Count the white stripes as they flash by. Note the joggers circling the lake. Check my speedometer. Observe the traffic in the rearview mirror. Any distraction possible on my way to work fills the little spaces of my active mind. That is, until the light turns red.
I feel tension assault my stomach as my car slows and the distractions disappear. The thoughts that were held at bay release with overwhelming fury.
So, Alice, thought you’d get away with a peaceful morning, eh? What a joke! A loser like you never has peace. Your past is right on top of you and there’s no escape. See that garbage can on the corner? You’re just like it. All the bits of trash in life accumulated in one filthy spot: you. You destroy anything you touch.
I suck for air, wishing the light would change to green. Only five minutes longer and the distractions of work will drown the voice burying me in guilt. But this is the longest red light in town.
Sure you’re in a hurry to get to work. The people in the check-out line can’t wait to see your ugly face. And your co-workers? Well, we know what they think of you. You’re just a born loser.
A squeal of rubber sounds with the turning of the light to green as I shoot through the intersection. I don’t make it far as red and blue lights flash in my rearview mirror.
Told you. Total loser.
I don’t try to beat the light the next morning. In fact, I’m glad to be caught in the silence. I deserve the thought lashing I know I can count on.
What kind of mother are you? Yelling at your little girl just because she was coloring instead of getting ready for school. Never mind that she was coloring a picture for you. Is there no end to your shame? Just for the record, you will never win the battle over your tongue. It’s a fire stick and someday it will start the fire that is going to burn down your whole world. Wait and see.
A car horn starts me in motion once again as I creep through the intersection, tears streaking my makeup. A convict wouldn’t get the looks I know are waiting at work for me.
The red light is becoming a comforting routine. Be still for three minutes and allow the truth to be told.
Look at you, Alice. Utter failure. Why don’t you have it tattooed on your forehead? Oh wait. It already is. Two-time divorcee. What kind of Christian gets divorced? Oh sure, your first was before salvation. But what about the other? You loused it all up with your sorry self. You alone. And you know what? God knows it. You failed Him. He is finished with you and you need to face the fact that you aren’t any good to anyone. Just give it up.
My breaths come in short gasps and I feel blackness covering my eyes.
A failure, Alice. You are-
“Be quiet!” I grip the steering wheel until my knuckles pale. “Stop it. Lord, help me. I renounce these lies from Satan in the name of Jesus and by the power of His blood. I am forgiven and covered by His grace and mercy. By faith I will overcome.”
You really think praying will help-
“Get behind me, Satan! You have no place in my life, in my mind.”
It’s not that easy-
“I declare all your works defeated in Jesus name.”
The light turns green. With no vehicles in the rearview I slouch in my seat, foot still planted on the brake. The silence drifts through one ear and emerges from the other - uninterrupted.
“Thank You, Lord. Thank You.”
Don’t stop here, Child. Renounce the voice of guilt, but you must replace it with thoughts of My Word.
Fragments of scripture begin to flow into my mind and out of my mouth.
“Whatever things are true, lovely, pure, just, a good report, praiseworthy - think on these things….Bring every thought into captivity….I have loved you with an everlasting love…”
The self talk still tries to barrel in some mornings. But with my commitment to memorize a new scripture verse every day, there just isn’t room for it.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You.” Isa. 26:3
NKJV Scripture references: Rev. 12:11, Phl. 4:8, 2Cr. 10:5, Jer. 31:3
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