I’ve SO enjoyed hearing YOUR voices the last few weeks as you’ve encouraged me with this voice that is being put out here on the interwebs! To know that a truth, reality, or a practical practice has just struck something in you is SO encouraging because it means that I’m not alone either! That we can encourage each other in these things!
One thing that I have come to realize in the last six months, is that I have to be careful of the voices I entertain. Whether that’s the voices in my own head, the books I’m reading, the shows I’m watching, and the people I allow to speak into my life.
I promise I’m not crazy when I say this, but you know those voices in your head… the ones that tell you that you’re not enough, too much, not pretty enough, wealthy enough, smart enough, driven enough. The list could go on and on and on! What we tell ourselves has SUCH an impact on how we see ourselves and how we live our lives!
“My son, do not lose sight of these- keep sound wisdom + discretion,” Proverbs 3:21
I have this very talented friend who does photography – Chelsie Maurer Photography. If you’re looking for someone to capture some pictures of your family or graduating senior, she’s so great! Check out her website! I just updated parts of my blog with a few photos from my session with her. She’s such an encouraging friend and a wise voice that I trust. This was a whole different setting though, and she was saying things like “hey do this…”, “tilt your head down”, “smile naturally”. I was SO uncomfortable (hence the smile naturally)! I realized that it’s because I’m not the most comfortable in my own skin, and I can’t see what she’s seeing through her lense. Like I just said though, I trust her, so why wouldn’t I trust her with the one thing I know she’s SO good at?
Sometimes it takes someone who sees you through a different lens to speak a bit of truth of who you are and what they see in you. Different people see you in different settings, doing different things. They may see a strength in you that others just don’t have the opportunity to see! Maybe you’re going through a difficult season, and you need encouragement to keep pushing on, that the hard work you’re doing is being seen. Maybe the jeans don’t fit just right or you’re dreading putting on a swimsuit, and you need to be reminded that you’re a beautiful creation! We don’t doubt the beauty of creation when we see the mountains and flowers, and yet we doubt the one very personal creation – ourselves.
This thought train kept going deeper – what about the things that I’m created for to leave as my mark on this Earth? My purpose? As I watched/listened to part of Billy Graham’s funeral through Facebook last week, I was stunned to see that thousands had gathered from all over the Earth to pay their respects to one man. The legacy he has left and the impact he had in this world is immeasurable. I want to leave a lasting legacy. It doesn’t mean that I want 2,000+ people in attendance at my funeral and millions watching online, but if it means that I’ve impacted even just a quarter of that many people in my lifetime, then I want that! I don’t want the voices in my head to hold me back! I don’t want fear or a skewed view of my talents and skills to be what holds me back.
I’ve had a couple friends and family this past week just speak into my life to say “hey – here are some things that I see in you.” Can I tell you how life-giving that is? To know that I DO have talents and skills and that others see something in me that I can offer! My immediate reaction is to shoot it down or ignore it, but instead, I’ve been letting them know how that has encouraged me. I’ve mulled over what they have said, and it’s been a recurring theme of a few things.
What voices and lies about yourself are you allowing space in your head? Who in your life can you speak that kind of wisdom into?
Can I challenge you to do something about these questions? Maybe it looks like sitting down and writing down some lies you’ve let yourself believe and then getting together with a close friend to go through them. Or sitting down with your Bible and writing truths and scripture to combat the lies. Maybe it looks like getting together with your closest friends and sharing over a meal the strengths you see in each other… or maybe it’s just you. It may feel uncomfortable, but it may just be what you need! (Also, I highly recommend giving them a heads up on the dinner/convo, and not blindside them!) Sometimes, people just aren’t the most outgoing or it’s just not in their nature to just offer encouragement. Don’t be afraid to seek it out! Just make sure you know their place in your life, what kind of voice you’re allowing in, and how deep you let it penetrate your heart!
(And if you’re curious… here’s the result of the photo session!! 🙂 )