The last few weeks have been stressful. I keep finding myself in situations I can’t control and it makes me crazy. (I might be a tiny bit of a control freak.) It’s not even big things, just a culmination of many little things.
Whenever life gets stressful, Doubt arrives, as if on cue, to remind me of all the times I’ve failed. It’s the voice of Doubt that keeps asking, “Who do you think you are?”
Who do you think you are to be a mom? You don’t have the patience.
Who do you think you are to be a wife? You’re not enough for him.
Who do you think you are to be a youth leader at church? The kids won’t even like you.
Who do you think you are to write about your life? Nobody cares what you have to say.
These thoughts followed me for days, hanging around in the corners of my mind like a cobweb just out of reach, growing and collecting dust. Doubt continued to whisper into each new frustrating situation, “You can’t do this. Why are you even trying?”
Yesterday morning, Rosie and I decided to go to the river near our house to swim. Magda is away at camp, so I let Rosie pick the morning activity. She wanted a picnic at the river. We spent the morning swimming, snacking, picking blackberries, skipping rocks and laying on our towels reading. It was one of the most peaceful and relaxing mornings I’ve had in a long time. At one point, Rosie was in the water with her goggles trying to catch minnows and I was just sitting, taking in the sun and the beautiful landscape when I felt a different whisper, deep in my soul, “This is who you are. A mom who teaches her child to love nature.”
Those words were a fresh wind, blowing through my heart and mind, clearing away the cobwebs. They poured over my soul like a wave, filling up the cracked and broken places. Over and over I felt God’s soft voice.
Who do you think you are? You are my creation.
Who do you think you are? With me, you are enough.
Who do you think you are? You are mine.
Last night before bed, Josh was reading The Inner Voice of Love by Henri Nouwen. He handed me the book and said, “You should read page 113”. This is what it said:
You are constantly facing choices. The question is whether you choose for God or for your own self-doubting self. You know what the right choice is, but your emotions, passions, and feelings keep suggesting you choose the self-rejecting way.
The root choice is to trust at all times that God is with you and will give you what you most need. Your self-rejecting emotions might say, “It isn’t going to work. I’m still suffering the same anguish I did six months ago. I will probably fallback into the old depressive patterns of acting and reacting. I haven’t really changed.” And on an on.
It is hard not to listen to these voices. Still, you know that these are not God’s voice. God says to you, “I love you, I am with you, I want to see you come closer to me and experience the joy and peace of my presence. I want to give you a new heart and a new spirit. I want you to speak with my mouth, see with my eyes, hear with my ears, touch with my hands. All that is mine is yours. Just trust me and let me be your God.”
This is the voice to listen to. And that listening requires a real choice, not just once in a while, but every moment of each day and night. It is you who decides what you think, say, and do….Choose for the truth of what you know. Do not let your still anxious emotions distract you. As you keep choosing God, your emotions will gradually give up their rebellion and be converted to the truth in you.
I hadn’t told Josh about my experience at the river. I don’t know why he thought I should read that page. But, God knew my heart. He is faithful to meet us where we are.
Originally written on 8/16/2012