It’s funny how quickly things can turn, pushed along by what comes to our ears. A word of encouragement, a “This is what I see in you” comment that layers a thread of fragile confidence in the torn fabric of my daily questioning. I was given a word like that yesterday, from a trusted friend, someone who tells me the truth, who I believe has my best interest at heart.

The Proverb says, “Gracious speech is like clover honey – good taste for the soul, quick energy for the body.” I can give that a hearty “amen”.

And it’s funny how quickly things can turn, pushed along by what comes to our ears. An overheard conversation, expression of frustration that filters into my ears and heart as failure on my part. Again, words from a trusted friend, someone I count on to tell the truth.

But this time, the taste was bitter, and crushing. Those words were not meant for my ears, but they snaked their way in anyway. And they offered no quick energy, no life.

Instead, they fueled the cloud of insecurity and self-doubt that seems to hover just outside the joy that strengthens me daily. Energy for that nagging opportunist, the shrieking soprano that pushes through every opening to state its repetitive claim on my soul. Sometimes she whispers, but today she is screaming.

“you’re an imposter. 
you can’t do this. 
you’ve gone as far as you can go. 
there is no more hope. 
give up, let it go, walk away. 
you’re just not good enough.”

I find it ironic that the negative so quickly replaces the positive, that the darkness has such power to push away the light. I will cling to the bad, wallow in it, roll the words off my tongue for hours; and all but forget the positive. I know better; but I struggle to do better.

It’s so damned frustrating to think that in almost five decades of life, I am still feeding off the bottom of negativity and self-recrimination, stuffing my self with a pile of garbage until I vomit. Ask me how I am today; ask me who I am today, and I have one word for you.


I know better. But today, right now, I cannot live into what I know.

And so I have a Keith Green playlist running on Pandora, and I sit watching over an empty music store, allowing words of life to wash over me, praying that the taste of the goodness of the Lord will wash away the bitter.

here’s my heart, Lord
take and seal it…

3 thoughts on “Loser

  1. I'm on a roller coaster the last couple of weeks: encouragement, criticism, encouragement, someone yelling at me, REPEAT. just yesterday i had to make myself stop and think, “Today, was there any indication that i'm in the right place, doing the right thing?” because all i could hear was the negative. sure enough, there was a word of encouragement from the mom of a student. i'd forgotten it. i'm holding onto it. i hope you hold onto the sustaining, empowering words today.


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