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  • Writer's pictureSue Bowles

Voices

Sometimes things come up from behind and catch you off guard. It leaves you thinking ‘where did THAT come from?’ Sometimes it’s good; more often than not it seems bad. I talked last time about the conversations we have with ourselves. I went to a ferret show in August to visit my sister and won a mug in a raffle that I just ‘had’ to get. It simply said ‘I hear voices in my head.’ While I joked about it being my new ‘work’ mug there’s a lot of truth to that statement. For all of us. Now before you read any further and think I’ve totally lost it, when I use the term ‘voices’ I don’t mean audible voices from within. I mean the internal conversations we all have with ourselves and rarely admit to. So I’m not ‘losing it’; I’m just being normal.

For years I’ve had a lot of those negative ‘voices’ (conversations) trying to speak to me and tear me down. There’s enough tearing down in the world. I certainly don’t need to help it along from the inside if you know what I mean! I’ve been fighting off those ‘voices’ for a long time and have made a lot of progress in some areas but in others I just can’t seem to win for losing. They entrap me. They keep me captive. But today something happened. Something changed. The chains loosened.

I can’t explain it other than to use the words of the friend with whom I was talking who simply said ‘God has His ways.’ It caught us both by surprise. Pounced on me from behind. Opened the floodgates of tears. Lightened my burden. One I’ve carried around for decades.

I have high expectations of myself. I’m competitive. I expect myself to ‘get it right.’ As with everyone else I’m hardest on myself. But when lines get blurred at a young age by the time you get to be my age the blurred lines become so distorted and so twisted that some artist would call it ‘freestyle’ art just to try to make sense of it. And those conversations with myself have become deeply rooted parts of my inner workings and trying to right a sinking ship becomes a daily lifelong struggle with no end in sight. And that becomes the norm. It doesn’t seem odd when it’s all you’ve ever known.

But today something changed. In the blink of an eye (literally). Or so it seemed.

I’m confident the change has been in the works for QUITE some time. It’s taken a LONG time to work through and untangle the mess of crossed wires in my head where the conversations chase themselves and I’m left scratching my head. But today….the Light broke through. Brighter than it has before. And it gets brighter by the day. It’s encouraging. It’s invigorating. It’s challenging. It’s scary. It’s everything I’ve been looking for all these years and up until now the ‘voices’ have said was elusive.

Let me in on a little secret. ‘Voices’ lie.

And here’s the voice that lost its grip on me today: “It’s your fault.” Don’t worry about the ‘it.’ My ‘it’ is different from your ‘it.’ But we all have ‘its.’ For decades I’ve blamed myself for something that was TOTALLY out of my control. I was the innocent victim. I didn’t go looking for trouble. I certainly didn’t ask for it. But somehow my warped out little mind convinced myself that somehow I was to blame for someone else’s stupidity. NOT ANY MORE!

I REFUSE to be held responsible for someone else’s misguided behavior. I REFUSE to tell myself I ‘should’ve known better’ when there was no way I could have. I REFUSE to listen to the voice that tells me I am anything BUT a child of God, wholly and dearly loved by my Father in Heaven who will go the distance WITH me and FOR me and will carry me OVER the finish line. He will NOT abandon me – never has and never will. He fights for me, protects me, loves me, and wants only the best FOR me. As Chris Tomlin says, “The God of angel armies is always by my side.”

I DETERMINE to live with the RIGHT frame of mind – in the right place…in His grace walking with His love and forgiveness KNOWING that the person I was is not who I am. I will be ‘transformed by the renewing of my mind’ as the Bible says in Romans 12:2 says: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

As I’ve been typing this there’s been a ‘new’ voice in my head. It’s ringing the lyrics of a Matthew West song – “Hello My Name Is”. I’ve shared the lyrics below. I pray these become the new voice in YOUR head. I’m excited to see how my conversations with myself change as this new voice grows. I expect a fight. Old habits die hard. But the God of angel armies is already by my side fighting so I have nothing to fear. That voice can take a hike too.

My head continues to chew on the things that are changing for me. It’s like the room just got opened and the fresh air is ushering in winds of change. I like what that voice tells me….it’s a new day, a new Sue, and a new start. It’s never too late (how many times does the voice tell you it’s too late instead?). Listen FOR the voices and then replace them with the truth.

I love these lyrics and they suddenly have become more that just another song on the radio. I’m not saying I’m fully to this point yet of being able to say all this yet but it’s certainly the direction I’m heading.  I’m just getting started but I can already tell you….it’s worth it! 

“Hello, My Name Is” (Matthew West)

Hello, my name is regret I’m pretty sure we have met Every single day of your life I’m the whisper inside That won’t let you forget

Hello, my name is defeat I know you recognize me Just when you think you can win I’ll drag you right back down again ‘Til you’ve lost all belief

Oh, these are the voices. Oh, these are the lies And I have believed them for the very last time

Hello, my name is child of the one true King I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, I have been set free “Amazing Grace” is the song I sing Hello, my name is child of the one true King

I am no longer defined By all the wreckage behind The one who makes all things new Has proven it’s true Just take a look at my life

Hello, my name is child of the one true King I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, I have been set free “Amazing Grace” is the song I sing Hello, my name is child of the one true King

What love the Father has lavished upon us that we should be called His children I am a child of the one true King

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