There are so many things I’m not good at. And apparently I have an inner monologue determined to record each and every one of them from the past year.
There’s a voice in my head that tells me I’m not enough. Some days it’s quiet and some days it’s super shouty.
It’s the strangest thing to discover the back of your brain muttering mean things to yourself.
The whisper is so soft, so ordinary, so normal by now that I rarely stop to investigate. I just let the words run through my veins until they seem like a normal part of my DNA.
This house will never be clean.
You’ll never get caught up on the laundry.
Your words won’t match up to hers.
You’ve never lived up to your New Year’s resolutions.
You’re never going to get caught up.
You’re going to start another year already behind the curve.
You’re just not good at this.
I heard that voice in the car today. I was sitting in a restaurant parking lot in our minivan. Alone. Maybe that’s why I listened without just letting it wash over me. Maybe that’s why I tuned in to the nefarious whispering I’d been letting slide up until then.
I listened and I almost couldn’t believe what I heard. I was surprised actually. Kind of amazed that I was capable of such petty meanness to myself. Because the thing about that voice is that it’s a nitpicker. It delights in destroying the DNA of a day, a dream, a moment bit-bypetulant-bit.
But when I tuned in it sounded more and more like static. Fuzzy, harsh, unforgiving, and small. My friend, Holley Gerth, calls it devil static — the noise that tries to drown out the truth God is speaking into our lives and through our lives. The noise that crackles and cackles and tries to poke fun at who we’re growing into; tries to derail us out of sheer embarrassment.
I told that voice off today.
Yes, I talked back to myself. I spoke out loud the words that have been spoken over me by The Word.
“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).
By the voice who speaks the only words that matter.
“For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
I called out that voice with all its mean and miserable words. And in doing so, I could almost hear it deflate. I addressed that no-voice with my whole attention, listing my inheritance in Christ (“He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:14), my royal claim because of Jesus (“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9), my significance because I am significant in Him. Because He is enough I am chosen, cherished, and beloved.
And I could hear the static fizzling.
I’m not nothing.
What lie have you been saying and believing about yourself this past year?
You’re not nothing.
What Truth from God’s Word can you replace the lie with and head into the new year believing instead?
Zephaniah 3:17 says, “Yahweh your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy.”
We’re daughters of the King. We’re bought at a price. We’re loved.
And there’s a much greater voice, a voice with all the rich, resonant tones of Truth so filled with love for us that unlike that devil’s static, He will rejoice over you with joyful singing. With singing. Not hissing or criticizing or comparing or mocking, but with joyful singing.
Hold on to that as we head into this new year. That the words we say to ourselves matter because the God who is The Word says we matter. And it’s time we start believing Him.
Dear Jesus, help me to see myself through Your eyes and Your words this year. Teach me kindness to myself and compassion to others. Make me a Word sister to my friends and a Word model to my children. Give me the gift of Your words in my life and make them a lamp to light my way. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Lisa-Jo Baker is the community manager for incourage.me, the author of Surprised by Motherhood, and the mom to three very loud kids. With her husband they live just outside Washington, D.C., where she shares her everyday life lived in between kids and chaos at LisaJoBaker.com.
This article originally appeared in HomeLife Magazine.