I know all to well about lies. How people will use them to gain control and power. And how some will believe those lies even when the truth is right in front of them.
Speaking the truth and sticking to the truth even as lies come from every angle, is not always easy.
But speaking the truth, whether anyone else believes it or not, is important. Even when those around you question your words, question your truth, never give in to a lie, because the truth is the truth whether others believe it — you — or not.
An honest witness tells the truth,
but a false witness tells lies.
The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
It’s been almost nine years since my then-abusive-husband walked out on me and our two boys. His leaving was a huge fanfare, on his part — no doubt a plan he had put into motion months before. And I came to see quite clearly a month after he left that this plan of his was mainly devised as a way to show others what a bad person I was. It’s truly sad to think that this man who exchanged sacred vows with me 20 years before would resort to such hate.
When that marriage ended I was sad — not sad to be out of an abusive marriage — but sorrowful over the loss of what should have been. Marriage vows should be taken seriously, not something to flippantly toss aside for selfish reasons, and what should have been in my first marriage was never able to be. There was never a healthy relationship to begin with nor a sacredness to those marriage vows, my ex made sure to break them from the start. Yet it’s interesting that people believed it was me who had discarded the marriage like a used napkin being tossed in the garbage. Why did they believe that? Because of the lies perpetuated by my ex. Lies whispered to those willing to lend an ear to not just hear those lies, but believe them. Lies that I’m still hearing to this very day, almost nine years since he left. Lies born out of hatefulness and deceit all brought about by selfishness and a desire to win at any cost. That marriage had been a battlefield and my ex was at war — with me — with only one objective, to win at all costs.
A lie can never become truth no matter how many times it is repeated or how many people choose to believe it — a lie is a lie.
I used to hate running into people from my former church or those that were once mutual friends of my ex and I, because I wondered if they were hearing and believing those lies about me which seemed to be permeating the church and our little town. I cared about what others thought of me, I didn’t want people thinking badly of me, none of us do. When people turned away in the store or unfriended me on Facebook I admit — it hurt!
A couple years after my ex had walked out, someone said to me how no one really knew the truth about what had happened in my former marriage, because my ex was the only one talking and I remained silent about what was going on — only one side was heard. But I wasn’t going to walk around doing the whole “he said/she said” narrative because one, our sons attended the youth group at our former church and I didn’t feel they needed to be subjected to that, and two, I felt that if people really knew me, they wouldn’t need to hear me say anything, and those that didn’t know me really didn’t matter in the whole scheme of things.
A lie is a lie no matter how twisted it becomes, but the truth is always the truth and stands the test of time.
Some used to say to me, “Well, I don’t want to take sides” or “There are two sides to every story”, and to that I say, you should always take sides, the side of truth while turning away from that which is evil. And in the case of abuse, there is only one side — the side of truth.
If we are so afraid to side with the truth then we will always fall prey to lies and evil.
There’s a saying: “You don’t know what you don’t know”. Nowadays I’ve let go of the hurt and resentment I admittedly felt towards some who chose to chase the lies and turn away from the truth — turn away, literally, from me. I’d see them in the grocery store and notice how they would hurriedly scurry down the closest aisle so as not to run into me or I’d catch this glimpse of dislike if we did happen to make eye contact. And while at the time it hurt and felt like one more millstone, or rather letter “D”, placed around my neck, I’ve learned to let it go. I smile now when I see those people and purposely make eye contact when they allow it, because the real truth is this — a lie is a lie no matter how many different ways it is told, but some people really just don’t know what they don’t know — or perhaps what they don’t want to know. Either way, I’ve learned that it doesn’t really matter what those people think of me or have chosen to believe, because in the end I know the truth and I know my worth is in my Savior alone.
Truth always prevails over lies.
One of my first jobs I got after my ex walked out was at a chiropractic clinic working for a husband and wife team. I’d known the wife for several years and my youngest son had gone to her for adjustments, so I was thrilled to get this job working as a chiropractic assistant for her and her husband, especially since it was the first job I’d been able to land almost nine months after my ex had left. It was a relief to finally have a steady income and in the beginning the job was going well, so I thought. But apparently this couple decided one day they didn’t like me working there for reasons which are still unclear to this day, so one evening after a long day at work they called me back into the clinic just as I had slipped into my pj’s and was settling in at home. After quickly changing out of my pj’s I excitedly drove back to the clinic because in my mind I thought perhaps I was getting a raise. But that was far from what I walked into. The husband began verbally attacking me from the moment I walked in, while the wife stood off to the side and just quietly watched. This man started getting in my face and asking me in a this snide tone of voice if I knew why they had called me in and after him asking me this twice, my stomach lurched and I felt sick as I realized something wasn’t right. The third time he asked he was literally nose to nose with me and there was this conniving look in his eyes — one I had seen many times over from my ex. As I stammered that I didn’t understand why I was there, he moved in closer and said in a low, accusing voice, “You know why“. As the wife stood off to the side, this woman I’d been friends with, I tried to hold it together but was becoming scared and ready to cry. The husband then drops a bombshell as he accuses me of having stolen money from their cash drawer that evening when I closed. A wide range of emotions swept through me suddenly making me sick to my stomach, but mostly I was scared and stupefied as to what was going on. I felt like I was watching all of this unfold from above, like I was out of body, because it was all so surreal. Yet I knew the truth — I had not stolen any money and would never dream of doing that. As he continued to badger me, even asking me to swear to God I hadn’t done it, to which I responded that yes, I swear to God I hadn’t nor ever would steal anything from them, he angrily said, “Don’t you ever take the Lord’s name in vain! Don’t you even talk about God for you are no Christian!” It was a nightmare, and the only thing the wife did was to hand me a Kleenex. As he continued to accuse me of stealing $40 — yep, a whole $40 dollars — he told me in this seemingly proud tone how they had purposely had me close that night (another employee normally closed but that night they sent her home and had me do it) and set me up by having a deputy sheriff pose as a patient and pay in cash when he checked out. The chiropractor threatened me with jail if I didn’t admit to it and getting in my face again, cruelly said how they would make sure I never worked in this valley again, and then said the words which really hit me hard, “You have children at home don’t you? Do you want to spend the night in jail and have them know their mother is a thief?” Finally getting my legs to move, I left there as quickly as I could and made my way back home not sure what was going to happen. A lot transpired from this incident, but thankfully for the deputy sheriff who visited my home to take my statement, I was never given a citation so I didn’t have to go to court. This deputy sheriff did something that many never did when my ex walked out on me — he listened and scrutinized the situation — he heard the truth and believed it. The truth prevailed in that case, the truth which I had to repeat over and over to other deputy sheriffs, to the Labor Board and the unemployment office, among a few. I just kept telling the truth and in the end it won out over their lies. In fact, the last deputy sheriff I spoke with said to me that while my story remained the same, the chiropractor’s story constantly changed along with the fact the person they used to set me up that night had been fired from the sheriff’s department for — wait for it — stealing. The truth had continued to be the truth but their lies eventually broke down.
Clinging to the truth while others spread malicious lies about you isn’t always easy, and not because your truth isn’t real, but because of the damage lies of others can have on you and your life.
The reality is — people will always let us down and even try to harm us — but God is forever constant and never changing, and while people will let us down, God never does. God knows my heart and knows my life like no one else ever could. Not even my own children. I used to always wonder how they could believe the lies their father said about me because I truly believed that they knew the truth of what I’d been through. But ya know what? My children never walked in my shoes, they had their own shoes to wear and stumble along in, and while we lived under the same roof, they do not know what I went through. While we walked the same path we each wore different shoes which made us feel things differently and ultimately walk a different way along the same path. My journey through abuse was mine and theirs were each their own.
Lies can grow and grow and appear to be truth in a twisted sort of way, but a lie can never be the truth. And it doesn’t matter who believes the lies because I know the truth of what I lived and that truth will always be reality know matter how many lies try to distort it or how many choose to believe it.
Never stop speaking the truth and always keep clinging to the real Truth, because in the end, truth always continues to stand the test of time.