Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"I can't!"

Lately I've found myself thinking about the phrase, "I can't!" At times my children have said it, but I believe it's been on my mind because it's been on my heart. And over the last month I've realized there are two sides to these common words (ones we probably hear and say and think more than we know) - the good and the bad.

Honestly it was the good side that hit me first, the side I hadn't ever really thought about that much. You see thoughts of "I can't!" take me back to my coaching days...my girls knew that negative phrase would bring punishment, but still they often found themselves doing push-ups after expressing the doubt we all feel.

So I have to admit I was a bit surprised when I got to thinking about these words in a positive way. Before I explain, here's a quick summary of where I'm at - God has put it on my heart to write a book - a crazy, scary thought, but He's done that before and it happened. This last month I've been wrestling with this and even avoiding it at times, but a couple of weeks ago I found myself saying, "I can't."

In the midst of this, memories of my first crazy, scary book came to mind. I clearly recall the first time I verbalized this idea...the scene is playing in my mind right now and these are the words I hear myself say, "I could write a book."

Don't get me wrong in no way was I oozing with confidence 4 years ago when I wrote! But I have been struck by the comparison between my initial response back then (well it was in words anyway!) to the thoughts I have now - "I could" versus "I can't."

More than once I've found myself in prayer about this saying things like, "Lord, if I really was supposed to do this wouldn't I have a bit of confidence?" or offering words like these, "I can't - I don't have the time, the words, the wisdom, the platform" and on and on and on!!

During one of these quite conversations, God helped me look at the contrast between the two phrases in a whole new way. "I can't" is what He wants me to say...it's not a bad thing when it means I'm surrendering, when I'm letting go of what I can do and trusting what He can. He showed me that sometimes, "I could..." simply means I might, or someday I'll get around to it and when I do, I'll do it in my own power. That is not what our Father, the One who lives in me wants for me, or for you.

Friend, I don't know if you've found yourself saying, "I can't" lately, but today I challenge you to think about it...perhaps that is just the response God has been waiting for! Sometimes these words are a good thing, but that's not always the case so stop by soon to hear about my experience and share a bit of your own.

Today I leave you with this thought, "when we can't remember He can!!"


  1. Sweet friend, this is so where I am and what I have been doing this morning. Laying my "I can't" at His feet.

    So glad you wrote today.

    Much love,

  2. "I can't!" I can relate! A few years back I started on the same journey of writing a book. It took months to change my thinking that perhaps it was possible. I had no confidence - NONE. Every writing day I would first read the compliation of "inspiring" thoughts of people who had done their impossible tasks.
    The book is finished. Alas, the next part of the journey - getting it from my coffee table to the market place.
    Such a great journey with God.
    Thank you for the encouraging post. It resonated in my heart.