This past weekend I went away on a vicar’s wives getaway (it used to be called a retreat but it’s not quiet enough!!)
This weekend is one of my most precious in the year, I’ve been going for the past 4 years and it’s really important to me to take this weekend for myself every year. It’s a time to get away, in the middle of the Sussex countryside, it’s quiet (apart from meal times!) is surrounded by rolling hills and horses, I can swim, run and nap! It’s a real place to clear out my mind and let go.
Over the weekend there are 3 talks and every year, even if I don’t think they are going to speak to me directly, without fail they do.
This year the speaker was talking about our inner narrative, and straight away it resonated with a dialogue I believed had been silenced.
Last year I went to Hillsong Colour conference. It was incredible for me. The ‘critical tape’ which previously played continuously on my mind was turned off. I made a choice not to listen to the lies playing and instead believe the Biblical truth that I am God’s beloved.
Freedom, and oh my mind was beautifully quiet and still.
And it remained that way for months, it felt as though that door on critical and negative thoughts was firmly shut and locked.
So I didn’t keep a check on the door, I just assumed it was still shut.
But in the past few months that door has been creaking back open, so slowly I didn’t even notice it moving.
And those thoughts have been whispering round the door, ever so gently. And then they began to increase, louder and louder, seeping into every area.
This weekend, on my ‘getaway’ this hit me full force, and boy I was not prepared for it.
Since coming home I have felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to put this into a blog post, and this has been the first time since starting my blog that I have really hesitated with it.
Our dialogue has gone a bit like this
God – Hey, you know this stuff from the weekend
Me – yup, I don’t really want to talk about that just yet
God – I get that, I do
Me – ok cool
God – but I kinda think you should blog that one down, like ALL the narrative, all of it, the whole caboodle!
Me – um, no! You know that that is too deep, too vulnerable and too raw, I don’t want to do that!
God – my sweet girl, that’s exactly why I’m asking you to
Oh man he got me good!! But I noticed he wasn’t forcing me to do it but he was reminding me I wasn’t doing it alone.
So, here goes…my internal narrative goes something a bit like this (and it’s not an exhaustive list but just to give you a really good idea of my tape)
You’re not enough, you’re not a good enough daughter/sister/wife/mother/friend
You’re not thin enough/pretty enough/disciplined enough
You’re not funny enough/smart enough/wise enough/supportive enough
You don’t take things seriously enough
You don’t sing well enough
You’re not good enough at the things you put your heart too – running – you’re not fast enough
You’re not perfect enough
And then there is a swing side to not being enough, you’re also too much
You’re too much for people to take
You’re too needy/too pathetic/too desperate
You’re too fat, too ugly
You over share every area of your life
You’re too desperate to please you’re not genuine enough
You’re voice is too annoying
You’re too shallow/too vain/too self-deprecating/too self-serving/too weak/too childish
You joke too much
You’re too irritating/too boring/too dull
You’re draining to be around
I don’t know what plays on your internal dialogue and you may wonder why I shared so much of my internal narrative especially when it’s painful to write and read back to myself. My hope would be that there may be something you read and say “me too, I thought only I felt that, I was isolated and kept silent but I’m not the only one to feel those things”.
This weekend the speaker reminded me that our silence only gives oxygen to the devil to keep spewing his lies out. But by bringing them into the light and naming them out loud he loses his air, he cannot fan those flames.
I realised today that while I believed the door to be shut on these lies I neglected to still bring them before God. I left the door unchecked and unguarded.
Well today I’m beginning to take that ground back and remind the devil NOT TODAY!!