Four Crazy Lies I Believed

I was well into my thirties when my best friend, who’d worked for a dentist, informed me that, yes, you’re supposed to brush the backs of your teeth, not just the fronts. As a goody two-shoes, rule-following nerd, I was HORRIFIED! My whole life, I thought you only had to brush the parts that showed.

Lie number two.

I discovered this truth at sixteen while learning to drive.

What a nightmare.

1976. Mother and I were in our ’66 Chevy Impala, “The Blue Goose,” with me hunched over the steering wheel like an old woman. Clamped on in the ten and two position exactly like the manual instructed, sweaty palms, my heart about to beat out of my chest, I tried so hard to keep the car the middle of the road.

“Julie, what in the world are you doing?” Mother said. “You’re staring at the nose of the car.”

“I’m keeping it inside the white lines.”

“No, no, no. Don’t look at the car. Look way off down the road.”

Who knew?

Lie number three.

I thought if I could somehow become a perfect mother, I’d raise perfect children. 🙂 Ha! Double ha-ha on that one!

Number four.

I believed the more committees I served on, the busier I stayed (never mind my heart or my motives), the more God would love me.

I thought His love was based on something I did or didn’t do. Have you ever heard of such nonsense?

Now in my fifties, I brush the backs of my teeth, keep my eyes on the road, and I’m learning to relax in His unfailing love and grace.

Sometimes we have to admit we’ve been mistaken in order to grow.

What crazy lies have you believed?











  1. Mary Wilkins says:

    Amazing and right-on as always. Thanks!

    • Thank you so much, Mary. You’re always so kind. I sorta cringed when I shared about my teeth. :0


  2. Georgia says:

    Julie: I always thought God loved me based on what I did and how good I was. It has just been in the last few years that I have learned that God loves me no matter what! What a relief. Thank you for today’s post! 🙂

    • Me too, Georgia!! And this lie, I’m discovering, is not unique at all. There are lots of “us” running around.

      Thank you for letting me know you understand. So much love, my friend.

  3. Anna Haney says:

    Sadly, it seems like I have believed a lot of lies from the enemy. Right now I am in the midst of one. God told me to be kind to someone in my office and now that person is making me miserable. Satan is CONSTANTLY reminding me of this. When I am away from that person and the situation, I know that it is indeed a lie, but right now, the way she is annoying me (coming in late, being snarky, treating me badly), oh it’s easy to believe.

    • Hey, Anna. I hear you….wow. And isn’t it like Our Father to whisper, “Be kind.” Sounds easy enough, right?


      I’m praying for you about this. Please let me know what happens, how God works, b/c I can tell, He has your attention. 🙂

  4. Kim says:

    The biggest lie I have long believed and still struggle with is I can do it all without the help of others. Sometimes that includes not reaching out to even God. I now know that is not the way God wants me to live life, but old habits are hard to break. Falling back on what is known and comfortable, something practiced for 40 plus years, is easy. 2 issues: One, I have trouble trusting others. And two is not believing I am worthy of his sacrifice, grace and love. I am slowly, but surely making progress.

    • Kim, it’s so brave of you to open up and reveal this much honesty–even with just your first name.

      I’ve lived most of my life believing the same thing, but isn’t it beautiful what happens when we can humble ourselves and say, “I need a little help.” I’m sure it’s pride in me, when I don’t want to. When I try to handle everything on my own. Even my own life. And I do the same thing–pushing God’s help away. I know exactly what you mean!!

      My eyes are tearing up and I’m praying as I type. I know–isn’t that the beauty of His Grace and Love…that it’s ALL Him. Someone once told me that I couldn’t do anything to make God love me any more…or any less. Blew me away. But it’s true.

      And look what you just did? You reached out and trusted us with your heart right now. That’s big! I’m cheering for you.

      So much love, and thank you–it helps me so much to know people read and my writing makes sense. Even sharing about my teeth. :0


      • Kim says:

        Julie, you, your blog and your words are a great blessing in my life. One of the reasons I have begun opening up and sharing is because of your realness and honesty in what you write. I realize I am not the only one. And it is so much easier and nicer to deal with life struggles having a real life friend or two, but also blog friend encouragement and prayer.

        Yes, pride. I am all too familiar with pride. A year ago, if someone had asked me if I was prideful? I would have responded indignantly, No! Absolutely not! But, through listening and actually hearing sermons, reflecting on thoughts and actions, I realized that was just not true. I have to try on a daily basis to not have pride be my stumbling block. Baby steps… Thank you for everything!

        • Kim–you’re the one–thank you! You touched my heart.
          Isn’t pride the sneakiest thing? The moment we think we’re humble and free of pride, ooops, there it is!

          So much love right back to you!

  5. so many lies…one big one…I’m not enough. No matter what. Not enough. That lie still chases me and catches me sometimes…great post J… made me think ox

  6. Lie No. 2 was me. I had a driving instructor say, “where are you looking?” and I realized I was also looking at the hood of the car to keep it straight on the road. Geesh.

    I have also believed that if I was perfect everyone would like me. Huh. Doesn’t work that way. No matter how much I would spin, the world didn’t fall around me at my feet.

    I love learning about myself through your blog posts, Julie. Keep up the great work!

    • B.J., You Too!!! I’ve never known anyone else to ever think this!! Thank you for telling me. I’m not alone in believing this crazy lie!!!

      Yep, the whole perfection thing–and what I wrote about God loving me more–it applied to people too. Yuck.

      Love you so much.

  7. marci says:

    Dearest Julie, your writing has a way of touching me / dare I say us? in a way that lets God speak to us and help us see the lesson we personally need at the time. That is what you give- and so thankful for that in you and the way you open up- showing us your tender spots.. it helps us do the same.
    I for the longest had believed the lie- “It is all up to me” Maybe that came from being the oldest, and the mini-mommy to my little brothers. I felt responsible for each of them and guess I carried that into adulthood. I also relate to BJ as to thinking- if I was very good, and always did for others and put others first, then everyone would surely like me. Of course that is not true. And we learn that is OK. Everyone does not have to like us.
    I can look back and laugh at myself. . Your mention of the lie about if we are only good mothers, our children will be….. Wow do we find out quick that that is not true! LOL!

    Letting go – surrendering, and taking what others do or dont do off my shoulders has been such a wonderful thing. And remembering we are human beings, not human doings.

    I too agree with BJ, ” I love learning about myself through your blog.” Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Patricia Martin says:

      I know how you feel, Julie! (): Years ago my dentist loudly announced in front of my mom that “I needed to start brushing the back of my teeth.” I thought that it only mattered if you brushed the parts of your teeth that showed! That is a lovely picture of you and your great smile((: I hope Gene and your mom are doing well.

      • Patricia, Patricia, Patricia. YOU JUST MADE MY YEAR!! After I admitted I’d been brushing this way my whole life and blogged about, I had a little moment of panic. Oh. My. Gosh. What did you just do. NObody in the world is going to identify.

        And you did it too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

        Love you my friend. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

    • Marci, every single time I publish a blog, I think, you big idiot–nobody is going to identify with what you just wrote. And the thing about the teeth–after I published it, this …. how do I describe it… it felt like a blanket of shame covered me. How could you have just written that nasty thing about not brushing your teeth the right way.

      But, I’m oh so slowly learning that being vulnerable, writing honestly, caring more about people than what they think of me, maybe that’s where God wants me.

      I felt like I was reading all about myself when I read your comment. You know, I was the oldest, the big sis of two brothers, and still, every day, I have to keep letting go. 🙂

      So very grateful for your comments–you can’t imagine. xoxoxo

  8. Suzette Thompson says:

    The picture you posted of you at sixteen is exactly how I remember you. One of my fond memories is of a party your mom had at your house for a bunch of us girls. You look almost the same as when you were sixteen. How did you do that?

    • Suzette, I’m just shaking my head. Ohhh, my friend. No, no, no. So kind of you. But there are wrinkles and veins, and other stuff.

      I just hope to keep putting the lies aside and clinging to the Truth. xoxo

  9. Julie, that’s sweet. You know it’s so funny that my youngest will miss out on so much I say. I’ll tell my oldest, forgetting that the youngest hasn’t heard … it’s really comical at times.

    “You ready?”
    “We’re going somewhere?”
    “You didn’t hear me?”
    “You didn’t tell me.”
    “Oh, I told Karalee.”

    Brush the back of those teeth! 🙂 I have to be so intentional, as a mom, and everything else!

    • Love how you put it, Shelli–I have to even be intentional in brushing the backs of my teeth. 🙂

      Such sweet conversation between you and your children! xoxo

  10. Donna Bennett says:

    For many years I believed that if I really tried hard to “be good”, surely God wouldn’t let anything bad happen to me. Then 2002 happened. I was completely overwhelmed with bad stuff happening and believed God had let me down. I remember crying out to Him, “What did I do to deserve this?” That is when God held me close and said, “What I promised is that “I will never leave you or forsake you” – NEVER! And He has proved it over and over again!

  11. Donna, such beautiful words. I’ve done the same thing–thinking we can somehow bargain our way and be good enough for God to smile on us…

    What a tough lesson.

    I’ve had my overwhelming years too. Thank you for letting me know you understand. And you’ve believed something not true too.

    Love you, my friend.

  12. ahhh Julie! you don’t have enough room for the crazy lies I’ve believed! 😉 Sometimes, I just wish those “thoughts” would be thought out loud- I’d catch the lie a lot sooner. Still learning daily to replace those “lies” with God’s word. One of our kids struggle with insecurity and a more “negative” slant to his thinking, but his favorite song is by Casting Crowns- The Voice of Truth Tells Me a Different Story! That’s what I hope to learn to hear- all the time – His Voice of Truth! hugs and thanks for sharing your heart!

    • Cindy, I just love you. 🙂 I so wish we could be face-to-face friends but am grateful we’ve met online. I LOVE that song too. And the thought-lies are so sneaky, aren’t they. They sort of tiptoe in.

      Hugs from Georgia this morning.

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