The Fight for You

You.  Yes.  I’m talking to you.  You know that voice inside your head?  The one that only says negative things to you about you?  Well.  It’s time to let it go.  Just fire that voice.   It’s time to take control of your thoughts and words and actions.  You are you.  Not that voice that you hear.

Get in the fight.  Fight for yourself.  Fight yourself.  Fight your fears.  Fight your worries.  Fight that person’s voice you hear if it’s telling you lies.  Because it’s always telling you lies.  You know that voice you hear.  In your head.  That voice that constantly puts you down.  Tells you that you’re worthless.  Tells you that you can’t ever reach that goal or dream.  The voice that tells you you’re not good enough to amount to anything worthwhile in life.  You know that voice.  It isn’t even your voice.  It’s someone else’s.  Oh.  You most likely know whose voice it is.

That voice that you’ve let become your voice may be from a former teacher.  Or a parent.  Or a sibling.  Or that bully you sat by in sixth grade.  It may be a former boyfriend.  Or your spouse.  A former spouse.  It may be your soccer coach.  It may be the boss you report to for forty hours a week.  For years on end.  It may be that coworker who thinks the world owes them everything and you nothing.  You know the voice.  Get rid of it.

So admit it.  You listen to that voice more than you listen to anything else anyone else tells you.  Because that voice is always right.  Am I right?  Well.  Think about this.  That voice isn’t right.  It’s telling you lies.  Big lies.  That voice has put you down for so long that you think it’s the only voice of reason.  But here’s the thing.  It’s not the truth.  It’s not reason.

For too long, you’ve felt that you have to continually seek approval from that person.  The one who criticizes you.  Puts you down in public.  More so in private.  Never applauds your successes.  All you want is their praise.  Their applause.  Their acceptance.  Doesn’t seem like much to ask.  But it is.  Remember this.  They too have someone’s voice in their head.  Don’t pass that ugly voice down to another generation.


Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right and pure and lovely and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.    Philippians 4:8


You know that dream you’ve had tucked away.  For so long.  You dare not call it a dream anymore for fear someone may laugh.  Well.  I dare you.  Start thinking about it.  Write it down.  Dare to speak it.  Oh.  You say you’re not a dreamer.  You can’t imagine new possibilities.  Or even hope them.  Maybe you should.  Because you’ll only accomplish whatever you do.  Oh.  You may fail.  That’s right.  But what if you succeed?  What then?

You say you’re not educated.  Do you think a piece of paper is worth more than natural talent?  God given talent?  Do you think a diploma is worth more than experience?  Well.  It may be for some things.  But not for everything.  So if you don’t really need that piece of paper.  Don’t sweat it.  You’re still somebody without it.  You still have natural talent.  You still have gifts.

I’ve heard others sing your praises.  More than once.  They think you’re awesome.  They’re amazed at your God given talents.  They admire you.  They kind of want to be you.  They wonder how you do what you do and stay so humble.  They love your sense of humor.  They love your steadfastness.  They seek you out of a crowd.  They come to you for advice.  You are loved.  You are valued.  You are the answer to someone’s prayer.

So go ahead.  Listen to the voice in your heart.  Listen to the voice that calms your fears.  The voice that speaks truth in times of uncertainty.  Trust that voice.

You are worthy.  You are capable.  You are enough.  You are loved.

Don’t let someone else’s negativity become your life motto.

When I Am Weak

I thought my heart would shatter into a million pieces when I heard the words. Today is your last day.  I felt a huge silent sigh escape my lips.  It was not a sigh of relief.  I felt I could no longer breathe.  My mind went blank.  My mind whirled with a thousand thoughts.  Why is this happening to me?  Again?  I wondered.  Oh.  I had been laid off before.  Twice before.  But years went by between each layoff.  And birthdays occurred.  I was older each time.  And this time, I wondered if my career was over.  It happens.  Older workers have a harder time than younger workers finding jobs.  It’s a fact.  Oh.  They won’t say you’re too old.  They can’t.  But they can hedge.  They can find other reasons not to hire someone “past their prime”.

The same power that rose Jesus from the grave lives us. That’s what the song says.  That’s what the Bible says.  Why did I suddenly feel powerless? Why did it feel as if my power had just been taken away?   Where is my identity anyway?  Is it in a job?  A title?  A paycheck?  I don’t like to think so.  But when those things are suddenly gone, what’s left?  Power is one thing.  But so is security.

For when I am weak, then I am strong. Sounds like an oxymoron. Feels like an impossible stretch.  But the apostle Paul knew how that felt.  Oh.  He begged God three times to remove his thorn in the flesh.  But God never removed it.  So Paul learned to rely on God’s power.  He learned that he must depend on God in those moments of weakness.  Not on himself.  He was strengthened by God through his weakness.  But what does that mean?  What does that look like?  Is that even real?  Or possible?  Can I do this?


I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.  2 Corinthians 12:9


I remember when I took swimming lessons.  It was a 6-week course.  The first thing we needed to master was floating face down.  I’d never been in a pool.  Being in a body of water where I couldn’t touch the bottom was unnerving.  Floating face down was frightening.  Very frightening.  I was taught to relax.  It’s easier said than done.  Because this thing could kill me.  Literally.  So I learned calmness and relaxation.  I let myself go and float face down.  The master teacher was always nearby.  Ready to catch me if I needed help.

One lesson in particular I remember.  We floated down the pool and around the bend.  The lesson that day was to learn to get myself in an upright position after floating face down.  I was having trouble.  I couldn’t master the act of bringing myself to an upright position.  I was struggling.  Oh.  I knew the steps it took to move into the position, but I wasn’t strong enough.  I tried over and over.  At one point, it felt as if I was going under and never coming back up.  Where was my instructor?  I thought.  It felt as if I was drowning.  It was a feeling of total helplessness.  Will she let me drown?  I wondered.  By some miracle, I was finally able to get myself in an upright position.  Coughing.  Sputtering.  Deep breaths.  I now knew the feeling of drowning.  It wasn’t good.

She never came to rescue me.  Oh.  She was watching.  She was close by.  But she allowed me to struggle until I had the strength to endure and survive.  I had to dig deep and find the will to conquer my fear and trust myself and the water.  It was a hard lesson.

I never went back to swimming lessons.  Oh.  I had my reasons.  Petty excuses.  I never learned to swim.  I still remember that helpless feeling of sinking in the water.  The water that could cause my demise.  Oh.  I would still love to learn to swim.  But now I know the cost.  The price I must pay in order to feel comfortable in a situation beyond my control.  Where the monster.  The beast.  Is bigger than me.   It’s bigger than life. It’s ever moving and flowing all around me.  Where it engulfs and consumes me. Where the current can take me out to sea.  I don’t like that feeling.  I like to be in control of my situation.  So I gave up.

I now find myself in a situation that’s out of my control.  Oh.  I have good days.  I have not so good days.  I’m learning to float face down in God’s love.  I’m learning to let go and face my fears. I’m learning to breathe underwater.  It doesn’t feel good.  It’s not my comfort zone.  Sometimes I wonder if the struggle will ever end.  But I keep doing the work I need to do to get to the other side of this battle.

I know my God is watching.  He’s close by.  Oh.  I know he could rescue me in an instant if he chose.  But he’s allowing me to struggle.  I don’t know how long this will continue, so I have to be prepared for the long haul.  I have to dig deep in God’s love and learn to relax and not fight what I can’t control.  It isn’t easy.  I have to trust that God’s power is working through me.  It’s in the struggle that strength is born.

A New Way to Walk

I’ve been told I walk wrong.  When I take a step, I step off on the ball of my foot instead of with my heel.  Apparently, that isn’t the way walking should be done.  So I now have foot problems.  Bunions.  Morton toe.  And they hurt.  They can disfigure a foot.  And they cause problems with wearing shoes.  If I wear shoes that I think look stylish, my feet are screaming by the end of the day.  Oh.  There are remedies.  Surgery.  Toe separators.  Exercises.  Orthopedics.

I stretch my toes with Yoga Toes.  I use Yamuna balls for a foot workout.  I get foot massages.  These things help my feet.  I can feel the difference afterwards.  But I’m looking for long-term relief.  I want relief from the pain I feel from wearing certain shoe styles.

I’m told there is a correct way to walk and an incorrect way to walk.  I try walking the correct way.  It takes deliberate concentration to walk just right.  With each step, I have to think about how I’m stepping.  Some days I do my best to walk correctly.  Heel first.  Roll to the outside edge of the foot.  Then roll from the pinkie toe to the big toe.  That’s what I’m told.  It is less pain.  My feet feel better when I walk like that.  But it takes concentration.  And there are days that I don’t feel like concentrating on how I walk.

I find it’s easy to slip into the habit of walking in the old way.  The incorrect way.  It shows, too.  After I’ve walked incorrectly for awhile, my feet don’t feel good.  The ball of my foot hurts.  The muscles feel tight.  The bunion aches.

I saw a new massage therapist.  As he worked on my feet, he noticed the problem immediately.  He could sense the tightness and soreness.  He applied pressure in tight areas.  He worked to ease the discomfort.  The momentary pressure brought great relief that will last longer than any discomfort I had been feeling.  Oh.  How good it felt to be able to stretch my feet without the tightness.

I’ve probably been walking this way since I learned to walk.  It’s a natural walk for me.  After all these years, it’s hard to re-learn to walk.  After all, I didn’t know I was walking incorrectly.  So when I try to walk the correct way, I have to think through each step of the process.  That certainly slows down the walking.  But I’ve noticed that the discomfort and pain are lessened if I walk the right way.  Maybe there is something to this new way of walking, after all.


But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son, purifies us from all sin.  1 John 1:7


I think of the one who has recently made the decision to walk with Christ.  They asked God to forgive them of their sins.  They’re starting over.  They’re walking in Christ’s footsteps now.  They need to learn a new way of walking in this world.

Oh.  There will missteps.  There will be pitfalls.  There will be tests.  There will be trials.  and there will be temptations.  Temptations to walk in the old way.  The way not of Christ.  Old habits die hard.  Tempers flare.  Words are said.  Attitudes are set.  Behaviors once thought conquered may reappear.

The new walk may sometimes be painful.  Learning to walk in the footsteps of Christ can be invigorating.  humbling.  empowering.  peaceful.  forgiving.  This walk is not impossible.  But it won’t be a perfect step.  This new walk is a walk of obedience.

The thing is.  This new walk is not meant to be a walk of solitude.  It’s meant to be a walk in step with others.  It’s a walk with those who have walked those first baby steps of faith.  It’s a walk of companionship.  Camaraderie.  Fellowship.  A walk with fellow believers.  A walk with someone who can  disciple and mentor a new believer along the path of faith.  This walk can’t be walked alone.