The first situation that happened the other day (see Hope post here) left me feeling hurt and questioning my abilities. Today, another situation involving different people reinforced how I was feeling. Then, throughout the day, I made small mistakes that to me just pointed back to the same ole, same ole: an incompetent woman. The final straw was when I happened by the laundry room and realized that I had forgotten about some laundry I had stuck in the dryer to get the wrinkles out before I hung them to dry completely. Frustrated with myself for forgetting (I do this to try to prevent shrinkage from the dryer, but obviously by the time I discovered that I had forgotten them, that ship had sailed). When I pulled the first shirt out, a balled up piece of gum wrapper came with it. Great, I thought, black gum with my white load. Nothing looked like it had been ruined--yet--until I pulled out my favorite white cargo sweat pants (that I've only worn twice). Realize, now, that these aren't simply sweat pants. They are some chic sweatpants (oh, yes, they are...dapper, even, if I say so myself) and I love them. And what did they have all over them?? You probably guessed by now. Black. Gum. All. Over.
THIS was the breaking point for me. The negativity washed all over me as the thoughts poured in, and this time, I didn't even fight them. I can't even do this right. I can't do this...I can't do that...I can't remember things...I can't please people...
This thought dominated all my other thoughts. "I can't" thoughts are debilitating, I've come to find out. Plus, they totally put one in a foul mood.
My daughter wanted to make pasta for her lunch tomorrow. Seeing as how she is perfectly capable of doing so herself, I let her do that while I cleaned up the kitchen. I was "fine" (I say "fine" because I was not actually fine, but was acting like I was perfectly fine) until she dumped the entire box of pasta into a too-small pot, and then asked if I wanted her to make the whole box. Um, clearly the entire box doesn't fit into the too-small pot! My actions and tone of voice were in glaring contrast to my words, and at that point I knew: my negativity had gone too far.
Sometimes, I don't know what to do in situations like this. I don't always feel like reading my Bible, even though I know the answer to my problems are all there. I don't always feel like praying, either, and frankly, I don't always want to even feel better. Sometimes I like staying in the pit of negativity and self-doubt, because it's comfortable, it's safe, and I don't have to put any effort into it.
As much as I (sometimes) like just wallowing in my own pit, I know that's not where God would want me to be. He has offered me His hope (Proverbs 23:18), but I have to reach out and take hold of it. Especially when I am in the pit of self-pity and defeat.
I have to recognize when that hope is being offered to me when He offers it. And it's not always in the form that I expect it in.
I heard a song on the radio tonight that caught my attention. They were talking about the "voice of truth" (hear it here). It got me thinking: there is only one voice of truth, and it's not the voice inside my own head. It's Him. When I compare my so-called "truths" (those would be what I call myself or think about myself when I've done something like get black gum all over my white chic pants) to His truths, they don't match up. And I know that because He is who He is, His truth triumphs over my own. Good thing, too, because my "truths" are no fun to live with. You think that song came on the radio and caught my attention by coincidence? Hardly, although I'm sure some would like to argue the point. He has proven to me once again that even when I walk away from Him, He is ever by my side.