When I Discovered My Dream Had Become an Idol
By Tiffini Kilgore
Since I said yes to God, I’ve been journaling my thoughts, my questions, and God’s responses. But this morning, I sit at the table and read, you have “relied on oppression and depended on deceit” (Isa. 30:12). The words pull my face to them and say, “Sweet one, pay attention. You are shaping your life on lies.”
I am? Am I putting all my trust in lies? This dream of a husband, a family, and a home? If it isn’t real to Jake, my second husband, then this dream I’ve put all my faith, energy, and heart into is a lie. Suddenly, I remember Satan is the Father of Lies. God only gives his grace, power, and strength for truth.
Is the dream I’m holding on to for dear life an idol? Have I been hungering for an idol all this time, thinking I was hungering for God?
I realize I’m trying to fix symptoms. Working from the outside in. Trusting God to get me out of things with Jake, and when he doesn’t, I spin out of control. But God really wants to get my chaos out of me.
We are shaping our lives on lies. I’m shaping my life on lies! Oppression burdens my heart.
I’ve read stories in the Bible about battles and enemies, covenants and weapons, maps and ways of escape. About how Israel, in the book of Judges, lived in a cycle too. Just like me. They turned from God to idols. An idol is something you worship that isn’t God. They believed in little gods or idols, did what was right in their own eyes, and began worshiping idols, believing the idols would save them. Then God would punish them, they would repent, then they would start worshiping false gods again. Their idol-worshiping ways held them captive. Helpless. They thought idols could protect them, deliver them. But the idols were the enemy.
Something wants this something-more in me. Am I sleeping with the enemy?
Reading through Exodus, I begin to see a pattern emerging that looks like veins beneath my skin. A map. A way of escape. How do I get out? How do I escape my idols? Show me what’s next. Lead me out. For the first time I see that I am in a spiritual battle.
I turn to the story of Gideon, the Israelite and military leader on the brink of battling the enemy. God spoke to him, but he was scared, just like me. He questioned God. Just like me. He first tore down his family’s altar to an idol, Baal, and built an altar to God. He was so scared that he did it at night, instead of the day. I read on. God took almost everyone away from Gideon before he defeated the Midianites. He slimmed an army of thousands down to three hundred men. God told Gideon to send the extra men home. God told Gideon to trust.
I feel a lot like Gideon, God.
Little one, I am looking for someone who will say yes. One who will take their destiny from my hands. One who will step up in their family to be the first. Who will go for me?
When I eat the words like breadcrumbs, chew them up, swallow them deep, they point my feet in the right direction. So many questions swirl in my life, yet this I know: these words will show me the way.
“Be my true north,” I whisper.
Papa God’s response: You were not created to lie down for someone to walk all over you. Your back is not the ground. I am here to come alongside when life disrupts, dismantles, demolishes, disintegrates. I am the one to bring rescue through rewriting this story—let me.
I am going to shake you from the dust and lift you up and out. I have gone ahead of you, my love, and I have your back. I am on both sides. You are surrounded by me.
This dream isn’t for you. It isn’t for either of you. It needs to go. You are falling down before a man. You’re praying to something that cannot save you. It is a lie. It doesn’t exist. But I am your real.
Little one, see my gospel shattering the lie-bricks built up around your heart?
I want to rescue you and your children. My plan is not to hurt you and them, to make you stay in a place that destroys your family. I want to rebuild, repair, and restore. Once you’re out, you can turn around and help others.
Adapted from Misfit Table: Let Your Hunger Lead You to Where You Belong by Tiffini Kilgore. Click here to learn more about this title.
God longs to rewrite and redeem your story.
Misfit Table is for anyone who has ever felt out of place or at odds in the world. Each chapter features compelling narrative as well as a poignant response from “Papa” God as Tiffini calls him, and the result is a stirring invitation to come home to where you belong. Come and sit, take and eat, and join the battle cry to take God at his word.
Tiffini Kilgore, founder of the lifestyle and design boutique House of Belonging, grew up in a broken home before marrying at the tender age of sixteen. Years later, divorced and with three small children, she remarried. The seasons that followed brought two more children, another broken marriage, chronic disease, major surgeries, and cycles of abuse—leaving Tiffini feeling alone and unloved.
Hungry for healing and a safe space, Tiffini began seeking Jesus through journaling and soon found bread crumbs of grace leading her down a new path. There, she found a rich table set for misfits just like her—a place of nourishment and restoration. Where she was fed lies of worthlessness, God fed her truth that she was his treasured daughter. Where she was told she was a helpless victim, God offered her the cup of his strength. Where she once held an empty future, God gave her hope and a fresh start. In cultivating an ongoing dialogue with her Abba Father, God transformed Tiffini’s pain into passion, and ultimately, fierce belonging.
Tiffini Kilgore is a tattooed grandma, a freedom fighter, and a beloved warrior with a heart to speak to the misfits just like her who are looking for belonging. An entrepreneur by trade and a visionary at heart, Tiffini is the founding owner of House of Belonging, a lifestyle company specializing in hand-crafted signs that employs all five of her children. Tiffini lives in Franklin, Tennessee and you can follow her words and work at thehouseofbelonging.com and @houseofbelonging on Instagram.
July 20, 2019