It had been a difficult Monday and I collapsed on the couch exhausted. I closed my eyes and out of no where it started and it kept getting louder.
“Why do you even bother?”
“Do you really think anyone cares?”
“You are not even a good writer, and you never will be.”
“They don’t even like you. They just feel sorry for you.”
“No one wants to read it.”
“You are a waste of time.”
And the old faithful question:
“Who do you think you are?”
That’s just a tiny taste of the meanness that yelled at me in the quiet. It’s been a while since that tape has played. That old familiar voice demands tears and surrender as it warns: “Give up before you mess up. Quit while you are ahead. It’s not worth the risk. You are not worth it.”
I knew it was all a lie, but it still shut down my plans for writing that night.
Recent events had triggered me and resurrected old fears. In the midst of that tension the mean voice that was trying to keep me safe from rejection and disappointment got really loud. New words, with the same message: “Quit. Trust no one. You are bad.”
Eventually, the tape stopped playing and I woke up to face another day.
As I was walking through the grocery store, I was praying and thinking about how tired and overwhelmed I felt. I have dreams, plans and things I want to accomplish, but it seems impossible!
Lord, will it ever be possible?
Maybe it is just a dream?
Why do I put so much pressure on myself, and then feel so guilty when I fall short?
As I unloaded the groceries, it hit me that it is me putting all of the pressures and expectations on myself.
There’s another tape that plays and this voice says I have to do it all.
“Get ‘er done.”
“Multi-task and move.”
“Make it happen.”
It’s a different voice with the same objective of keeping me “safe” by keeping me busy and appearing “okay”.
Neither of these tapes reflect His voice.
His voice whispers:
“Be Still and Know.” He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
“Abide in Me.” Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4
“Trust and Obey.” I wanted them to trust Me and obey My voice. In those early days, I told them, “I will be your God, and you will be My people. Follow Me every step of the way into a life that is good.” Jeremiah 7:23 VOICE
“Remember?” Remember the wonderful things He has done, His miracles and the wise decisions He has made. Psalm 105:5 VOICE
“You are safe.” Tonight I will sleep securely on a bed of peace because I trust You, You alone, O Eternal One, will keep me safe. Psalm 4:8 VOICE
His gentle whispers bring me to my knees and fill me with peace.
On the short drive home, I thought of these verses about the parts of the body:
Imagine the entire body as an eye. How would a giant eye be able to hear? And if the entire body were an ear, how would an ear be able to smell? This is where God comes in. God has meticulously put this body together; He placed each part in the exact place to perform the exact function He wanted. 1 Corinthians 12:17-18
I prayed, “Lord, sometimes I think I have to do it all. Here I am trying to be the head, shoulders, knees and toes (knees and toes), eyes and ears and mouth and nose, when maybe all you are asking me to be is the hand! God, if you want me to just be the hand, please help me to be the best hand I can be – for you. Show me what you want me to do and guide me.
All of the pressure was replaced with His peace on that short drive home.
As I pulled into my driveway, I saw a message from a friend asking me to meet with her to pray. Then, I returned a call to someone who reached out and we shared and encouraged one another. Later, He prompted me to pray for friends who were headed to their weekly therapy session.
God spoke to my heart about trusting Him and being the hand, and He was faithfully showing me what that looked like. By tuning into His voice, I was able to drop my impossible to-do list and just be faithful to do the next thing He asked me to do.
What about you? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Is the stress of trying to do it all wearing you down? Maybe the voices and old tapes are playing on repeat for you too? The struggle is real!
BUT, so is His peace! And His rest. And it is yours, all yours for the taking.
Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Put My yoke upon your shoulders—it might appear heavy at first, but it is perfectly fitted to your curves. Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. When you are yoked to Me, your weary souls will find rest. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 The Voice
Linking up with: Jennifer Dukes Lee