Last Friday I had one of those days - a day of doubts, I can'ts and I don't deserve this. Now it wasn't because something bad had happened, just the opposite actually. Over the past couple of years God has put somethings on my heart and I am now seeing it all start to come together. Which is extremely exciting, but at the same time I feel so unworthy.
This is a feeling that's been there before and I've posted about it, but it really took hold last week. Here's a glimpse of what was rolling around in my head - God I can't do this, so and so would do a better job - she knows more than me, she's a better speaker and she's prettier and you get the idea. These undeserving thoughts then led to doubts, which only created more problems.
So by that evening I took the negative talk a step further - it went from a silent voice in my head to words I actually spoke to my husband. I asked, "What is wrong with me?" He assures me, "Nothing," so then I ask, "Then why am I so messed up?" Well the kind guy that he is he assured me I wasn't messed up either.
Though maybe I'm not, I realized my mind was. I have started reading Jennifer Rothschild's Self Talk, Soul Talk and as I heard these questions come out of my mouth it hit me that the conversation I'd been having with myself all day was not based on truth.
So I decided to pick it up and read the chapter Lelia will discuss on her blog this week. It was titled, "Choosing Wise Words," how timely was that?!! As I read on and proceeded to underline almost every sentence, I was convicted.
Words I had heard in my mind came back - "You're so pathetic, you can't do that, nobody will listen to you and on and on." Wise words, not quite! So what do we do? Jennifer went on to share her answer...
"Our thoughts and our actions flow from our assumptions...assumptions are the root and our thoughts are the action." Then she went on to say "the root of right thinking is always an assumption based on truth." Well it was obvious to me many of my assumptions have been wrong and my focus has been off as well.
I've been concentrating on my inability rather than God's ability, my weakness rather than God's strength, the outside rather than the inside, my insecurities instead of my secure place in God's arms, my worries instead of God's provision, my doubts over God's faithfulness. All wrong thinking and thoughts based on wrong assumptions. Because of that I was really touched by her words, "You are too valuable and life is too important to risk living according to faulty assumptions."
It takes more than recognizing the truth in the statement, I need to apply it to my life, which will take work, prayer, time, more prayer, trust, grace, more work and more prayer. It's a constant process of "examining your own heart and mind." Like Jennifer, we must all ask ourselves, "Do you fear the Lord? Whose truth do you elevate most highly in your life? Yours, our culture's, or God's?"
When we put Him first, he will not only help us choose wise words, but provide the ones we need to hear. And He will also remind us of His presence, strength and power.
With that I will close with a scene from last night - I was helping my little Joy, who just turned 4 last month, get ready for bed. We had a bit of a dispute over her putting on her diaper for nighttime. She didn't want to do it, but I reminded her we needed to get 4 stickers in a row before we went without and then it hit. My little girl who can do everything and possesses confidence I sometimes admire had a melt down. She was sobbing and simply saying, "I can't, I can't, I can't." Honestly I was surprised - 1) we haven't made a big deal out of this and 2) I've rarely ever heard her say "I can't" and she was almost out of control with it. So I just held her, had a little talk and we prayed that God would help her stay dry. She goes to bed and all is fine...for her, but the scene keeps running thru my mind - I hurt for my little girl and after experiencing 32 years of living with too many I can'ts my mind starts thinking how can I break that cycle. I fell asleep praying about that and knowing God will hear and answer.
But the story doesn't end there, as this morning I woke up and God had this picture in my head and on my heart once again. Only this time I was the crying little girl and He was the reassuring strong parent. It was like He said, you know Joy won't wear diapers forever and I can see the future too and though some tasks seem impossible now, you can do it, you will do it. And my daughter just as you encourage your child, hold her and help her, I will do the same.