I have been reading The Sacred Romance and I have to say, this book, more than any I have read in a long time, has really helped me see some things more clearly. One of the things the author talks a lot about in the book is the “Message of the Arrows.” That is the lies we believe about ourselves..the arrows that have been shot at us and that Satan uses to render us ineffective in service to our King. Satan keeps us trapped in our small stories through the message of the arrows. And he doesn’t have to do much because we believe them and we often think it is our own inner voice whispering these lies to us. I like how the author put it.
We come to believe that the things people say of us are true, the small story we are living is the only story we will ever live. We count on them for meaning and for identity. We struggle to keep them in order and perfect, all the while becoming exhausted and empty. We feel a deep longing for more inside, but we push it back down to the inner places of our hearts because it is dangerous and uncertain to explore this longing. The first step to rediscovering our passion and addressing that longing is to recognize those arrows. What is the smaller story you have been living out? What lie has Satan trapped you in to believe this is it?
The smaller story that has been playing out in my life: mediocrity. I have come to believe I am average. That I not good enough or smart enough or pretty enough or athletic enough or compelling enough to reach for my dreams. And the thing about the arrows are, they get reinforced. I was always almost on homecoming court. I always almost had the top grade. I never tried out for a play because I thought I wasn’t good enough. So I filled my life with whatever I could find to seek some sort of separation. One area where I felt above average. Unfortunately, I still carried around the identity of being average. Even if I may have excelled, in my eyes, I never saw it. I just kept buying into this story that my life was just average. But I couldn’t shake this passion. This longing that life wasn’t supposed to be like this. I just never know what it was that I was looking for or missing. I figured this just part of life. But what I have to learn is that my identity does not lie in the message of the arrows. My identity lies in the sacred romance God is inviting me on. Its scary and risky and will be a journey that is anything but average. See, in His eyes, I am anything but average. In His eyes, I am worth pursuing, worth loving, and worth risking His Son’s life for. I don’t want an average life. I never have. But Satan whispers in my ears the lies that say, “You are just average, you have nothing special to offer.” I am unpacking those arrows. Digging them out of their lodging place. It’s surely not easy. They have been there so long its a painful process. Yet, until you address the message of the arrows head on, they will always have a hold on you. Until you recognize where the message is coming from and that the message is false, you will continue to believe it. I refuse to believe it any longer. I will not allow Satan to keep me trapped in the small story I have been living when God has a grand plan for my life. I have no idea what that will look like, but today it starts with learning to identify who I am in Christ and with living out that identity with gusto, life, love, and enthusiasm.