I don’t think I realized it at the time, but I was holding my breath. I had just stepped onto the scale at the doctor’s office and was standing perfectly still. Waiting. An eternity passed. Or perhaps it was just a few seconds. Regardless, it was just long enough for me to hear a quiet whisper inside my mind, “As long as she says any number less than _____ , you’re okay.”
The voice that spoke those words sounded so trustworthy. So full of authority. It sounded so familiar. So much like my own. In an instant, I believed it, claiming this statement as truth.
That destructive voice inside
And a split second later I heard the nurse say a number just over the one the voice had whispered, that arbitrary number that spoke to my worthiness. I paused as a tiny piece of my heart went numb. The voice was conveniently silent now, allowing me to draw my own conclusion – an obvious conclusion that, based on this number, I must not be okay.
Since then I’ve continued to hear this voice. Almost daily it reminds me of the “acceptable” number as well as my “unacceptable” actual weight. I hear it each time I dare to put on clothing with an actual waist band. I hear it each time I pick up a menu and am faced with deciding what I will order. And I hear it each time I glance in the mirror.
This situation is not new. I’ve been here before. And I’ve previously responded in unhealthy and obsessive ways. In the past I have allowed that voice to hold me hostage, forcing me to “serve” it, as I allowed it to dictate everything from my diet and exercise regimen, to my thoughts and sense of worth. I also allowed it to speak to my identity.
But this time? Something is different.
The battle is hard. Really hard.
This time, I notice another voice. A second voice. It also whispers quietly, but the words are very different. They are full of love. Comforting. Reassuring.
And these opposing voices that run through my mind? They. Are. Battling.
This new voice tells me it already knows everything about me – because it created me.
Who I am and how I feel. What I think and what I do. When I get it right, and when I get it wrong. What I look like, and the size I wear.
This is the voice I need to listen to
This voice tells me it knew all of these intimate details about me before it created me, before I even existed. This voice tells me it desired my presence and chose to create me.
Despite any and everything I could ever do, this voice tells me I am fully loved. And that I am needed, just as I am, because I was created for a unique and beautiful purpose that no one else can fill.
I know without a doubt this new voice belongs to God. It has become increasingly familiar over the last few years. I also know I am only able to hear it because I have been so intentional about making time to sit with Him regularly. I am only able to identify it because I have gotten to know Him by making time to read His Word often.
Tune out the wrong voice
These voices – the original one that for so long sold me lies and whispered words I would never allow someone to say to my children and this new voice of God that is whispering truth into my heart – they’re battling. And I am so grateful for this battle! Why? Because I know this battle means that first voice will no longer be able to hold me hostage.
This battle signifies freedom. My freedom.
And so I ask you, what voices are you listening to? What words do you hear whispered in the quiet recesses of your mind? Are they ones you would allow someone to say to you out loud? Are they ones you would allow someone to speak to your children?
If not, perhaps you too should get to know the voice of God. Become intentional about spending time with Him, so you can learn His voice. Offer Him a still, quiet space to speak so He can take on your battles.
I know He wants to free you, too.