I hear voices.
And my guess is that you hear them too.
It's okay. Relax. We're not all taking a swan dive into the deep end of insanity. Voices are all around us, whispering, taunting, mocking, questioning, scolding.
They are the voices of doubt, of fear, of anxiety and worry and apprehension. They are the voices of concern, of timidity, of embarrassment and cowardliness.
They are the voices that hinder us and paralyze us, that keep us from being all that we were meant to be, that keep us from fulfilling our purpose and realizing our dreams.
These voices are weights around our neck, dragging us down, deeper and deeper into the murky waters, closer to the bottom where weeds entangle and drown us.
Do you hear them? The voices of those who doubt us, those who offer insincere apologies, those who feign support?
I hear the voices. They tell me I can't, I'm not equipped, I don't have the skills, I don't have the connections, I don't have the resolve.
They tell me the mountain is too high, the river too wide and water too rough. They tell me my foe is too big, too strong, too skilled.
I used to listen to them (maybe you still do). I thought they spoke truth, reality. I thought they had my best in-terest in mind and were only there to protect me, to keep me from falling, from making a terrible mistake.
Until another voice showed up, stronger, gentler, deeper. It was the voice of the Creator, the one who made me, formed my inward and out-ward parts. Sculpted me in His image. His voice spoke real truth.
I made you with my own hands. You are so precious. You are mine. I created you for greatness.
I stutter. I used to stutter terribly, couldn't string together five words to form a coherent sentence. The voices told me I would never amount to any-thing because I couldn't talk. No one would respect me. No one would take a chance on me. No one would want to listen to me blabber on.
And I listened to them. Talk about low expectations. I allowed those twisted voices to penetrate my mind and weave their depressive web around my soul. And a fog overcame me, thick, dense, oppressive.
But that other voice was there, too. You are mine. Reminding me that I was made for more. You are so precious. It led me to a career where I interact with people every day, to a calling where I can express myself like I never dreamed possible.
I still hear the voices, the negative ones, reminding me of the thorn in my flesh, reminding me of the pain and embarrassment that it brings. The voices still whisper, taunt, mock, they still feign concern and offer those insincere apologies. They tell me I can't, that I'll fail, I'll make a fool of myself; they assure me that they're only looking out for me, protecting me, warning me.
And you hear them too. I know you do.
But we can choose not to listen to them. We can choose to ignore those voices and focus on the only one that matters. The voice of our Creator, the one who formed us and placed every cell and molecule and atom and strand of DNA exactly where He wanted it. His voice tells us we can, that we were made for more, for a specific reason, for greatness. That through Him and in Him we can climb the mountain, cross the river, conquer the foe. We can stand before a crowd of hundreds, even thousands, and speak with confidence and conviction. We can write words that will move and stir and inspire. We can be all that He made us to be.