“You’re just no good at that.”

There’s a voice that tells me this often.

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It’s funny how it doesn’t matter what I’m doing. I can be cooking or organizing the pantry or picking out new curtains or working on a piece of writing or figuring out how to fund a kitchen for a community center in South Africa or trying to remember to read the Bible to my kids or planning a book release.

That voice slides into my ear and just says the same thing it always says with the same confidence, “You’re just no good at that.”

I’m a grown woman with three children, a career that matters to me and a blog where I get to share my ups and downs with women who are strong, and funny, and wise, and also in the raw places of raising kids. And many, many times I believe that voice.

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I hear it and it sinks in and I feel tired and the venom travels down my veins and makes me want to just give up. Why bother with writing or figuring out ways to make sense of my kids or this recipe book or the way-too-many curtain choices if I’m not any good at any of it.

Because if I can’t make my house look like hers or my kids craft like theirs or the words on this page turn out like his why bother at all?

There’s a chocolate milkshake that could make the afternoon feel better and help drown out my stupid nagging voice of uselessness.

Instead I sit at this keyboard and keep typing.

Instead I swallow down the fear and the doubt and keep typing through my racing heart and my lethargic fingers.

Because I know that voice is a liar.

I know that voice is not my own.

I know that voice is a one-way-ticket to walking away from all the glory and the beauty that has been planned into my DNA. And yes some of it will be messy. And some of it won’t turn out the way I imagined. And much of it will be a work in progress.

But the some things I might not be perfect at, aren’t the sum total of no good.

I might not be good enough, brave enough, profound enough. But the God who made me – He. is. enough.

And maybe today you’re scared too?

Maybe there’s a voice been whispering how no good at anything you are?

Maybe there’s a lie been slyly slipping a measuring stick with impossible units to live up to into your life this afternoon.

Maybe you need a sister to snap that stick in half and hand you a flash light when you’re facing the dark. I have a sister who prayed these words over me and I’m bringing them to pray over you. Gather ’round, let me whisper this in your ear:

Dear Lord, I come before Your throne right now, lifting up Your sweet child. Thank You Father for the ways You’ve uniquely gifted her, and given her a spirit — not of timidity — but of power through Your Holy Spirit. Empower her today and in the coming days for all the things that You have placed before her. We praise you in advance for the ways that You will work in her and through her, so that we can look back on these days, and as sisters, say, “See there, look what the Lord did, right in the middle of the fear!”

Give her the strength and courage to move forward, even when it looks a little bit dark around the corner. Also, give her peace … Give her a light unto her path, and a lamp unto her feet … and Lord Jesus, she probably wouldn’t mind a big flashlight every now and then, a big Light of reassurance that what’s ahead is good and right, and that You are already there … just like You’re here. We love You, Lord Jesus, and it’s in Your name we pray … Amen.

OK, sweet sisters, now take a deep breath and say it out loud and clear into the comments what God has called you to do in this season. Not perfectly – just obediently.

Standing here beside you cheering, from behind this keyboard and right out in front of my own doubting voices,

love,

Lisa-Jo, author, champion of orphans, mom to three, and sister to you.

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