I sit alone, the cold darkness of night pressing in around me. My family and my friends have all been asleep for hours and I find myself completely alone again. As I sit, mentally exhausted and surrounded by the silence, my mind begins to wander. Images of everything I have ever hoped to do in this life begin to come into my mind, but something is wrong. Every image that passes before my mind’s eye is one of some wonderful thing I have never done, and every great accomplishment is carried out not by me, but by another girl who, although similar to me, is overwhelmingly prettier, smarter, more outgoing, closer to God, and in every way better than I am. “Of course,” the subtle voice coolly whispers to my mind, “Of course she can do all of those things. But you know that is not you at all. You know how ugly you are, how stupid, how worthless, you’re just that pastor’s kid who has spent her entire life pretending to be a true follower of God. You may be able to fool all of them, but you cannot fool yourself, and you cannot fool God.” I begin to frantically argue, “No!” I mentally shout, “That isn’t true! I’m not like that anymore! That’s over, I’m truly God’s daughter now.” I try to argue, to reason with the voice, but it is so persistent. It calmly reminds me of everything I have ever failed in. It coolly brings to mind every wrong or dirty thought I had throughout the day. It rationally points out the many flaws in my character and my witness. It keeps repeating the same words with the same cold, hard logic- Stupid. Worthless. Filthy. Fraud.
I am not strong enough to fight for long by myself. Soon my mental walls begin to crack and crumble. Yes, it is all true. Everything it says is right. I am so stupid, ugly, and worthless. I have failed over and over and my sin is so filthy. How could I really think that God had saved me? I spent so many years fooling people into thinking I was a Christian, now I had finally just managed to fool myself. “Yes,” the voice whispers reassuringly, “it really is foolish to try to lie to yourself. The wise thing to do is to simply admit who you are. It’s alright, not everyone can be great. It really isn’t your fault at all. If God really loved you, if He really wanted to use you, He would have made you pretty, and talented, and smart, and loveable. You’ve done your best with what He gave you. It’s completely understandable not to serve a God who would make you this way.” With that the voice goes silent, leaving me to consider what it has said. So there I sit alone, with the cold darkness of the night pressing around me, wondering why I bother to go on. There is nothing I could ever do to make my life worthwhile. No more than a waste of space… I am the one mistake God made.
I have found myself wallowing in this pit of despair far more often than I would care to admit. It always comes when I am alone in the dark, away from the comfort of daylight and the accountability of friends. It seems like it is always after a long day, when I am exhausted and long only for the sleep that evades me, that the calm, seemingly rational voice of the enemy begins to whisper and I seem always to lose the fight and begin to believe it. Over the past few weeks especially, God has been continually reminding me of some things, just simple truths that I have “known” since before I could read but that I seem to have a hard time transferring from head-knowledge to heartfelt assurance. Near the end of Romans chapter eight, Paul writes: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”
Right there in those few short verses are the answers to every lie that was thrown at me. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” I do not need to be anyone special to serve God, all the power comes from Him. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” My gracious, generous Lord has not held anything back from me. How foolish to imagine that He would be willing to kill His own Son for the sake of saving me, and yet did a poor job in creating me! He has made me exactly as He intended, and He freely bestowed upon me everything I needed to be beautiful and perfectly complete in His eyes. “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” In Christ, I am pure, clean, and perfectly sinless. What happened in my past does not matter, God has justified me. Even the sins I commit today have been paid for, and my precious Savior is standing beside the throne of God, constantly countering every accusation the enemy brings against me with the irrefutable argument of His righteous blood. Everything that the cool, calculating voice had told me was true about me by myself, but was completely wrong about me in Christ. The truth is that I am never alone.
Paul goes on to say in Romans, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I said earlier that the enemy always seems to come to me when I am alone, but perhaps it would be better to say the he always comes when I seem to be alone. The truth is that no matter what I may go through, whether “…tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword,” none of it can separate me from the love of Jesus Christ. I am truly never alone.
I sit alone, the cold darkness of night pressing in around me. My family and my friends have all been asleep for hours and I find myself completely alone again. As I sit, mentally exhausted and surrounded by the silence, my mind begins to wander. The same images of a girl so much better than I could ever be and of her accomplishments begin to pass before my mind’s eye and the cruel voice again begins to whisper to my mind. At first I try to argue, using my own reasoning and quickly seeing how everything the voice says is so much clearer and more rational than my own thoughts. I desperately wish for a friend to come alongside me and help me defend myself. Then, as if out of nowhere, a still, small voice pierces my thoughts. “I am here. Don’t you remember what I’ve been telling you?” Yes! My Jesus is still with me! Drawing on His great strength, I answer the voice firmly, “‘Neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate [me] from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus [my] Lord.’ In Him, I am everything I need to be.” The voice falls silent for a few minutes, and by the time it begins to speak again, I don’t even hear it. I am busy resting the arms of my precious Jesus, and His loving voice drowns out the lies.
 Romans 8:31-34, NKJV
 Romans 8:35-39, NKJV
 Romans 8:38-39, NKJV
EDIT: Well, I wasn’t planning to tell you all this, but I feel like I should confess… I still haven’t taken the time to think about blogging since the semester started. This is actually just my term paper for my Romans class, so yeah… hence the random footnotes and absurdly long length for a blog post. Anyhow… I thought you guys might enjoy it.