“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” -Psalm 19:14 NLT
“I’m a loser.”
“I’m mad at ________ and they don’t deserve my forgiveness.”
“I don’t like myself.”
“What if ________ happens?”
The thoughts inside our head aren’t all good ones and the bad ones have a way of making it outside our mouths much more often than the thoughts that are positive.
But don’t beat yourself up. If you can relate it simply means that you are human. That you hurt. That you think. That you are living life in a world that can be pretty frustrating, scary and overwhelming.
Negative thinking patterns can be detrimental to your inner peace but once those negative thoughts become words they take on a life of their own. Proverbs 18: 21 tells us that “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Those are some pretty strong words!
How could it be that words are so important? Hasn’t God ever heard the old saying about sticks and stones?
Well, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God.” John 1:1 tells us. While John lays references to the Word of God, aka the Bible, John is also showing us how important words are. Think about this “from the BEGINNING”. Before there was anything, anybody, anyone… there was God and His Word. One day that Word would become flesh in Jesus Christ – God would send Him down to save the world.
Literally, we were saved by God’s Word.
God wants you to know how powerful your words are. You were created by Him, in HIS image… your words hold the power of life and death. When worry attacks, when anger strikes, when fear comes…
Cast your eyes on Jesus. Turn your face to His Word and keep them in your heart. Think about what you say before you say it. Just because you think something doesn’t mean you have to let that negativity flow forth. Of course, you share your burdens with a friend. Of course, you can share them with God. This doesn’t mean that you have to keep it all bottled up. It simply means to speak life.
For example instead of saying, “I am having such a hard time right now. Things will never get better!”
Try this instead, “I am having such a hard time right now… but I know God is working in my favor to make me victorious!”
I challenge you, right now to live the next 40 days speaking life. Make it a point to speak positive words on your life, your children’s lives, your spouse’s life and even stranger’s lives. The changes you make just might change your life.
Journeying through inadequacy
Inadequacy. Those moments were not good enough surfaces with the desperate need for affirmation. Self-doubt overtakes. Am I good enough? I can’t do this! I am a failure! Instead of feeling like an overcomer suddenly, you’re drowning in feelings of being overwhelmed. Everything screams to be heard, to be seen, and to have a voice.
Nothing challenged my inadequacies more than parenthood. I went from being slightly mature in reality – not in my own assumption of myself – to being entrusted with another person’s growth and development in all areas of their lives. The more children I had, the more I had to separate myself from situations of tears, fights and multitasking. I had to learn the skill of self-awareness instead of selfless disengagement. This disengagement only occurred from a place of putting family above my own well-being all under the disguise of love.
Isn’t this a typical tendency of human beings?
The tendency to become a martyr for love. We think we are doing the right thing: showing love by running like a frustrated headless chicken, when in truth the greatest gift we can give anyone is a contented and whole me. This was something I had to learn and honestly I am still learning.
I reached out to someone with years of experience in the parenting game. Someone I trusted. With their help, I learned the value of identifying my own needs. Whenever I feel inadequate and overwhelmed, I ask myself:
What do I need?
Over time I became aware that my needs usually pertained to needing affirmation, obedience, an extra hand, or a bit of space. My next step, was to vocalize those needs. More often than not voicing my needs was as simple as telling myself; other times it would be telling my spouse. With practice, I became better at noticing my needs and triggers. Through all this I drew strength from God. I knew with certainty, he was with me, helping me. I sought His grace, strength and patience. Every time I’d feel His peace as He gently touched my shoulder. I could do this. I am a great parent. Before I knew it, I had conquered the drama. TV was on, kids bathed, and dinner simmering. Peace reigned in my heart and home. I had made it.
Perhaps one of the most valuable lessons I learned was that as people, our brains are created for “I can”. When we say I can’t, we take on a weaker, inferior level of functioning and performance. Hopelessness and failure rush in like a tidal wave.
Fear. Our two root emotions are fear and love. Fear births inadequacy, failure, doubt, defeat, pity and so on. Love brings peace, security, hope, light, joy. In this light, overcoming my inadequacies has become paramount. I want my children to feel love more than fear. Love is the greatest power and we get to use it to make life meaningful. Fear closes. Love opens.
Consider 1 John 4: 18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
In the midst of my inadequacies I began to learn that love is the only thing that drives my fears away. After all inadequacy is merely another form of fear manifesting in fear of failure or rejection. I realized that I always have two choices: operate from fear or live in love. To live in love, I need only remember that God loves me unconditionally, that I am accepted and that there is nothing for me to do to earn God’s love which is already given to me. Love drives out all form of fear. Love conquers and overcomes.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because inadequacies are a natural part of life. We have to overcome them frequently. What we need is the know-how, the skills to identify personal needs, speak up, and lean into God more than ever knowing He is good and faithful. We need to know that there is no fear in God. He sees us as adequate. Living from a place of love brings confidence, security, and freedom. Freedom to enjoy life and see the world as enjoyable. We become a place of security for others to be around thus creating an environment for their own growth to bloom.
I share this with you because I believe that more people than we realize battle with their own inadequacies wondering how they can overcome and live secure. We don’t talk about our struggles for fear of vulnerability. Ultimately we don’t feel safe. My heart is for you who do struggle with fears and inadequacies to know that you are not alone. I want you to know that you can live in a place of freedom and grace that supersedes your expectations and beliefs. That God is for you cheering you on to greatness. I encourage you to lean into Him allowing His love to secure and anchor you.