can’t understand the plans God has for me, I’ll keep my eyes on the cross.
Look up. Can you feel it? The love He has for you pulsing and beating and bleeding? Keep your eyes on the cross.