What is that in your hand? I asked my oldest as she trudged her way through the kitchen. Instead of showing me, she fisted her hand and put it behind her back. After reaching around her and prying it out of her hands, I read the crumpled note. Dated September 18, 2009, “Chy I love you so very much, you are amazing and God has given you so much talent.”
It was a note I had written and stuck in her lunch box over three years ago. Chy began crying softly as I hugged her. She had just been disciplined for disobeying her dad, on top of having a school meeting with her teacher about making more effort in the classroom. The voice that was screaming in her head about how she wasn’t good enough was choking the life out of her. Despite her struggles, we as parents agreed that she needed to be treated just like everyone else, regardless of her disabilities. Yet to our precious daughter, she felt she lacked what she needed to succeed.
Frustrated, I hugged her and sent her off to a hot shower, replaying our conversations. As her cheerleader, I’ve made every effort to encourage and reinforce she is a beautiful, talented, gifted, compassionate child. Actions speak louder than words and so do the voices in our heads. How many times have you failed at something and told yourself, “That was awesome, let’s do it again!”? I’m going to venture to guess, the conversations you have in your head tend to be more like, “Well that was sure fun, sure ain’t gonna do that again, I don’t need the world knowing that I’m a failure, I can’t get anything right!
I am afraid to believe in myself. Everything I have ever put my heart into has backfired or failed. I’ve either created a big mess that I couldn’t clean up on my own, or I’ve gotten arrested, slapped with a fine or lost relationships over it. The voice that has set the tone for my life has been, “Don’t bother trying, you’re going to fall right on your butt, and everyone who already knows the truth, will be there to say, I told you so.”
So when I got the letter stating, “Heather, I’ve had the opportunity to read your manuscript(older version) and I just love it! I remember meeting you and your passion for the subject of motherhood, as a mother myself and with my background as head editor of Today’s Christian Woman magazine for 7 years, I LOVE THIS TOPIC. I also love your writing style—natural, yet pithy and very insightful and helpful. We definitely want to publish your book.”
I was completely floored. This had been the dream I had been working towards for the last two years of writing my book, Mama Needs A Time-Out. This moment reinforced that my perspective was wrong and so was my daughter’s. Some of us have the natural tendency to think we aren't good enough, life comes along with it’s bumps and challenges, further reinforcing the warped view we see of ourselves.
This warped view is in the back of our minds, painting every conversation, every interaction, every struggle, and our success. It’s time to replace this warped view with how we are created. We. Do. Not. Lack. Anything. We may be born with a predisposition of struggling with certain weaknesses, but that’s the beauty of knowing God. He works through our weaknesses, that’s when His power, His abilities, and His strength are unleashed in our lives…if we allow Him. My daughter’s principle gave me a great word picture, if you’re given a dull ax, you’re going to have to swing harder.
No matter your inabilities, insecurities, trip ups, hang ups, mess ups. We have one choice, we can agree with the voices in our head or we can ask God for the strength to swing harder. We can either view ourselves as lacking or we can ask God for the courage and the insight to see ourselves as He sees us.There is power in positive thinking, but that positive thinking works better in the form of seeing ourselves with our spiritual eyes. What are your hang ups? What are your inabilities? Are you willing to step beyond yourself and ask God to give you the strength, courage and ability to swing that ax harder or rely on yourself?