My mom was a transcriptionist for 45+ years. Constantly I would see her grabbing a dictionary to look up words. I watched my dad read books and then pour over an encyclopedia (it was the Google of our time kids) to look at the background of that particular event or topic. From the beginning words have been important to me, and especially how they are used. I can still remember studying the 500 most common words that were on the SAT in middle school, and wondering what good it would do me often.
While it works well for my writing at times, and most especially in my thesis writing throughout grad school, I am prone to use them for bad rather than for good. I have a tendency to use words to criticize, cut down, and mar. I know just what words to use to create the biggest damage and lasting fallout. The bigger issue in all this is that I tend to most frequently use them on myself.
I know exactly what can hurt me most, what line of thinking I can journey down in order to send my emotions in a tailspin. I am hyper critical and incredibly negative of myself.
Lately I have been digging deeper into my insecurities in order to really see where much of them are based. It has been a slow, grinding process with much tension and uneasiness. I do know that this is bigger than me and that God is addressing me directly in many ways in relation to my insecurities. Currently I am reading A Confident Heart by Renee Swope, and I will gladly post a review once I complete it. (In all honesty, I would love to do a small group study on this, so if you’re interested let me know)
One of the areas Renee speaks to is failure. This is something that doesn’t sit well with me, and I often feel like my failures are never forgotten. Work in progress here. She asks a vital question I had never thought to stop and consider. I wanted to share it today because you may be struggling too, with your own voice being the loudest of the critics in your head.
We need to stop the habit of beating ourselves up with so much critical thinking. What are we doing talking to a child of God the way we talk to ourselves?
I think that’s where I land. I speak to myself like I would never speak to another human, or living thing. The voice is ugly and nasty, and it is mine. Having the faith and knowledge that I am a child of God and He says I am cherished, beautiful, and forgiven should trump any words I have for myself. In those moments when my voice gets loud, it’s no longer about me. It’s about believing who God says I am…lets begin together to hear His voice over our own today.
I also wanted to share this song, as it’s been resounding in my head and heart over the last two weeks.