Identity, Knowing Truth, Trusting God

Rewrite: When What We Believe is Wrong

Meme with the word Rewrite imposed over a picture of a hand holding a pen and writing

@JeanneTakenaka

In May, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both stretching and fun. We were given a different word each day and created posts about those words relating to our writer’s life. 

As I contemplated each word, I discovered correlations between writing life and real-life. I’ve expanded on the original posts, and I’d love to read your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well.

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My friend and mentor, author Rachel Hauck, says, “Writing is rewriting.” 

A first draft is never a finished draft. Fiction writers have to develop the plot line, strengthen our characters, deepen their emotions, and sometimes rewrite large portions of the story. But, in the end, the story is stronger and much better for the hard work we do.

As I thought about what “rewrite” looks like in my life, I see my “first draft”—meaning the things I believed about God, myself, and others. 

A picture of a journal with hand writing and scribbles and a pen propping open the pages

I grew up believing a lot of lies about myself . . . about others’ perception of me, about my value or perceived lack of value to others. I’ve shared before how I lived the first few decades of my life feeling like I was “less than.” These beliefs stemmed from cruel, careless words other kids wove into the fabric of my early years. Words that conveyed lies that seemed oh, so true.

As I’ve aged, the Lord has had to write over those initial lies. He’s gracious enough to give us the opportunity to see beyond what we think we know about ourselves to the truth of His vision for us. 

Meme with white flowers that says: "When we turn to God for truth and clarity . . . 
When we ask Him to show us His place in our lives . . .
And we ask with open hearts . . .
God speaks His truth over us."

When we turn to God for truth and clarity . . . 

When we ask Him to show us His place in our lives . . .

And we ask with open hearts . . .

God speaks His truth over us. 

I grappled with feeling insignificant to others. Like the girl on the outer edge of the community circle. I struggled with the lie that I didn’t really belong in the circle of friends and women. 

The Lord asked me a question about one lie in particular that I had clung to, a lie that had shaped my identity. A lie that defined how I viewed God. His question stopped me. 

A small red flower hanging down near a larger leaf

As my answer surfaced in my thoughts, I felt such shame. Not because God shamed me, but because I had to admit to Him this inaccurate thing I believed about Him. 

After that morning conversation, after I acknowledged my wrong belief, the Lord began to rewrite some of my other “beliefs” as well. He spoke truth and rewrote it over the lies I’d believed for years. 

A hand writing in a journal and scratching something out

It’s as we begin to live in His truths that He’s able to transform the stories of our lives from something bruised, broken, and needing fixing, into something beautiful.

I’m so thankful the master Author already knows our stories. He knows the struggles we’ll face. He knows how our experiences will shape our beliefs. And He knows the beautiful truths He intends for us to learn about Him and ourselves. He pens redemption and freedom over lies and captivity.

A small flower peeking out from behind much larger rocks

And, just as the first draft of an author’s book is never the finished draft, often the first drafts of what we believe is not the final word.

I’m thankful our Father has the power and the willingness to rewrite our stories with the permanent ink of His love.

What about you? Where have you seen God write redemption in your life? How has God redefined your identity?

Click to Tweet: He pens redemption and freedom over lies and captivity.

I’m linking up with #TellHisStory and #RaRaLinkup

41 thoughts on “Rewrite: When What We Believe is Wrong”

  1. I’ve realized my earthly place,
    and thus, my earthly heart is full;
    I know that by God’s kind grace,
    I am expendable.
    There is no grand tale I walk,
    nor honoured seat in mannered halls;
    no one yearns to hear me talk,
    and life is found outside the walls.
    Freedom, too, lives here with me,
    the choices where I come and go,
    there is a hooligan clarity
    at last, on this final dice-throw.
    One day soon I’ll disappear,
    then me and God, we’ll have a beer.

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    1. I so appreciate your perspective, Andrew. It’s wise for us to understand there is a much bigger world outside the walls of our body/being. I appreciate your take on freedom, as well. And your final lines . . . made me smile. I’m praying for you, my friend.

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  2. I love the re-writing process, and this post makes me wonder if God is also a delighted editor when he gets to do the work of perfecting and completing a work that has already begun.

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  3. Wow! What a powerful post, Jeanne. Now you have gotten me thinking. There are sometimes I write something and think “Yes! This is exactly what I want to say. No need for editing.” Then I leave it, come back later, and realize that, yes, I need to edit. I feel so sure about my beliefs that there is no room for much-needed revisions at times. Thank you for the nudge in the direction of examination and contemplation – always a good thing.

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    1. Laurie, anytime God uses my words to get someone thinking I consider that a successful post. 🙂 I’ve done what you described . . . written something and thought it was “all that” . . . until I re-read it later and realized I needed to clarify or/and cut or add things. And it’s true, isn’t it? There are times when our beliefs need some pondering and revising as well. I’m thankful the Lord is patient with us as we learn His lessons.

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  4. This is such a wonderful post, Jeanne. I am grateful to have read these words this morning: “I’m thankful our Father has the power and the willingness to rewrite our stories with the permanent ink of His love.” Amen! Me too!

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  5. Jeanne,
    I love this analogy. I think of all the un-truth I believed about myself and about God. Boy, was I off the mark. The enemy also has a field day with our confusion and doubt. I rejoice in the thought that God is continually re-writing my story as He shapes me with His Truth. When there have been concepts that I was just unable or unwilling to grasp, I did like the scripture you pointed out suggested, I asked. “Ask” is a great verb. I asked the Lord to work His truth down deep into my heart and, you know, He was faithful to do that and still keeps doing it. We can’t muster up the re-write on our own, but in God’s power, we can begin to write a more “truth” oriented version. Awesome post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. You’re so right, Bev. We can’t muster up the re-write on our own. We are only renewed by the working and rewriting of our Father’s truths on our hearts. Thanks so much for your encouraging words!

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  6. I love this connection between rewriting for editors and God rewriting our thoughts! One thing I learned at a seminar years ago was to specifically ask God to speak His truth to me when I identified a lie I’d been believing. A truth specific to that lie. I sometimes forget it, but when I take care to ask God to speak that truth, it makes such a difference!

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    1. Betsy, I like that prayer! I think I’m going to adopt it. I know there are times when my beliefs go a little wayward, but when He speaks His truths for specific lies, that’s a powerful thing. Thank you for sharing this!

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  7. Jeanne, hi! I love how God is continuing to write our stories, to deepen our trust in Him, to redefine the way we see ourselves, to teach us lessons about who He is in the midst of our ups and downs, ins and outs.

    He, the author and finisher of our faith …

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    1. Me too, Linda. I’m so thankful God didn’t just make us a “first draft” and leave us to the world to write on and write over. He’s watching His kids and rewriting His truths where we need them. And, I love that description of our Father…the author and finisher of our faith!

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  8. What a beautiful description of how God heals us inside and out. I love your words, ” He pens redemption and freedom over lies and captivity.” Yes! Blessings!

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  9. Such beautiful comfort, Jeanne. I believed I was unworthy for so long, but now I know… I am worthy in Jesus.

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  10. I’m in the midst of editing the first draft of my book, so I can identify. I’m so glad God doesn’t leave us as He found us, but keeps working in our lives to revise us more and more closely into His image.

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    1. Barbara, sometimes the re-writing and editing seem to take longer than the actual writing of the first draft! 🙂 And yes, I’m so grateful God sees us not only as we are, but He continually conforms us into the image of His Son, making us new creations in Him. I hope your editing goes well!

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  11. This is powerful: “He pens redemption and freedom over lies and captivity.” God can and does do that, even within our own hearts. When I look back at my Christian life, I see more of a focus change: I’ve added love to my doctrine-based living. Jesus is so much about love. Also, over the past decade or so, I’ve been very mindful of the idea that what I write and teach may not be accurate and that has moved me to seek His counsel through His Word and Holy Spirit more and more and to proceed with humility.

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    1. Stephen, you bring up good points. It’s easy to live by rules or focusing so much on doctrine, that we can forget to live in accordance to Jesus’ character, namely love. He’s been challenging me to consider if I’m loving well. I’m with you…I want to be very careful that what I share with others is accurate. I’m so thankful God has given us His word to turn to and learn from, and that He places wise people in our lives to help us. And yes, proceeding with humility. this is key!

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  12. I’ve always loved the thought of letting God rewrite our stories. And I think we may all relate to lies we believed about ourselves that God certainly never said or spoke over us. Oh how this must hurt His heart. But in the rewriting, we have the opportunity to lay down lies and pick up God’s truth…even embrace it! Great analogy!

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    1. Karen, I’m thankful God is gracious with us and rewrites those lies we believe. I’m grateful He helps us lay them down and pick up and cling to His truth! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  13. Oh we are a WIP just like WIP (writing in progress) aren’t we?! I’m thankful God doesn’t throw out any stories! 🙂 But molds and shapes us. So much I’ve been leaning into lately is knowing and trusting His promise. And saying Yes and Amen to His faithfulness

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    1. I like that analogy, Lynn. We are God’s WIP’s. I’m with you! So thankful He doesn’t throw out any stories. I’m grateful He writes His truth over us, and that He is faithful to uphold His promises. I’m thankful He is trustworthy and faithful. And I like how you bring out that we have the choice on how we respond to His faithfulness. 🙂

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  14. Thank you so much, blogging friend, for this beautiful analogy. It seems that God continues to re-write my life, each day a little. When I allow God to “edit” my life, I often find that He edits things out of the pages that looked so good and necessary to me. It feels painful. “But God, that was so precious to me!” Then I remember, my life, my story, belongs to Him. I can trust His editing process.

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    1. Heidi, God seems to rewrite my life as well, one little bit at a time. I like what you said about how God edits from our lives those things that He considers dross, or that are idols to us. When we remember our lives belong to Him, and we yield ourselves to Him, it makes it a little easier to let go of the lesser-“precious” things.

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  15. I think these steps are such an essential part of our spiritual growth. Some of us need to work through this with a counselor, some with a writers group as you did, some with a good journal and a book and self reflection. It’s so essential to rewrite the false narrative we’ve been fed in our childhood by bullies, bad experiences, difficult families, and lack of understanding. Your process sounds transformative and uplifting.

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    1. Melinda, you’re right. There are different ways to deal with the lies we’ve believed. I’m thankful God works in the ways He knows will be best for each person. I’m grateful that God helps us rewrite the false narratives in His perfect way. I appreciate your insights, Melinda!

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  16. You wrote such beautiful words today. I love everything about story but even more so when there is a reminder that God is the Author of our stories. I am comforted in knowing that God allows us to have a first, second, or third draft to our stories. He also graciously points us to His truth about how He sees us when we forget and believe the lies of the enemy.

    Your words really spoke to me today. I felt God’s presence throughout this post.

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    1. Mary, thanks for your kind words. I’m so thankful God is the author of our stories. And that He’s not afraid to write over those things in our lives that are inaccurate or not reflective of His best work. And yes, I’m beyond thankful that He sees us so differently than we see ourselves sometimes. So thankful for you!

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  17. Love this Jeanne! Mine testimony is mostly of the ongoing work after asking Jesus into my life. God’s continual work of clearing out the lies and false beliefs & replacing them with what He says is true – which is always more beautiful and good. Thank you for articulating it so well.

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    1. Christina, it seems like lies are so easy to believe and internalize, especially when we’re younger. I so appreciate what you shared here about your own story and the work God’s done! Have a sweet week, friend!

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