I'm rattling down the highway in my Ford Explorer, watching a movie with my friends, reading a book in my cozy window seat, munching on a fish taco, attending a friend's concert performance—and it starts to whisper.
You're not good enough. It always fails. Who do you think you are?
|/disapprove, a photo by striatic on Flickr.|
Without warning I'm wallowing in a soppy puddle of self-pity. That narrator in my head points out each and every insecurity, poking it with a sharp stick and giggling as I cringe. Every time I try something new, compare myself to others, or just sit minding my own business, I hear the voices strike up their monotonous, draining monologue.
They're telling me a story, a story about myself. Do you have voices that tell you stories? Maybe they sound something like mine:
- You're wasting your life! Look at all your friends getting jobs, getting out on their own, getting married...what have you done? Nothing.
- Do you fancy yourself a writer? Ha. You can't concentrate for five minutes without checking Facebook. You're just a wannabe with a no-name blog.
- You don't have a boyfriend because you're undesirable.
- Everyone thinks you're all that and a bag of chips. Well, if they could see what you really are, you'd lose your friends pretty quick.
- Just give up music and photography. You don't have the self-discipline to be proficient.
- God's has to have given up on you by this time.
Author and speaker Michael Hyatt has a wonderful blog and podcast, and he recently wrote a post titled "What Story Are You Telling Yourself?" It was on this exact issue, and I felt him speaking straight to me.
I'm excited about the story that God and I are writing for my life. I know it's going to be amazing. But the story I write in the future hinges on the way I read my story right now. The same is true for you. Things happen to us in life, but we assign meaning to them. Are our meanings empowering us to live better stories?
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
- Romans 8:28If you're a Christian, then you have to believe this, and it should silence your negative nagging voices. When circumstances seem to be against us or we don't feel like we measure up, let's interpret our lives in the light of this verse.
Maybe you don't feel like you have amazing gifts, maybe you feel like you're losing the battle, maybe you're even right—but the point is that you can change the story. I'm challenging me and you to talk back to those voices and say, "I know that God is causing this to work together for my good, and He is writing an amazing story for me."
What do your inner voices say? Do you believe the promise in Romans 8:28?