I was sending a text to my mom in my car after I parked near the curb on 13th street.
The streetlight on the left-hand side of my peripheral vision blinked on and my face turned to look toward it as it came to light. It caught my eye.
I saw it and knew that the change did not present a significant change in my surroundings, so I turned back and continued to text.
But if the streetlight would not have blinked, if it instead would have glowed, I may not have been as likely to see it.
And when a glow is the way it begins, this is where the battle lies.
Over the past almost-week my mind began to believe one little phrase that caught fire to my entire being. The phrase? “Not worth it” with an “sh” at the beginning.
I should have been able to call it out right away because I’m most likely to swear if my heart is a mess (meaning that I’ve forgotten how much I’ve learned, the truth I believe, where my identity lies, and all of the plans still waiting for me).
But I missed it. I missed that it wasn’t God’s voice, and I missed that it wasn’t my voice.
Wham. The phrase expanded within a day. I looked at my dairy-free egg-free gluten-free tree-free dinner and it wasn’t good enough.
I looked at my friends and they weren’t good enough.
I ran for an hour and swam for an hour consecutively and in my mind, it wasn’t good enough.
I sat at a work meeting talking through the growth I’ve had in beginning my own small business, and as someone gave me a compliment, I almost started crying because my mind came back with the reprehensible phrase.
And that was when I realized enough was enough.
The phrase was now blinking. It had been lit slowly enough that it took me until it came to my full attention to understand that it wasn’t me being ornery or a hormonal girl or disobedient to what God is saying. When it came to light, it started flickering because it did not have enough strength to stay aglow.
It was the enemy’s voice speaking over me and speaking over the voice of the Lord. And, just like when we tell lies, the enemy was caught in the loop.
The truth comes out.
While sitting in my car in the street, I was responding to a text from my mom of the verse 1 Peter 5:10.
And as I’m sitting here now, a verse came to mind so I Googled it and it came from 1 Peter 5:8.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, waiting for someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” – 1 Peter 5:8-11
Pause. Here’s a quick tip on how to know if you’re hearing the enemy’s voice speaking in your own life:
– it boils. Things feel bad at first, then get way way way way worse.
– it yells. When you hear him speaking, you can’t hear anything else.
– it brings fear.
– it says you’re in it alone. (Look above: verse nine says “the same kinds of sufferings are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”)
And, it will always keep you confined within your present circumstances and remove the capacity for growth.
Pause again. Here’s God’s voice:
– it speaks peace.
– it speaks life.
– it might say something you wouldn’t think of on your own.
– it calls you to be courageous.
– it brings about change– the way things could be or should be.
– it speaks true things.
– it reflects the Bible.
– it brings freedom.
Pause again, again. Here’s how to hear your own voice: it’ll be somewhere in between.
Go. Boldly walk into the truth. This is not you, and it’s not about you. It’s about breakthrough. It’s about the truth. It’s about freedom. This is about being free.