Sunday, April 10, 2016

Elusive Truth

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17

Why does truth, though perhaps accepted by our minds, so often elude our hearts?

A teenage girl, beautiful by every standard of beauty we hold, thinks she’s ugly. She despises her teeth, her chin and her general appearance. The truth of her beauty has been told to her many times over the years in words and in the way others respond to her, but she can’t quite believe it. She tortures herself. Loathes herself. Gives herself away. She simply doesn’t believe in her heart the truth of her beauty and worth.

A mother whose son took his own life blames herself for his choice. She knows it was his decision, but she cannot shake the feeling it was her fault. Though she loved him dearly every day of his life, her heart is crushed under the belief that she caused it to end. She tortures herself. Loathes herself. Her life slips away into nothingness.

These stories are so sad, but we’ve all seen them. Or maybe we’ve lived them, and maybe living them today. The truth that maybe we are able to hold steadily in our minds won’t sit still in our hearts. It may come now and then to rest there, but it flies away, chased off by the feelings of blame, shame, disbelief or some belief that isn’t Truth.

We compound the issue by believing that healing means no more pain.
We compound the issue by believing that healing means no more pain. Somewhere along the mostly Christian road we were taught that pain from the past goes away when our Savior heals us. He wipes all our tears away if our faith is strong enough, they say. The converse, then, must be true: if our faith is weak then He won’t. Pain, they continue to tell us, is evidence of our anemic faith. In walks the self-blame, feelings of inadequacy, and shame.

The promise our Savior gives of wiping away our tears is for a future none have yet seen or known. He gave us those words as hope. How we find a way to be self-condemnatory out of a promise meant to bring hope is astounding! But we do it. Our souls are trapped in the shame of our pain, unable to allow the Truth to penetrate our desperate spirits and bring freedom.


Tied and wrapped up, bulging at the seams, yours is a stifled soul.
Contained, restrained, restricted and denied, yours is a thirsty spirit.
A chill breaks in a burgeoning breeze, and wisps and whips; a gathering wind.
Frost covers and cocoons, envelops and holds still and stiff the stifled soul and thirsty spirit.
Penetrated deeply and contorting in its grasp the held is manipulated and mauled by cold.
Unmoving, unbending, quiet.
Deathly silent.

Yours is a stifled soul.
Yours is a thirsty spirit.

Blown on by the Spirit sent as Comforter,
The winter white breaks, falls off and drops below.
Uncovered now.
Unburdened now.
Unleashed and unfurling.
Undone and enduring.

Yours is a stifled soul.
Yours is a thirsty spirit.

Though the spring of life flows out
And sprigs and twigs burst forth,
A memory lives in the stifled soul and thirsty spirit.
Reminders of a winter past and another yet to come.

It is not cold or snow or frost that holds the soul or contorts the spirit,
It is the belief it should not be winter.

The greatest distance for truth to travel, I’ve been told and I believe, is from the head to the heart. The difficult journey is riddled with traps, wrong turns, road blocks and walls. We defend our hearts from Truth as if a brutal enemy were invading and the castle walls were about to be torn down by a ruthless foe. The great irony is that it is Truth walking up to our fortified structure gently extending love and grace and freedom, and our resistance to Truth is our demise. We have been bewitched. Our vision confused.

Truth holds our hope and we send it away. We deny it access to the place it is meant to live and thrive.

A mind renewed by Truth is a life transformed. A soul convinced of Truth is a life of abundance and freedom.


"A mind renewed by #Truth is a life transformed." - @SarahVanDiest (Click to Tweet)

Sarah has worked in Christian publishing since 2005 as both an editor and an agent.

Currently, she works with her husband, David, in their agency, the Van Diest Literary Agency. Writing is a growing passion for her as she hopes to bring hope to hurting hearts.


  1. Beautiful. Thank you Sarah. I grasped hold of the truth, never to let it go. It freed me from guilt, shame, pride and self loathing. When lies creep in, I cling tighter to Truth. I know that I will not be totally free until I see my Saviors face. Until then I want to be velcroed to the Truth who is Jesus

    1. "...velcroed to the Truth..." I love it! Thank you, Cherrilynn!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Julie. Truth is beautiful all by itself!!

  3. Very beautiful. I love the part about the belief it should not be winter. So true. "For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land."
    Song of Solomon 2:11-12 NKJV

    1. A beautiful quote, Jennifer! Thank you so much for including it!

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  5. Not only beautiful but so true. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    1. Thank you, Marjorie.
      Many blessings,