The moment just before I wake up is my favorite part of every day. In this simple and quiet moment the world feels still, as if I’ve somehow found the key to push pause on my life, and for a second I can breathe. Like really breathe. I’m obsessed with this moment simply because I know that as soon as I allow myself to really wake up, she’ll be right there waiting for me.
Who is she? She’s the voice inside my head.
No, she’s not some literal voice, but she is very real and VERY persuasive. She’s the unwelcome visitor into my world who always has an opinion and is never EVER nice. The worst thing about her though? She never goes away and she never shuts up.
Look how fat you look today, Heather.
You really think those two things look good together?
You yelled at the kids AGAIN. Seriously, don’t you have any patience?
I wonder if Jeff is bored with you.
I wonder if he still thinks you’re pretty
Looking at your phone AGAIN? You’re such a bad mom.
You haven’t read your bible in like a month. What kind of Christian are you?
No one has texted you to hang out this week, probably because you’re a bad friend.
Why can’t you look like that girl?
You know, if you just ate less you’d probably have an easier time getting that body you want.
Don’t let them see how sad you are, if you do, they won’t be your friend anymore.
You want to have sex? You’re a girl, you shouldn’t want that. Only guys want that.
I wonder how much a nose job costs.
I can’t believe you don’t have a job. Seriously, you’re going to make this family broke.
Here you go again, screwing up the kids.
Just quit this day and go to bed. Maybe you won’t be such a screw up tomorrow.
This voice, well she’s a bitch. And the sad thing is, I believe what she says most of the time. I remind myself that no one knows me better than me so if I’m saying these things about myself then they have to be true. In a world where everywhere I turn someone or something is telling me I need to be more than what I am, it doesn’t help that the one screaming the loudest is my own self. And no matter how hard I try, that little voice, she never leaves me.
For a long time I beat myself up for believing the little voice inside my head. I kept saying that if I read my Bible more or prayed more or thought of myself less then she’d go away and I’d be better. And where those things all helped for sure, they never fully silenced her completely. Truth is, they never will.
CS Lewis once said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
I’m always going to feel like I’m never enough and too much at the same time. I’ll never pray enough or read my Bible enough or go to enough Church services to fill the ache inside me that makes that little voice so loud and so powerful. Because at the end of the day, the only cure is Jesus and to be reunited with him fully.
As depressing and hopeless as this all sounds, it’s granted me a freedom I never knew I could have. I’m broken. Nothing this side of heaven can fix that. There will never be a level of holiness or happiness or positive self talk that will satisfy. When I embrace that, the little voice and the lies she tells, I can welcome in a grace and mercy that renews my spirit and gives me great hope. What hope is that?
The hope that I don’t have to be perfect. I just have to be broken.
When I make myself and what I can do the way to silence the voice inside, I unknowingly put myself on the throne instead of God. I’m saying that I can do it myself, and if I try hard enough, I can make me better. But that’s not how it works dear friends.
In embracing and accepting the little voice that lives inside, we are making room for Jesus. We are admitting that life is hard and trying to navigate it feels impossible. Brokenness means grace. Brokenness means mercy. Brokenness means an awareness of just how much I need the love of God and just how grateful I am that he cares for the mess of a person I am. And brokenness…it also gives me a place to see Jesus take the ugly things and craft it into a tapestry of loveliness. Because that little voice, she can only be silenced when we acknowledge that she is just another extension of our our mess and a representation of just how desperately we need Jesus.
This morning, I woke up and the voice came calling. But today, today I’m hopeful. Because when her words gets louder and feel overwhelming, I can whisper a prayer of thanks that I don’t have to face her alone. And just like that, my world starts to feel a little bit quieter.