Sunday, August 16, 2009

Voice Lessons

Sometimes I think my brain needs an enema.

I have these ridiculous voices running around my head telling me things that are neither healthy or true. The loudest voice lately has been telling me "you're not doing enough".

I could have a loaf of bread in the oven, a load of laundry in the washing machine and be in the middle of cleaning the kitchen and still hear a voice accusing me of idleness. The other day I was listening to that voice and feeling a wave of defeat as I looked around the house at the endless chores waiting for my attention, but out of nowhere I said out loud, "Aw, just shut up."

What? I've already admitted to hearing voices, so how much worse can it be to admit to talking back?

I'd love to say that my open defiance made all the voices go away and I've been liberated forever from their condemnation, but I can't because they continue to pick at me. I do think, however, that it was a key victory in a battle that will ultimately lead to winning the war.

I've been having more and more of those little victories lately.

For as long as I can remember I've confused making excuses for others and assuming everything is my fault with extending grace and forgiveness. Here's a for instance:

Recently I prayerfully made a decision that required me to step outside of my comfort zone. I was certain that God was telling me to do it so I did it. While I was still wobbling around in this new arena a woman made a remark that knocked me on my fanny and made me question the leading I was once so certain of. It was silly really and I laugh about it now, but in the moment I was crushed. I started to take her comment as an indication that I was wrong in my decision and needed to make a course correction at once. But then I had another one of those little victories because, before I let my brain spiral out of control, the thought occurred to me that hey, I don't think she handled that very well.

What I'm learning through these little victories is that the voices in my head never tell the truth about a situation and God said very clearly Thou Shalt Not Lie. I've always known we're not supposed to lie to God (it's pointless anyway) and we're not to lie to one another, but I'm also learning that we're not supposed to lie to ourselves. When I assume that everything is all my fault every time something goes wrong, then I'm lying to myself and lying about the situation. Not only does that send me off the deep end unnecessarily, but it cuts me off from whatever lesson the Lord wants to teach me.

More than that, it keeps me from obeying the Lord's command to truly forgive and extend real grace.

The unavoidable flip side, of course, is that I'm not allowed to lie and say something isn't my fault when it is. No excuses and no blame shifting.

So lately I've been praying and asking the Lord to help me see things clearly and truthfully. I want to identify those times I'm shackled by condemnation and ask Jesus to set me free. I want to quit being sidetracked by a guilt complex and walk in forgiveness. And I want to be super-sensitive to the Spirit's conviction and rush to repentance.

And I really, really want those voices to take a hike.

And about those voices, I'm not usually one to beg for comments, but anyone who wants to encourage me that I'm not riding first class on the crazy train would be greatly appreciated:)


Andrea said...

You are not crazy girlfriend! I'm right there with you! The enemy loves to try to get us not to trust God or even to trust ourselves - but we know we can trust God when he tells us to take that risk. In fact, that was the topic today in the 5th/6th grade class at church. Perfect timing!

Kris said...

Great post. I have a handout for you.... I saved a copy for you and a copy for your mom. Heh heh heh

Elle said...

Not crazy. Terribly insightful and right on the money in this post. That whole "not lying to ourselves" is incredibly freeing because it clears our ears, hearts and brains to hear God's truth. Knowing Him, knowing His Word is what silences the voices ultimately. Because they're insidious whispers of an enemy. His voice is that of a shepherd. His sheep know it and follow Him. Keep walking.

Lori said...

Kris - Should I be nervous? And FYI - I was NOT talking about my mother in the post:)

Thanks everybody for the encouragement. I'm so glad I didn't frighten you guys off!

Doug said...

Awesome post! and no, you are not riding first class on the crazy train. You are riding coach with the rest of us!

Cheryl said...

oh. my. I thought I was reading a day in my life here! I think part of our Christian walk is learning to purposely listen to hear the still quiet voice through all those condemning voices. And when conviction is needed (and heeded), that same voice is SO kind, SO loving, not leaving us orphaned in our guilt and faults but wraps us in grace and mercy and gives us what we need to carry forth in and for His glory. I think I have just began to catch the slightest understanding of that truth the past few years and it has been the most freeing thing I've ever experienced... but the voices are still there.

mary grace said...

That is the best opening line I have ever read in a blog post. LOVE it!

And there's a note waiting for you on my blog, if you have a chance to swing by.

Benny said...

I'm so glad to hear that I am not the only one hearing those voices... and struggling at times to differentiate the Truth from the lies.

So you're not crazy! And you're not alone. ;o)


Becks said...

missing updates from your tree house :) hope you are all well!
loves from CA!

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