The One Truth That Can Silence the Voice of Doubt

silence-doubt

“You’re always my number one,” my hubby said.

I put my head against his chest and let his affirmation sink in, resting in his strong embrace.

I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been so tired. Adjusting to life with three kids and finding balance was a struggle. I was flailing in a sea of failed expectations in others, but also fighting to maintain healthy expectations in myself.

When I forgot to sign my son’s homework, I felt defeated. When I was unable to spend as much time with my boys, I felt guilt.

As we encounter difficulty navigating new seasons in life, the voices of doubt often creep in.

You can’t get this mom-of-three-kids thing down. Why did you ever think it was a good idea?

 That book proposal will never get done. You may as well not even try.

 And the scary part is, we often listen to that voice-the one who confirms our worst fears and dark thoughts we don’t talk about with others. The one who brings out the worst version of ourselves.

Instead of pursuing our dreams, we convince ourselves failure is inevitable. We shrink away from the edge of the next leap of faith before we even see the drop off.

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So what do we do? How do we silence the voice of doubt when our eyelids are heavy and the road is weary?

If we want to drown the source of lies, we must look to the source of all truth- Jesus. He didn’t just speak truth. He lived it.

When I look at his life I often wonder, how did he keep discouragement and doubt at bay? When the Pharisees and naysayers questioned his every move, how did he stay strong? It’s quite simple, really.

Jesus knew who he was.

I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.

John 16:28 ESV

He not only knew who he was, but who he is, and is to come. One with the Father. His Son. The One he was “well pleased” with.

And when he looks at you and me, he’s pleased too. Not because we’re perfect or flawless, but because he sees his perfect Son.

You don’t have to compete for God’s attention. Like my husband said to me, you’re his number one.

When we face a mountain of doubt and discouragement, we can choose to listen his thoughts about us instead of the lies that invade our peace. Even when others around us are pointing out our flaws or being negative, we can immerse ourselves in the voice that speaks truth and love.

And when we abide in him, he calls us daughters. He gives us a crown and says, “Come to me, you who are weary.”

I don’t know about you, but those voices of lies are making me weary. Let’s come to the only One who can give us true rest today.

Let’s follow Jesus’ example and remember not only who we are, but Whose we are today.

The Gifts We Miss in the Transition {Anchored Souls Series}

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Thank you to all the beautiful souls who joined us over the past few weeks for our Anchored Souls series. I loved seeing God stir and connect hearts in ways only He can. As we count down the final days until Christmas, I want to share with you how God moved in my heart as we faced a big transition of our own: the welcoming of our third child. In the midst of the sleepless nights and the healing, He showed up. He always does, when we’re willing to invite Him in.

The Gifts We Miss in the Transition

She entered this world screaming. Arms flailing, mouth open wide as the first taste of air entered her lungs, she grasped for something safe and familiar. The cold, metallic environment of the OR was no match for the warm cocoon she was pulled from, and she was mad.

She screamed for five minutes straight as the doctors prepared to close my incision. I laid on the operating table with my arms spread wide, waiting for them to bring her to me.

She quieted at the sound of my voice. I kissed her cheek and willed myself to lift my hands to her, but they were still numb and tingly. I kept my face turned toward her and took in the softness of her features, the curve of her nose and cheek until the nurse took her away.

I looked at the clock and watched the seconds tick while they sewed me up.

Later, as I lay in the hospital bed cradling my new daughter in my arms, the nurse told me her second night would be the worst. More crying. More fussiness. I remembered the sleepless nights with my boys and nodded.

In my groggy state, I thought about how we grow up but our behaviors don’t really change all that much, do they? I mean, we may not scream like a newborn but we all fight against the unfamiliar.

We long for the safe, warm cocoon we were torn from as infants, and when unexpected change comes, we struggle.

Over the next few weeks as I entered life with our third child, I became like my crying infant. My body was healing, but I fought those who tried to help me. We stayed home during the first few weeks to protect our newborn from germs, and I complained about the holiday celebrations we were missing.

Images of Christmas fun on Facebook invoked jealousy. Even when I was tired and running on fumes, I thought about how it was the first year I couldn’t make our annual trip to the tree farm.

One night as I sat in the rocker nursing our sweet daughter, I felt God whisper, “You’re missing it.”

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I didn’t even have to ask what he meant. I already knew. I breathed in the soft scent of her and felt my body relax and little. She smelled like Dreft and baby powder. Her hair felt like silk.

This was the last child I would birth. I could focus on what I was missing, but then I would miss her.

Her first smiles and coos. Those big eyes that looked up at me in the wee hours of the night.

When we fight through the transitions of life, we miss the blessing God is giving in the midst of it.

We miss the joy and the sweetness. We focus so much on what we’re missing that we don’t see the gift right in front of us.

As much as I hate to admit it, most holidays I’m struggling under the weight of other people’s expectations. The presents, the cards, the travel- it all adds up to someone’s hurt feelings or disappointment.

But this season God gave us a precious gift and said, “Here. Slow down. Stay in. This is all that matters.”

As the days pass and I watch our daughters features change like clockwork, I know he’s exactly right.

 

Hope on the Horizon {Anchored Souls Series}

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As we continue our Anchored Souls series, I am excited to welcome my friend Katie Reid back to the blog. One of the many things I love about Katie is how she moves past small talk and quickly dives into the deep, spiritual topics of life. It is refreshing and endearing, and when I met her in person a few years ago, I knew I’d found a like-minded soul. Katie’s writing is much like her personality, and isn’t afraid to address the tough questions of life. I always leave her with a nugget of wisdom or truth, and I know you’ll be blessed by her words here today.

Hope on the Horizon

Tangled in roots, I tromp through field with limping gait. It’s as if I am walking through inky molasses—held back by worry that chokes oxygen from limbs and lungs.

I long to spin freely on a carpet of wild flower, but briars adhere to the hem of my garment. The mud coats my feet as I struggle forward, breathing shallow.

Weeds of disappointment leave blisters as glorious freedom taunts on the horizon—just out of reach.

As the shadows close in, it becomes difficult to keep eyes fixed on hope.

Determined not to get stuck, I keep going, one foot in front of the other. Freedom awaits, and I want to feel it, to know it as kin.

Somewhere along the journey I pick up stones that turn to baggage. I stumble with worry as I focus on fear instead of faith. I trip over self-sufficiency and lose sight of the need to be led.

Have you found yourself in a similar place?

Do you feel paralyzed in your ability to break free from a mindset, circumstance, or sin? Do you ache for a better country yet find yourself in wandering desert? Is your heart tethered to despair as hope faintly flickers?

Sometimes we feel lost in times of transition. Sometimes our faith is shaken as painful circumstances scrap at our heels.

Yet, as we remember that we are not orphans but daughters, not paupers but heirs, not abandoned but Beloved, our posture changes—even if our situation does not.

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Our head clears as we grab hold of the inheritance that is already ours. This inheritance doesn’t perish, spoil, or fade away (see 1 Peter 1:3-4). The riches of God’s grace are not just on the horizon, but at hand.

In the midst of the journey we discover that freedom is already here, at our feet, in our lungs, written on soul.

We start to spin, slowly at first, then faster—twirling as a smile spreads wide across this face, sculpted in secret.

Yes, the land of Freedom is there on the horizon, but it’s also within.

Child, even here in wild field, amidst briar, Jesus is within.

Sing the song of grace Beloved. Sing and spin, and breathe fresh air. Let that air give oxygen to hope as it bursts into flame and spreads —a beacon of glory amidst the untamed.

Child, you are free—even when you feel chains clawing at your feet. The chains cannot clasp shut, for Jesus overthrew the power of sin, once and for all. If you have believed and received the Savior, then you walk unfettered.

No sin, loss, or trial can trump the victory gained through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Through the blood of Jesus, you can live clean. He paid for your freedom. The grave was thrust open to prove His love for you.

The lavish gift of grace, under the New Covenant, is enough to unshackle you, both now and for eternity.

Dance in the field of glory, freedom is already yours.

1 Peter 1:3-7

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.


katiemreidheadshotbridgeclosesKatie M. Reid is a writer and speaker who encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life. She delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in ministry. Cut-to-the-chase conversation over hot or iced tea is one of Katie’s favorite things. Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

Sit at the Feet of Jesus {Anchored Souls Series}

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If I used one word to describe my dear friend Leigh Ellen Eade’s writing, it would be “authentic.” She lays out her her soul for the world to see, and it is both beautiful and refreshing. I’m am thrilled that I get to introduce her to you on the blog today. Please give her a warm welcome as she shares a touching story about becoming a mom.

Sit at the Feet of Jesus

When the news came that we were expecting our first child I jumped into planning mode immediately. Within days, I was designing the nursery, collecting reading material and filling the freezer with meals for our first months as a family of three.

Every plan was carefully crafted to ease our transition into parenthood. When it was time for baby to arrive, I road to the hospital expectantly and walked blissfully into the delivery unit. What happened seven days later took me by surprise.

Caring for our son one morning I was hit suddenly with the realization of how dependent he was upon me to live. For years I had been responsible for only myself. I enjoyed coming and going as I wanted. Now, I was responsible for myself and the life I stood holding. Suddenly, my life no longer felt like my own, and the journey was only beginning.

For the next fourteen months I sat awake in the nursery holding our son every night as he slept. I relished the opportunity to hold him close, but longed for sleep at the same time. Each morning I’d watch my husband leave for work, and question if I had the ability to care for our son alone.

With growing exhaustion and fading strength, I knew I needed to turn somewhere.

Have you been there? Has change ever left you scurrying for help? Are you there now?

As I began to walk in my new role as a mom there was much I needed to learn. My friends and family were wonderful resources, but some of the greatest lessons I learned were on the pages of God’s Word.

In Mark 1:40-42 we are introduced to a man who had a problem he couldn’t fix. In fact, his problem was such that society labeled him “unclean.” His only hope was Jesus.

A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed.

“If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said.

Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him.

“I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!”

Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.

Leprosy was a terrible disease. It often left its victims cast out from society, unable to work or see their family. I imagine it never held a place on this man’s to-do list, yet in his story, we find an answer for our troubles today.

when-you-cant-standsit-at-the-feet-of-jesusWhen you can’t stand, sit at the feet of Jesus.

Life has a way of throwing twists and turns onto our path. Sometimes these twists are good; other times they can leave us grappling for help, scared or even at rock bottom.

As an expectant momma I didn’t foresee sleepless nights and feelings of helplessness when I was planning for our son’s birth.

Maybe you are in the middle of a circumstance that’s left you staring at the unknown and wondering what to do.

When you can’t stand, sit at the feet of Jesus.

The man with leprosy was bound by a disease thought to be incurable. Life was limited for him and his future looked bleak until he came to the feet of Jesus.

While others may have avoided him; Jesus moved toward him. Jesus didn’t see his disease as too big; too “untouchable” or incurable. Rather, Jesus was moved by his faith and He reached out to touch the man and say, “be healed.”

We may not be able to physically see Jesus like the man with leprosy did, but we can still sit at His feet by:

  • studying his Word
  • praying to Him
  • praising Him
  • worshiping Him
  • giving thanks to Him

While our circumstance might not change (or it might), we can expect ourselves to change. For at the feet of Jesus we receive hope, peace, and ultimately, a fresh perspective.

Is there something you need to surrender to Him today?

You don’t have to spend another moment burdened, find your place at His feet and trade your trouble for His triumph.


leigh-ellens-headshotLeigh Ellen Eades is a writer on a mission to tell Jesus’ story. She’s passionate about her family, treasures coffee with friends and relishes quiet moments reading a book. You can connect with Leigh Ellen on Facebook, Twitter or her blog, www.raisinganarrow.org