The bullies in my world don’t control the Maypole or the twirly-bird on the school playground. (And they never did. I don’t remember one bully in our little town of Climax, Minnesota.)
The bullies that try and face me down want to control how I think about myself.
If I let them, they will twist my heart like a pretzel and create little shakes in my stomach that make me feel like there’s an electric mixer on slow speed beating against my diaphragm.
They don’t have faces.
But they have voices that are forceful enough to make me forget everything I learned in the basement of the parsonage in Mrs. Cora Stortroen’s Sunday School class…if I let them.
Have you met one of these bullies?
— The voice in your head that says you really need to find another job because you don’t know what you’re doing and someone is going to figure that out pretty soon.
— The voice in your head that says if you were prettier…thinner…younger…smarter…you could do great things and until then you might as well just settle for ordinary.
— The voice from the biggest deceiver and liar of them all that controls all these other bully voices…the snake whose life purpose is to remind you that you are nothing but Stupid. Wrong. Less-than.
I’m tired of these bullies.
I’m tired of the voices.
And I’m just stinkin’ mad that these voices can have so much control over our hearts.
…Our minds. Our souls.
And then I remember…
They will only have that control if I give them permission.
I wish it was easy to just make those bully voices quieter. To make them go away.
But don’t they always seem to have the talking volume on max?
Those bully voices can be louder than the TV when my mom is watching Little House on the Prairie with the volume on 42 and Walnut Grove is burning and Mrs. Olsen is screaming and Laura can’t find Pa.
I’m learning…ooftah…not fast enough…that I can turn down the volume on those voices and even better, put them on mute.
When those bullies show up…
When the voices start to hurt my heart and rumble my stomach…
I just remember…
God. Loves. Me.
And if the voices aren’t saying the same things that I read in His love letters to me…
Then the voices are wrong.
I can push the mute button.
I can ignore them.
I can replace the bully voices with the Truth Voices.
I can choose.
Truth speaks up.
The mixer in my stomach stops.
And Laura finds Pa. (Peace restored.)
It’s a much better way to live.