This season, right before the games would start at Centurylink Field, there was a Seahawk fan who would write various discouraging signs and sit outside the opposing teams tunnel. As the teams were running out to take their place on the field they were greeted by the voice of doubt.
One game in particular, the playoff game between Greenbay and Seattle, his sign read, “You’ll blow it. Just watch”. When I read it, I recognized the voice. It’s the same one I hear sometimes. This voice usually rears it’s ugly head, when I want to try something new, like Jiu Jitsu – “You’ll blow it. Just watch”.
Or when I begin writing – “You’ll blow it. Just watch”.
When I teach – “You’ll blow it. Just watch”.
When I think about parenting – “You’ll blow it. Just watch”.
You get the idea.
It’s this voice that keeps me from experiencing joy, and new things. If I were to believe this voice, it would render me ineffective in everything I do, and I often let it. I give it a stage and allow it to act on it’s beliefs, robbing me from doing things I enjoy, opportunities I want to take, and relationships I want to have. It gives me anxiety, fear, hopelessness and loneliness.
I have tried to ignore it and convince myself that it’s not true, “It’s not, really”. I’ve a read a self-help book or two to help me think otherwise, but it still comes back. I have even at times turned to my wife and asked, “I’m not really a bad dad, am I?”, hoping her answer, which is usually, “No” would silence the voice. It doesn’t.
There has been a way, where I have been successful in muting the voice, and it’s one I have learned to turn to any time the voice of doubt begins to speak.
Preachy part: The victory has come when another louder voice has interrupted the voice of doubt and death in my head. It is the voice that tells me I am fearfully and wonderfully made. It tells me I have value, I have purpose and I am worth fighting and dying for. Even in my moments where I am selfish, quickly angered, and downright unlovely, I am still loved, still valued.
I know that if I do things with purpose, that is to glorify God in everything I do, I will be successful.
I draw my confidence from my relationship with God. His unflinching and unconditional love and grace keeps my mind right. I know that if I do things with purpose, that is to glorify God in everything I do, I will be successful. When I fail, and yet trust Him, I win.
I have learned, sometimes the hard way, that keeping in step with the Holy Spirit and reading the love letters from God, is the only way to quiet the voices of fear, doubt and anxiety (Matthew 11:27-30).
What are the voices, you need to drown out with God’s words? How can I pray for you in this area?