Is The Noise In Your Mind Your Biggest Critic?
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I love noise. There are constant playlists of music or audiobooks playing all day in my home. After hosting friends over for a Bible study or game night, I’m usually left more energized than I was before the night begun because of all the socializing and conversations. I’ve been known to talk too much, to be too loud, to over-commit, to be a bit wild and crazy.
But when the playlist ends, the friends leave, and the calendar clears for the day, my inner dialogue fills in the silence. The noise continues in my thoughts, my critiques, my never-ending to-do list, my over-thinking.
“Remember, you need to do _____.”
“I wonder what she thought of me during that meeting?”
“Am I doing a good job here?”
“Do they like me?”
“Oh yeah, don’t forget to do ____, also.”
“Wow, how does she look so good after just having a baby and I’m still wearing maternity jeans almost a year later?!” (Yes… I know. It’s close to intervention time with this one.)
Does this sound familiar?
I know I can’t be the only one troubled by the noise of this world and the noise of my own thoughts.
When I take a moment to reflect and to look honestly in the mirror, not at my outer reflection, but at my heart and my soul, I see…
I see that I have placed my security in my abilities, in my work, in my achievements.
I see that I put the pressure to succeed on my shoulders alone.
I see how I’ve compared myself to the woman to my left and the woman to my right.
I see where I have not listened to my Savior, to my Jesus, to the lover of my soul.
I see where I still doubt His Word, his promises, his love for me.
“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10
The first time I heard this verse, I was on a hiking trip with my church in 2007. I had just committed my life to Christ a little less than a year before. Our campsite was by the water, and we were instructed to go off by ourselves in nature, to be still with God, to ponder this verse.
I chose a spot in the grass near the water. At 16 years old, I was uncomfortable with silence. My inner dialogue of critique started young, and the noise of a broken family lingered with me even outside of the home.
I remember though, something beautiful happening when I took that time to quietly listen to God.
As I was sitting there praying, multiple butterflies appeared. They were flying so close to me, gently fluttering around, landing on the grass near me. I remember being in awe of their beauty, and I was surprised at their willingness to be so close to me.
In that moment, I knew. I knew God was listening. He orchestrated that moment for me. And now, whenever I see butterflies, I’m reminded of that special time I sat quietly before God, just listening.
When we don’t slow down, when we don’t take moments to be quiet before our God, we miss opportunities to deepen our relationship with him. We can miss Him speaking to us.
There’s an intimacy that can only be found in stillness.
To be still with someone means you feel secure with them. You aren’t having to prove yourself. You know you are loved, you can just be.
We need to cultivate this security and intimacy with our Heavenly Father.
It’s easy to say Yes to God in public, when we are at church, in a small group, or on a hiking trip or retreat.
But I’ve found it much harder to cultivate a lifestyle of saying Yes to God in private. To wake up early before the kids. To not pick up our phones when our eyes first open in the morning. To give up precious sleep when you work a job with demanding hours. To pray when you’ve been heartbroken, hurt, abandoned. To read when you only want to weep.
“But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret.”
We can’t only live a public life of a Christian. It’s true that community is absolutely vital to our relationship with Christ. We are called to gather together! To be in relationship, in meaningful community. (Hebrews 10:25)
However, we absolutely need that personal, private, intimate time with our Jesus. For our inner dialogue to change and for our hearts to be made whole, we need to daily seek and personally call out in prayer to our rock, our refuge. (Psalm 61)
Instead of questioning our worth, we will learn to say YES to what God calls us: Fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:15)
Instead of comparing ourselves to one another, we will learn to say YES to the unique plans and purpose that Christ has for us. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Sisters, when we take time to seek Christ, we will find him. He will help us when morning dawns. He will be our refuge, our strength, a present help in trouble. He will speak tenderly to us in our most desperate times. When we purposely pause and pursue Him, we will find peace in His presence. And we will not be left the same.
“1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah”
Hi there! I’m Hana Boyce. I’ve been freed from a past of sin and shame by the Cross of Christ, and I’m purposed to help others experience the joy that comes from life in Him. I’m head-over-heels in love with my husband, and a first-time mom learning the ropes with my sweet little boy. I find beauty in order and organization; so naturally, I split my time working in various roles as a church administrator, arts school manager, and wedding coordinator. As long as I can remember, reading and writing has been a passion of mine. Coffee and fresh flowers are my love language & my favorite hobby is spending quality time laughing with loved ones.
You can follow Hana on Instagram HERE!
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