Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Break the Tape: i am simply NOT...


Welcome, friends, for today's edition of Break the Tape.  Essentially, our goal is to identify the lies that repeat themselves over and over again in our minds, break the tape that automatically begins plays when ever we feel we've fallen short, and learn a new song to sing in its place.  
Meet Gaby.  She is one of a kind.  Her heart is one that just oozes love -- even over blog posts and emails.  She shares her struggles in such a real way.  You read one of her posts and you immediately want to call her up to go to coffee.  Well, at least I do.  I'm sure you will, too.  She blogs here -- be ready to want to chat!
photo source
I love Wednesday nights…

Dinner at church with the people from the congregation my husband pastors, the Body of Christ to which I belong, my community, sharing the best meals you’ve ever had while we laugh and catch up is the highlight of my week.

After dinner I lead a women’s Bible study. Time with these sisters fills my heart.  They hone me week after week; they are my iron that sharpens this iron. Hearing their stories, celebrating their successes and grieving over their trials with them is my privilege. Sharing the Word with them, discussing it, pulling it apart and devouring it together is a delight to my soul.

Afterwards I get to play the piano for our worship team and sing with them. The practices are mini-worship services that prepare me to worship in community on Sunday.

And yet…I hate Wednesdays.

Every Wednesday night when the kids are in bed, the house is quiet and my head hits the pillow I fall apart. It’s like a well-rehearsed dance. I lay in bed and begin to question every word, every gesture, every moment of the evening out loud to my husband. I bemoan things I said that may have been taken the wrong way.  I regret having or not having done this or that that may have come across as rude. I nitpick the lesson I presented, sure that it was a flop. I go over my many mistakes playing the piano during rehearsal.  I complain about not knowing how to parent well.   And on and on I go tearing apart and destroying what was a refreshing evening with some of the people I love the most.

Why? And why, especially after such great moments?

Because there is a tape running through my mind that says “you are simply not good enough to do anything that God has called you to do: minister to other women, participate in leading worship, be a friend, a mom, a wife, a teacher, a disciple of Christ.” And never is this tape played louder than after an evening packed full of all the hats the Lord has asked me to wear. If the enemy attacks us, he comes at me full force every Wednesday night .

You would think by now, after many conversations with my encouraging husband, after much prayer and much understanding straight from His Word, I would know how to fight this battle. But I don’t. This is my thorn in the flesh. This sense of not being properly fitted for the life I lead comes to a head on Wednesday nights. And week after week I have to re-learn what Paul teaches:  that Christ’s grace is sufficient for me. That his power is made perfect in my weakness.

Because God has not called me to do all these things because I am good. Truth is I am NOT. I do make lots of mistakes when I play the piano. I do talk without thinking some times. I am often tactless without meaning to be. I lose my temper with my kids. I engage in petty fights with my husband. I can be a very forgetful and selfish friend. And yet, the God who made me, has also called me. The One who knows my limitations has asked me to fill all those roles.  He calls for my obedience, not for my flawless performance. And as I obey, He equips me with what I need and the glory is his, not mine.

Remembering this, week after week, helps me to continue to trust that He knows just what He is doing with me. I pray for the grace and ability to turn my eyes on him rather than focus my eyes on me and my shortcomings, counting my mistakes and beating myself for what I did or did not do. I ask to learn to be grateful for the opportunity to serve him and for using me to build his kingdom. I know this is a journey and it won’t happen overnight but I also know that He will continue the work He began in me. 

And He will do the same for you, if you let him. 

About Gaby:  I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of two beautiful children, ages 5 and 6. I am married to a pastor, live in the South, and do way more than I should in a day. My family is a little odd in our small Southern town because my husband is Caucasian, I'm Hispanic and my kids are African-American. And we speak English and Spanish! I love to write, although I don't find the time most days. I also love to study the Bible with other women, play the piano and sing for our worship team and I am learning to be domestic, cook, sew, etc after years of working full time and just not having the energy. I am most definitely a work in progress in the hands of Jesus and He has a long ways to go with me. 

19 comments :

  1. Oh, Gaby, I am NOT either! So marvelous to meet another woman who falls short but remains covered by His grace! Your family is BEAUTIFUL! THanks for being real and for pointing me back to the truth!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alicia, thank you for your kind words and for stopping by. I think most of us feel this way often even if we don't want to talk about it.

      Delete
  2. Thanks, Gaby. This really hit home with me: "He did not call me because I am good."

    We were asked this year to be co-leaders for our teen youth group, and my husband and I balked at the idea, especially because we did not feel qualified or good enough. Lots of prayer, reflection and feedback later, we are on-board, excited, and ready to give it our all.

    This is a great reminder of how He grows us in areas where He wants us to bloom!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny how God works. All this week, as I was getting ready to send this to Jen, everywhere around me have been reminders of just this: God equips the called. I think it is exactly when you serve where you don't feel qualified that God gets the glory because you know it has to be Him working through you. Blessings in your new endeavor!

      Delete
  3. It's nice to know I'm not alone... the same things go through my mind, in the exact same way you say they stroll through yours.

    Thank you for this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Angel, you are not alone! So let's encourage each other!

      Delete
  4. Dear Gaby,

    Thank you for reminding me that we don't have to be good enough...we just need to obey His call on our lives, and remind ourselves that His grace covers where we are weak...it also makes me think of how God must be using you for the evil one to attack you (Eph. 6:10-12) after you have served in different ways...how you bless with your words...Praying God's blessings and heart protection on you and your family :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Dolly. This was hard to write because it makes me feel vulnerable to admit all this but, as I told Jen, if we can be open about your struggles, other women feel empowered to do so as well. That's why I read blogs! Thank you for stopping by.

      Delete
  5. GAbby you write so open and honestly and I certainly have experienced just what you mention. The second guessing and self doubts are real traps for me. I often wonder how much my overthinking and feelings of not being good enough hurt God. After all we are His masterpieces. I honestly think I am finally recognizing this mode of thinking earlier and stopping it by refocusing on my core identify - not the ego driven, helpless inadequate little girl but His child. Doesn't mean I don't still feel this way at times but think I am starting to spend less time listening to that broken tape.

    Great thought provoking post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jean. You know something I realized tonight (it's Wednesday after all!)? That if I keep my focus on other people, listening to their stories, asking questions about their life, more preoccupied with them than with myself, I seem to have much less doubting at the end of the night. Huh.

      Delete
  6. EXCELLENT piece, gaby (and you know i don't hand out capital letters often). this is a message i needed to hear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kendal. I take the capital letters as a great compliment coming from you :)

      Delete
  7. I love your obedient heart, Gaby.

    You might find encouragement in my parents life verse: "Faithful is He who calls you, who also will do it." II Thessalonians 5:24.

    fondly,
    Glenda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great verse, Glenda. I will put it on my mirror to remind me.

      Delete
  8. Gaby, it is hard to express how much this resonated with me. Wow, it always leaves me a bit speechless when someone else puts into words so well, something that resonates so much with me.
    Just last night after Bible study with some awesome ladies, I found myself rehashing and rehearsing what I sad. Maybe I shared to much, I wasn't sensitve enough, I shouldn't have said that I should have said this. yadayayada...it goes on.
    Then I thought about this blog post that I had read yesterday and was encouraged.
    Thanks so much for this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love hearing that, Loraine. That is exactly how I think after the Bible studies. So silly, right? Not only because of all the reasons I listed above but because God has been reminding me that it is self-centered to keep worrying so much about myself. Instead, I think I will say a prayer for those ladies when I'm tempted to rehash. Thank you for commenting.

      Delete
  9. Thank you for having the courage to be so real. I often feel as though I'm the only one who has these silly tapes on autoplay in my mind!

    This post has really blessed me.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Gaby - It is good to know I'm not the only one with this tape playing in my mind. Thank you for your honesty! I think so many of us question ourselves after a plate-full/multi-hat-wearing social event. It is exhausting, and we're not sure that we did it all perfectly. How good to know that God doesn't expect us to be perfect - he just wants us to be perfectly open to his molding and use. Great post.

    ReplyDelete

Don't go yet! Leave me a note with your thoughts.