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Monday, March 3, 2014

Voices in My Head: Thoughts on Crash the Chatterbox book

When my blogging friend sent me a copy of Crash the Chatterbox by pastor Steven Furtick, I knew it was something God must want me to read. Every chapter was filled with the things I feel God has shown me over the past year or so.

Struggling with inner dialog is something I believe every person deals with, but for someone who struggles with depression it's even more prevalent. They call is ruminating, where you think the same negative thoughts repetitively and you can't stop yourself. Eventually it becomes so true to you it feels like the weight of it is going to crush your heart and soul, the very life out of you. I was literally trapped in this way of thinking, I felt scared of other people's opinions and was always afraid they were going to judge me, criticize me, or worst of all, misunderstand me. The truth is, I should have been more scared of myself, of my chatterbox, of the bully that I let run my head space.

The truth is, without eyes to see or discernment, you just think whatever thoughts pop in your head. I saw a quote recently that said something to the effect that people only believe about 20% of what other people tell them, but 100% of what they tell themselves. This is scarily accurate. The problem is that every thought you think, we think, is not necessarily true and yet we play out scenarios as if they are. I suppose that is why Jesus tells us to "take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ." We can't let our thoughts run the show up there.

My beginning awareness in this season of this problem for me was recognizing that I felt guilty about everything. I felt guilty about how I was a mom, a wife, a church go-er, a sister-in-law, a daughter, a sister, and especially a Christian. I felt trapped in my own guilt, in my own feelings of unworthiness. For years I felt like I scrambled to figure out what the source of all this was, from where. I searched and became bitter at whose fault my brokenness could be. Where was the strong, adventurous, carefree girl I used to be, know, and enjoy. She was gone and this witch with a b was left in her place.

I read all sorts of things and listened to endless sermons. Just show me what to do and I'll do it. I read the Boundaries book, it helped me start seeing some things more clearly. Mostly, that it is not my responsibility to keep everyone happy with me. They won't always be, not everyone will like me, but I have to like me, and remember that God likes me and made me, so it's OK. 

Time marched on and those old familiar voices invaded again. "Look at you, they think you are disgusting with your big fat body" "You will NEVER be mentally stable enough to anything of significance for the Lord." "Your life is so boring, it will always be boring" or more frequently "Ugh!!! You are so annoying, no one can stand you!"

When I started going to counseling my counselor pointed out this bully inside me. That she was shoving me into imaginary lockers calling me dorky, weak and ugly. I could really resonate with that, that is how I saw myself, and I saw that as annoying. I started to pay more attention to that bully, this chatterbox, and I started to tell her to shut up and sit down.

You see, chatterboxes sound just like us, so we tend to listen. That chatterbox is many times the Enemy using something we might struggle with, be insecure about, or unsure about and use it against us to get us to believe we are those things.

When I first really understood shame was when I was listening to a book by Brene Brown as I was training for my marathon. Finally, I understood. Guilt was when I felt bad about doing something wrong, shame was when I began to identify myself as someone wrong. I didn't overeat, I was a fat girl. I didn't lose my temper, I was an out of control beeotch. I wasn't isolating myself, I was unworthy of having friends. See that huge difference? One is manageable, the other crushing.

There were so many great parts of Crash the Chatterbox but I really resonated with a couple parts. In one was in the book where he tells a story of when he loses his temper and cusses at his wife in front of his kids. Watch the sermon with the story HERE. He talks about the immediate chatter that took place in his mind, this being only a day after preaching his Christmas sermon. I recognized in myself every part of that story. But he points out how to start differentiating between the voice of condemnation "You always, You Never, You suck" from the voice of the Holy Spirit and conviction "come to me, lets work on this, I love you." He points out how God loves him as much in the front yard cussing and he did preaching behind the pulpit, that is true love, that unconditional love we long for. 
He talks about when Peter denies Christ three times and the look Jesus gave him after the rooster crows. Although purely speculatory, he wonders was it a look of disapproval, or sadness and disappointment, or love? That same look that Peter had seen in Jesus' eyes many times before, the look of acceptance, the love of someone he didn't deserve, this is what brought him to his knees. That God isn't the one condemning me to a shameful label that makes me question trusting Him, or makes me want to stay away and hide what I have come to believe I am. No, conviction draws me to His heart, reminds me He has already called me worthy because of His son's death. He asks me, then, will I hold onto Him, with that same look of love and acceptance in His eyes, as He changed me. And the change isn''t to look better or act better, rather it's about my freedom to be more of who I really am, rather than chained to the shame names the chatterbox shackled me to in hopes for forever imprisonment.

The other great insight for me was at the very end of the book in the conclusion. He talks about Elisha and his last miracle. Elisha is giving instructions to the king who is begging him for victory over them impending enemy. He tells him to pound the ground, and the king does, only three time and Elisha reprimands him for not doing it more times. At first I am thinking "calm down, grumpy ol man!" but then Pastor Steven explains more. The pounds were representative of the battles to be fought and one, and wars were fought over many more battles than three. Had the king struck the ground more times victory would have come, but instead only three times would they overcome. My realization or question that I asked myself is "what do you want? Do I want partial victory, to win a few battles and feel better, or pound that sucker till victory is declared. That latter please.

I think I am beginning to catch a glimpse of who I really am, who He has made me to be. I am slowly letting go of who my bully has labeled me and stopped being shamed by wearing name tags that don't belong to me. God has used this book to further expand my weapons. And believe me, the more aware, the more awareness to new problems, temptations, weaknesses, oppositions. But God has put a fire in my spirit, one of a lioness {which I wrote about here}, a warrior princess {both fierce and lovely},one of pure passion. Yes, my passion can be a double edge sword, like Peter's was, but I pray in the hands of God's sanctification it will be a sword He can use.


I highly recommend checking out this book and sermon series. Actually anything by Steven Furtick has proved to be good. Maybe I see a little of myself in him, but I really appreciate his authenticity and believe God speaks through him greatly,



I was inspired by the pound the ground story to write this poem...


Wake Up, You're in a War
Life is hard, you're barely hanging on
Wake up, you're in a war

It takes too much, it lasts too long
Wake up, you're in a war

Someones found another reason to show you why you're null
You're feeling strong, you're moving on, then you feel that wordly pull
Wake up, you're in a war

I hear you Lord, give me one more day
Wake up, you're in a war

I'm hit again, make them go away
Wake up, you're in a war

My eyes are heavy with the weight of apathy
there's no way I can be who I'm made to be,
Wake up, you're in a war

Wars rage on to break you
So much easier when you lay back and let them take you
You fight a battle, you've been hit
You give up, you're over it
Wake up, you're in a war

You have to see your purpose here
You'll be taken out by doubt and fear
Wake up, you're in a war

Don't lay there and let them take cheap shot
Wake up, you're in a war
Paralyzed like it's all you've got
Wake up, you're in a war

No one to come and pat your back
Or hold your hand or stop attack
Wake up, you're in a war

It's not one battle and you're done
You fight until the victories won
If God is for us, who's against
Stand up no and take offense
Wake up, you're in a war

Feel it rising, the fight within
Remember whose you are
Keep fighting as you stand in Him
Wake up, you're in a war









1 comment:

  1. Wow. Powerful words, my friend. Really thankful to have found your site via Twitter. I feel like we have much in common..... You are in my prayers. :)
    Jayma {http://JaymasTips.blogspot.com}

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