You’re not stupid. You’re not crazy. You’re not a burden.
This is what a friend and I spent the better portion of the past two summer months texting one another. Normally when we needed to hear it ourselves, we’d tell the other person. Teamwork works best that way.
I know, you’re thinking-whoa that was heavy, or shouldn’t you know that already? But if I’m being honest, we knew we needed someone to speak over the voices in our heads. Voices that we’re not sure where they came from-but we know they came in droves and slept on the stairwells until we let them stay. Voices that don’t waste energy yelling, they just wait to whisper in your heart in a weak moment because they know something doesn’t need to be loud for you to believe it, you just have to hear it enough.
I thought we might be the only ones with these not-so-friendly tenants, that it was season of doubt, that we were just being ‘sensitive’. And then I went on a trip where I got to sit in a circle of beautiful women who spoke with grace and brave vulnerability -but who then quickly followed their words with an “oh, I’m sorry ” or “this is probably more than you wanted to know.” And that’s when I realized we weren’t the only ones.
I’m not sure when this started, but when did we start apologizing for existing? When did we start carrying guilt for taking time, for wanting someone to listen? Somewhere along the way we started believing we didn’t deserve more than five minutes of speaking space, or that our vulnerability translated into trouble making. Honestly this post is to tell you, that’s not the truth.
Let me set this broken record straight and tell you, there are friends who ask “how are you” and deeply care about the response that follows. There are communities that want you to have them on your favorites tab in case of an emergency-even if it’s just an emergency to you. There are MEN who do not walk away at the first sign of CrazyEm (you know that other girl that lives inside of you that only comes out after dark). LADIES, BOYS, HUMANS, HEY, we have got to start believing that we are valuable and precious enough to take up the space and air that we do. Because we can leverage that space and that air for something beautiful, but not until we sign the papers and stamp SOLD on it (AKA, OWN IT FAM).
But I can’t lie to you and say that everyone will listen. I can’t tell you that all friends will stick around or that all boys can see the fire that lives inside of you. And that makes this next part really important.
When we stop finding our worth in Jesus, we inadvertently place a full burden of affirmation on those around us. And when they fail our lofty and often unspoken requests, they aren’t the ones who get crushed by it. We are.
So yes, you do have something to say-but it’s not because they will listen. It’s because you were created with a mouth to speak and a heart that’s full of passion that’s begging to spill out.
There will be times where you need to get a text from you friend reminding you of who you are. But what’s even more victorious than that is when you’ve seeped yourself so deep in scripture that you can fight those lies yourself-not with your own human words, but with what Jesus has to say about you.
Me and my friend, we don’t text each other those words anymore. We decided the lies vying for our attention will never be forgotten if we keep bringing them up. Now we say: You are wise. You are mature. You are a blessing. Because truth can’t be louder than the lies until we start speaking it (and that white baby in The Help knew exactly what she was doing).
If you are grinding against the lies in your own head try this out: Draw a line down the center of a paper, and on the left side of the line list out what you’ve bought into. Be honest with yourself. Think back to when maybe that boy said he wished you were a little more fit and you latched on, write that down. Or that time where your mom said she wished you were more like your older sister, write that down. Write down the lies that have been latching onto your heels all these years. Get em out in the open because they start shrinking when they hit oxygen.
Move over to the right side. And SEEK TRUTH. This might take a little digging but I promise you that the best combat to lies are truth, and scripture is the truest thing I know. Start in Ephesians (it says you if you are in Jesus you are Holy, and an Heir, and Chosen). Then you can go to Proverbs 23 and learn that ‘there is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.’ Seek truth. Silence the lies. Fold the paper in half and use the right side as your new starting place. You can do this.