About the Author

Lisa-Jo is the best-selling author of Never Unfriended and Surprised by Motherhood. Her newest book, The Middle Matters: Why That (Extra)Ordinary Life Looks Really Good on You invites us to get a good look at our middles and gives us permission to embrace them.

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  1. “stupid nagging voice of uselessness” –I see you know her too? Your honesty is such a gift, Lisa-Jo:)

    In this season, I know God is calling me to raise my three kids with grace for their imperfections as well as for my own. He also calls me to write, and while most days I want to quit and become a personal shopper (I am SO perfect at shopping), I know the words will come. Even when they bring fear and trembling with them!

  2. Wow, the Lord knows perfectly what I need…He is enough. What an encouragement!

    I’m in a new church for more than two years now but there are just times that I feel like I don’t belong or that they don’t like me. By His grace, He has started to lead me to the youth ministry with my fiance and we just felt His victory at the recently-concluded youth camp and I just feel so down right now because I’ve been doubting if I was good enough, if I did enough for the young people and the church leaders, etc.

    Thank you for this reminder that God has called me to work hand in hand with His fellow children in this particular church–not to please men or bring honor to myself but purely to glorify God. I know He is also leading me to live a victorious life in planning our wedding and watching His faithfulness and blessings pouring out sweetly and protecting us like a sturdy canopy 🙂

  3. I am not sure what he is calling me to do except to listen carefully to HIM, then act obediently.

    Lisa-Jo, you are such an encouragement to so many! Thank you for your beautiful words,

    • ME TOO!!
      You put it so well, and God bless t

      I feel there are other things the Lord has laid on my heart for this season, such as Preaching his word to At risk Youth, loving on people, and singing boldly the grace and mercy of Christ our Father! But still, it all begins in that place of careful listening and only after THAT discerning, to FULLY and confidently MOVE in obedience; even though it won’t be perfect, it WILL be excellent because his grace is ENOUGH!! <3. 2 Cor 12:9~

      I have been struggling a lot with fear and a racing heart. So this really speaks so well. Thank you for your comment and your ability to speak the Father's words as you hear them.

  4. I’ve struggled with insecurity for many years, and maybe always. The voices you describe – I know the breath of their familiar lies too. And Satan chimes in so melodiously that it almost seems true – “Not good enough.”
    Thank you for the reassurance that I’m not the only one. I know it, but I often forget, and it helps to see others paving this same path of confidence in Him.
    During this season God has me learning the what, why, and how of starting a restoration home for victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking … and to obey I need to not rush Him or myself, but to “delight in the development” of this new work.
    Fear and insecurity are familiar companions, but I’m learning to ask them to leave more days than not.
    Thank you for courage, I’m ENcouraged here again at (in)courage!

  5. oh, how much I needed this… especially after last night. It’s a struggle and a battle for me to keep going in life, never mind to just keep writing. Last night was hard, and I was ready to give it all up – delete the facebook, delete the blog, what’s the use anyways? I haven’t written in a couple of weeks, and I’m defeated time and time again that I don’t even believe my writing reaches anyone.

    There’s a hard post I’ve been planning on writing next – hence the two week silence on my blog… however, I’m going to write it right after I submit this comment. Even if I don’t reach 100+ people, even if I don’t reach 5 (because I’m fairly certain my blog doesn’t even see that many people a week), I’m going to keep writing because I know it’s what I love, and I know it’s what God wants from me.

    Thank you for this encouragement. 🙂

    • Heavenly Father,
      Anna needs a touch from You. Remind her…it’s not about how many posts she writes or how many people read them…it’s about saying “yes” to the dreams You’ve placed within her. Give her the courage to continue where You lead and let go of the things that aren’t of You. Allow her to see herself through Your eyes and heart. She is dynamic and lovely and unique, and the world needs her imprint. All she has to do is show up! Help her be brave in You! We trust you! In the mighty Name that never fails, JESUS!!

    • Dear Anna,

      Your blog may reach more people than you even think. I pray God will bless you and the writing He has gifted you with–it is fascinating & intriguing. May God richly bless you and your future hubby’s life together!

      🙂

  6. That voice is in my head no matter what. I can’t silence it but I can choose to ignore it… And it’s easier when I realize everyone else hears it, too.
    Like a small child throwing a tantrumin a corner, I will continue on in spite of it!!

  7. What has God called me to? Dream. And dream BIG.

    Dreams that are far bigger than I could even imagine are being revealed in my heart. Dreams I am not qualified, gifted, or wealthy enough to accomplish. Dreams that give my feeble faith a mighty big target to aim for…because my dreams are not too big for God!

  8. The timing of this post? Perfect. He is never early and never late. I’m convinced that we are to reflect His glory to one another and that He wants us to tell, tell, tell others of what He has done and is doing in our lives! And the enemy would shut. us. down. All these beautiful voices who want to call out. Call out!!

    “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

    So today I am renewed and I thank you for your words, brave lady.

  9. Lisa-Jo,
    What a beautiful prayer…I hope it’s ok, but I pictured you praying that over me. I needed to hear this to be reminded to say “NO” to the lies and accept that I am called to be obedient, not perfect. Just what I needed to read this morning! Thanks!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  10. Oh my- I did not want to start my day in a puddle, but here I sit. Just what I needed this morning- that whisper in my ear is sounding like a roar and you’re so right, listening to it prevents me from walking in the beauty and glory that God has fashioned into my DNA. Thank you for your reminder and your nudge towards fullness of Christ.
    Much Love~

  11. Thank you for sharing this! I never seem to realize that other people have the same doubts and fears that I have. Every comment here could have come straight from my own heart, even the one about working with the youth in her church. You have such a gift. Thank you for using your gift to lift others.

  12. God has called me to homeschool during this season, and often, so often, I hear that lying voice whispering in my ear that I am failing at it, that I am doing more harm than good. Like when I lose my temper (again), or when children disrespect each other, me, or (*gulp*) even another adult! So I thank you for your prayer Lisa-Jo, and I continue to swallow my fears and insecurities and walk forward, asking God for strength, patience and courage in each moment. For without Christ, I can do nothing!

  13. Thank you so much for this Lisa-Jo! It was just exactly what I needed to hear today! I have two children, ages three and 10 months, and am due with our third child 2 weeks after the 10 month old turns 1. My husband works nights and long hours, and I have been pretty much terrified of the next few months, when I feel like I’m not even doing “good enough” now. But God gave me these children, in His timing, and He gave me this husband and this house to care for, this is my calling! Thank you thank you thank you again for this post!

    • What a gift you bear, right now! To bring children into a believing home, with parents who love each other. At one time we had 4 children under five, with a husband working long hours and people thinking we were nuts. But it’s not about them. It’s about the GIFTS God has given you, only you and your husband, to cradle and care and teach and bring up in His name.
      As one Mama to another, I’ll tell you it will be hard. But not as hard as you’re thinking. You’ve got this. HE’S got this. And He won’t let you down.
      Praying for you and sending blessings as you grow nearer to seeing that sweet little face for the first time.

  14. This was the first tweet on my feed this morning and I needed it more than you could know. Yesterday was almost a complete waste of time as I struggled to discern the Lord’s voice in the midst of discouragement, frustration, sadness, and doubt. My husband roughy major encouragement to me and I went to bed feeling more confident. So to wake up this morning to this post is just a continuation of God speaking to me very clearly. Thank you for writing it and being obedient to Him, because as strong as we think we are we all need encouragement from fellow believers.

    InCHRIST,

    Bethany Joy Wilson

  15. Oh yes and yes. Last night my husband sat and talked about how angry it makes him when I beat up on myself. How if it were another person beating up on me, he’d nailed them to the wall. And most of the time I don’t even know I’m doing it.

    I run around putting out fires, knowing I’m meant for more. Thank you for these words and especially that prayer — I’m posting it where I can read it every morning.

    Praying for all of us who keep hearing that infernal voice of lies — that we will turn to God instead.

  16. Yes, don’t we all know that nagging voices……
    Thanks for sharing, it’s very familiar voices to me too & it’s good to know that I’m not the only one fighting it!
    Your prayer is an encouragement for today.
    Blessings to you all!

  17. If you were here, I would hug you! That is exactly how I feel today. But, I am useful, talented and wise. We don’t need to be perfect. Thank you so much for putting things in perspective for me. God bless you, me and all of our sisters in Christ Jesus or Lord and Savior. When we are weak – He is strong. ~Marilyn

  18. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!! That voice is more than a whisper to me right now and I’ve listened to it so long that I hadn’t realized that I’ve started to believe it, that I am drowning in it! I hadn’t realized that I needed someone to tell me not to listen to it, not to believe it.
    I am printing the prayer and putting it on my desk where I will see it every moment and I will start to drown in the positive and not the dark naggie voice that is out there.
    Everyone have a BLESSED day today, and thank you for being there. YOU make a difference!!!! 😉 <3

  19. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!! That voice is more than a whisper to me right now and I’ve listened to it so long that I hadn’t realized that I’ve started to believe it, that I am drowning in it! I hadn’t realized that I needed someone to tell me not to listen to it, not to believe it.
    I am printing the prayer and putting it on my desk where I will see it every moment and I will start to drown in the positive and not the dark naggie voice that is out there.
    Everyone have a BLESSED day today, and thank you for being there. YOU make a difference!!!! 😉 <3

  20. In this season, God has called me to be the parent of a child with special needs. My 7 year old son with just recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This season of my life is SO HARD. I feel so ill equipped to be his mama. So often, I feel like I’m doing it all wrong. And I have two other little ones..how can one mama be enough for this?

    Thank you Lisa Jo, for your words of encouragement. In my heart, I know that I don’t have to be enough. I know that I need to find my strength in Jesus. Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone.

    • A friend sent me to you gals..of course by God’s leading…just to send a grammy’s love and prayers. I’ve been there done that…and God has always been enough! Every trial has brought a victory as long as I leaned solely on his heart’sperspective of who I am. As I watch my daughter parent mygrandson with aspergers I am so inspired by the huge resource of love and grace God gives. My daughter wasn’t going to have children because she didn’t have what it takes to be a good parent. But she had Jesus and He knew better and todayy she is a testimony of what faith, obedience, love and grace can do. So I believe that for you all too. For God’s glory.

  21. wow! this is exactly what i needed to hear this morning- i know this is a problem but it is so tough at times! i really need to just silence that lying voice every time it rears up! thanks for the reminder!

  22. Lisa-Jo, I am checked Twitter this morning. The title of your post grabbed my attention.

    My season: I’m on the verge of sending out a manuscript for a children’s book and the voices and the fear of rejection shout in my face. I see the tremendous talent out there and as write my cover the “half good enough” thoughts do creep in. I need courage and prayers, but most of all, to trust in God’s timing. I love this verse:

    “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord…” James 1:5-7

    Thank you for your post. You are an encourager to so many! Blessings, Erika

  23. Hmm…what has God called me to right now…that’s not something I dwell upon often. At the moment I’m a stay-at-home mom to a 3 year old and a 1 year old and that’s about it. Not very glamorous. 😉 But right now God is leading me on a journey of learning to parent with grace and patience and love. Grace for my kids. Grace for myself. Grace for my husband. Grace for others. It’s pretty cool.

    • Oh, AND I keep feeling this tug in my spirit towards homeschooling, which is something I once said “Not just no but HE!! NO” to not so long ago…LOL…

  24. Ah! Perfect!
    I was reading what someone posted yesterday and it included a bit of the verse about timidity and with a sound mind and I felt like I could almost see while reading it and I read it again and I was stuck there somehow, unable to catch a glimpse ahead. But this! This helped! Thanks!

  25. Hi Lisa-Jo for that prayer – I have been feeling left out, not hearing what the Lord wants me to do. I flew out from Colorado to Ridgecrest, CA to take care of my dad – he fell last week extremely hard – back onto his head causing a contusion/concussion and traumatic brain injury. Bleeding and now swelling but in the last couple days since my brother has corralled up a team of his fellow church friends and prayed for him at the nursing home there has been a dramatic difference. I am also taking care of my step mom who has chemo today she was diagnosed with cancer. So my plate is full and after reading the prayer and your blog this morning it hit me that Satan does try to sneak in minute by minute trying to deceive me. Thank you for the prayer I needed it so much.

    Sincerely,
    Brandi McNeil

  26. You have no idea how much I have needed this today. I just submitted my student loan application mere minutes ago and there is this oddly nauseous feeling settling in the pit of my stomach. It’s crazy, this 40something woman returning to school full time, quitting my job of 9 years and stepping back to pick up the pieces of a dream that were shattered when I was 18 in a misquided conversation with a High School Guidance counsellor. So I sit in my office and whisper that prayer out loud to silence the hiss of lies. You bless friend. Utterly and completely bless. I am so glad God gave you these words today!

  27. Wow….
    Thank you for being obedient
    I was just listening to that voice telling me how I am never going to be good enough and that I am “just not good at anything I do”
    Like I am flawed…..
    God is my strength and He is good enough

  28. Oh, Lisa Jo! Thank you so much for this. This so applies to me as a new blogger, but more so as the mother of teens. At times I have felt beside myself, not knowing how to handle certain situations. And then I read a post yesterday that reminded me that I am strong and Satan has messed with the wrong momma!! Your prayer over us to be empowered to do whatever He has called us to do is just what I needed this morning.

  29. Yes i get angry bc i was born into a mess and since my life is far from perfect i used to get angry with God for creating me. My purpose will never b hers or hers so who cares. Why is He making me live with a limp i would say. My thing is if it isnt right just forget about it then..but He wont im not sure why. Why do some give birth to handicapped kids or those who may only live a couple of years. I mean one could easily say whats the point? I suppose you have to look at it as tthe glass half full..would you have had the laughter if you werent here..probably not..even though i dont have kids or may not get married and am plagued by problems im waiting for the good stuff to cancel out the bad..at least then i will know it will b worth it..honestly my verdict isnt out yet..hope someone can help a sista out.

    • Alli, Hey there! I was just skimming through the comments and landed on yours. Oh my, those are the hard questions you asked. It does seem to our human understanding so unfair when we see someone struggling. Many times I’ve asked, “Why Lord?”. Some struggles are oblivious like someone with a physical burden. So many others struggle with issues we don’t see, a childhood of abuse, chronic pain, mental health issues, financial dispair, etc. The list of sorrows is long that we face on our eartthly home. We may never know how heavy a burden someone is carrying just by looking. On the outside the person may seem to live a “charmed” life while fighting a battle that has them feeling defeated. All I know is the truth of God’s word. He is sovereign; and His Grace is sufficient. Time and time again He has proven it to me. Life is so messy, but oh how precious it is. And how precious we are to Him; everyone of us created for a purpose. We must search to discover and fulfill. Several years ago, while on vacation 12 hours away from home, I saw a family. A most beautiful family comprised of some children who were clearly “handicapped”. They were all having a grand time! One boy caught my attention. He was severely deformed and not “normal” by our human definition. He was in a special wheelchair that he controlled with his mouth, because he had no arms and no legs, just small nubs. Oh the joy in his eyes! I couldn’t stop looking so enthralled with him and his countenance. A few months passed and I was reading my local newspaper, when I saw an article about that family. No way I thought, but sure enough it was them. The little boy that had so blessed my heart turns out to be a champion swimmer. His adopted Mom and Dad was determined that Gabe would swim if he wanted. Not only does he swim he has earned several medals, and led his team to several victories! His determination is inspiring. I’ve thought many times, what if his birth mother had aborted him? Sure his precious soul would have entered heaven, and he would have known no earthly struggles. But what value is added to so many that know him! How precious is life!

  30. I found myself telling my students and their parents yesterday that, “I’m not a good singer…” Kind of a minor example of what you’re talking about, but God gave me just the right amount of musical talent for my life and I need to use all the gifts he gave me.

  31. Your words ALWAYS breathe hope, encouragement, and grace into my world. Thank you.

    I am the mother of adult children who still live with me (23 & 18) –trying to discover what that means in this season. Satan whispers constantly that my job is over, my usefulness is over, that their lives are set in stone so why pray… all the while replaying regretted moments repeatedly in my heart. It’s exhausting combating his voice and choosing joy, gratitude, and faith instead.

    I am a writer who has a blog but who has not written in nearly six months. I must begin to believe that my voice matters, that my story matters & to make the time to actually write. (This is my goal once graduation is over and company leaves in mid-June. Going to the Allume blogger’s conference in Oct. will also help!)

    I am an encourager and believe so much for others, but I struggle to deeply believe God’s total acceptance, love, and pleasure for myself. God so loves me and wants me to revel fully in that knowledge. Soaking in God’s Word will help that truth sink in.

    Deb Weaver
    thewordweaver.com

    • Wow – I could have written this myself- you sound just like me and where I am right now. Just this morning I thought your very thought – “Satan whispers constantly that my job is over, my usefulness is over, that their lives are set in stone so why pray… all the while replaying regretted moments repeatedly in my heart. It’s exhausting combating his voice and choosing joy, gratitude, and faith instead. ” I thought how tired I get of being constantly concerned for my adult children, their faith (or lack thereof), the missed years of influence..oh, the tiring list goes on. I’m sorry you are experiencing the same – but yet thank you for posting this, as it helps to know I am not alone. Read my comment below- I too am a blogger who has avoided blogging for quite some time, and have recently realized I need to get my voice back “out there”….

  32. I went through this just last night- in my brand new blogging space, a beautiful creative workspace created just for me. I hadn’t written a blog post for months and felt it was time to start again. Or, at least I hoped it was time to start again.

    I sat there, staring at my blank blog post on the computer screen ; I’d write something ,and hate it, so I would erase it and start again. I’d write something else and hate it even more, and rake my hand through my hair and think, “See? This is why I took a break from blogging, a break from writing. I’m no good at it, no one wants to read what I have to write, and I have absolutely nothing to say.”

    Lies, lies, lies.

    I recognized them as such, and started one…more…time… This time, I just wrote about my beautiful new workspace – how I had no idea what it meant or what God was going to do with it, but that I was stepping out in faith and taking the first step even when I couldn’t see the second one.

    I hit publish. I smiled.

    I had written someting and NOT listened to the voices. That, in and of itself, was an accomplishment!

    Thanks for that prayer!

  33. I just love this. And it’s like that scripture that Bonnie just used in her post from II Corinthians 3 – we are His Letter, when we get that visual, we’re a letter being used by Him for Him, that self-doubt can be conquered.

  34. I could reply to this with a repeated “Yes”, over and over again.
    Yesterday I took steps into writing, a project I feel God calling me to. I fought for every word and closed the computer when my mind began to nag about the imperfection I saw. I was tempted to wipe the slate clean but I didn’t.
    If I feel The Lord prompting me, He’s in it. I have nothing to fear.
    Thank you for your words, Lisa-Jo. <3

  35. I am struggling with IT ALL!!! work in a family-business that i don’t enjoy but “stuck” b/c it pays well….We are struggling under debt….have 3 teenager GIRLs with issues….and my hubby also works with me in my parents family business….STRESS!!!! I have never been that great at math…and doing the office stuff makes me panic all the time…I question weather i should just tell folks how unhappy i am and try something different…BUT i dont even know what that would be….MAJOR reason why i am still here…..we already struggle now with money…how could change possibly make that better… BUT reading your posts and your prayer made me smile and i have to believe an answer will come one day……AHHHHHHHH

  36. It’s funny how when God is trying to get your attention sometimes He is not subtle at all about it….that is how this post is for me today. Thank you for sharing just what God needed me to hear! I am being called to lead a bible study. I know this. I know it because it is outside of my comfort zone and God has answered some of my recent prayers and part of the answer includes me leading a bible study. This may sound very simple and easy to many, but for me it is a huge step as…”I’m just not good at that”…well I’m stepping out in obedience and I’m doing it and my sweet Lord is gonna be right at my side doing it through me and with me….thank you for your obedience! ~ Alli

  37. Tears flowing as I read this aloud to myself….knowing I have come so far already…trying hard to not turn back to isolation because of fear, rejection and a tangled ball of other painful life issues. THANKS for Writing….am thankful for this site….

  38. I needed to read these words and that beautiful prayer…..fear is a very big factor in my life and I know that I am being invited to open my clenched hands and place anxiety and fear at the foot of my One Love, Jesus, Grace and Savior.

    The words, “not good enough” are constantly being whispered into my ears…I want to write again……I know in my heart that God is asking me…I have a story to tell of His infinite love and mercy!

    I want to begin a blog….just don’t know how to do it. I say YES to Jesus, and I am trusting that the Holy Spirit will show me the way.

    God bless you!

    Colleen

  39. Thank you for this. I am an athlete with a big “A goal” race approaching in 10 days, and that voice in my head is telling me I’m not good enough and that I don’t belong there. It’s a constant battle. I’ll be repeating this prayer whenever that voice starts talking again.

  40. That was a beautiful post. I would say that you are very good at it! Thank you for sharing your uplifting words and sweet prayer.

  41. God is calling me to speak the truth in love to family members, and as a result, we are being punished and persecuted for our faith. We may even be prevented from seeing our as yet un-born grand babies in case we “influence them negatively by talking about God”.
    It’s the hardest thing I have ever been called to do, but His grace is sufficient, and I too am trusting in His infinite wisdom, mercy and love to get us through this rough patch. We put on the full armour of God every day, to extinguish those fiery darts from the enemy. Thanks so much for this encouragement.

  42. Dear Lisa-Jo, This was an immediate and direct answer to a prayer of mine this very morning. Thank you for your faithfulness! If you were sitting next to me I would hug your neck, as my Granny used to say.

  43. I don’t know what I am being called to do. Just know I am being called. Heard it as clear as a bell a few weeks ago. He said to me, “You are called”. Called to what I said. Told Him I am too selfish to be called, want things my way. He cannot possibly use me. At almost 46 years old I wait for Him to tell me. Last August I started writing a blog, since that time I have been very discouraged. By family especially. But I know what I heard Him whisper, no it was louder than that, speak into my heart that day. So I will continue to listen, and pray that my selfishness will not get in the way. Although it probably will. Being honest. It gets in the way a lot.

  44. Wow, what a lovely confirmation from the Lord. For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ jesus to do good works which God planned in advance for us to do. If we are His workmanship then we can do whatever He has called us to do. Only in Him can we discover what we’re good enough for. Thank you for that prayer sister.

  45. Tank you so much for your post and prayer. I am in a season right now that is wearing me down daily. Three teenagers (15,16 and 17 until late June), self employed couple and business is not providing income when it should be. Working daily in artistic endeavors that I have to learn as I go, and navigate learning social media to make advertising happen. Some days I just feel I am drowning in fear and doubt. I know the Lord has me here to make me grow. I know he has a plan for me to prosper, and he has set my path straight. The lies of the enemy seek to unravel the very core of my efforts to do His will and be content within the boundaries He has set around me.
    Thank you for your prayer. If you all may, could you please pray for peace and continued faith in Him during this troubling time.

  46. I know He is enough. But as I sat yesterday defeated, crying (again) in my mess, I asked Him where the strength is that He promises. I ask. I pray. I try. I fail. Over and over again.

  47. Thank you so much for your honest sharing and beautiful prayer at the end. I can also relate, I had and still have at times a similar voice saying “I can’t ” to me…and as I have been turning that voice over to the voice of Truth, I hear, thru Me, you can, stay connected to Me. I appreciate your seeing beyond yourself and recognizing how God can use it to help and encourage others like us! Blessings to you this day!

  48. The voice has been whispering that I am not good enough because I can’t master meeting a particular family member’s needs/expectations. Seeking that person for help and being afraid of their disappointment and questioning as to what I am doing that is worthy and valuable enough to make money to sustain myself, sends me into a spiral of depression. Clearly something is wrong with me if I cannot master this like everyone else.

    But I know I am a child of God, that I am not broken and nothing is wrong with me. I know God has called me to use this lifelong struggle with value and self worth along with my experience as an image consultant, life coach and spiritual director to help other women come out of this mental and emotional hell. He’s been teaching me through His gifts of grace and love and wants me to teach His lessons to others for a life of freedom in Him.

    Thank you for the above prayer. I have read it twice and have cried through it each time. Please be strong and encouraged in your journey.

    Monica

    P.S. To all the women who have commented, may God keep each of you strong and may you hear His precious whispers above the voice of the enemy. We are so much better than we know!

  49. I recently attended a workshop where the presenter called that voice “The Editor” and she advised us to tell it to hush, sit down and to ignore it. It never goes away, yes, it is always there … I hear it now. Thank you for this powerful post Lisa Jo. Praise our Great God, HE IS ENOUGH! Because of Him, I am! and I am the embodiment of everything He says I am and can be.

  50. Lisa-Jo,

    You brought tears to my eyes as I pictured you praying over little old me. I could sense God breaking down barriers. Thank you ever so much for this wonderfully timed post.

    I have been going through a season of hearing those voices daily & feeling “stupid, dumb, not good enough”. People around me keep telling me that is not the case.. you are smart, good, etc. I just have to tell those voices & Satan to take a hike & go to God daily for refreshment & encouragement.

    God bless your writing Lisa! 🙂 🙂

  51. I really needed this prayer this morning. Things are so very difficult right now. I have a daughter in the hospital with mental/emotional illness. My husband does not understand and is withdrawing and becoming passive. The pain feels so heavy and huge. I have been living in the pit so long that I don’t even know what gifts I have for God to use. I jam just hanging on that all these circumstances and all this pain must be for His glory.

  52. Oh sweet friend – that consistent constant whispering can be oh so distracting and discouraging, can’t it? I love this – and this prayer… and your heart all out and open and brave! Just yesterday in my small group – I asked each one to name one thing that they are really good at – and one thing that they would like to do – but fear stops them. You know – nearly every single one of them had a hard time thinking of or naming even just one single thing that they are good at – but they knew all sorts of things that fear holds them back from! Oh how we need sisters to Speak Life, to Be Love, and to Shine On – reminding us of who we are – and that with Him, anything is possible!

    In this season – I am called to learn how to let go and hold on with my girlie who graduates in just over a week… and to be consistent in writing on my blog… in being real and encouraging others… in living out that ‘tagline’ He gave me this year (listed above: Speak Life. Be Love. Shine On.)

    Praying for you this morning… excited to hear how it went!
    ~Karrilee~

  53. That insiduous voice has been whispering “it’s cancer” and today I have my mammo and u/s. I pray my doctors fears are laid to rest and my faith in He who created me increases my faith. That enemy is full of lies and will prey on each of our fears, in season. I have an adult daughter who is emotionally a teenager, making poor choices and living in another woman’s home because “I don’t wan’t to live at home because you make me pay rent”… so much for teaching this child anything of value. I could go on and on about the enemy and his lies, but I want to focus on Jesus, so I bring it all to His holy feet and cry out. Thank you for that prayer, it is perfect, for so many of us Sisters. Where there are many voices lifted up, is it not like a symphony in His ears?
    Blessings today and tomorrow

  54. Just what I needed this morning as I have begun to believe that ……”what I’m not good at”……because I lot my job in Jan 2013…..I am a Masters’ prepared nurse with many years of experience and thought I wouldn’t have a problem getting another job….not so….still looking. So all the things I thought I was good at……does not seem so. I love the prayer….and although right now I don’t seem to be enough to hire…I do know He. Is. Enough.
    Yolanda

  55. Thanks for the reminder that there is a Whisperer of Lies that I listen to. I’m in the midst of a huge project that is due on Friday. I need to remind myself that God set this path for me to follow. I just need that BIG flashlight today and remember that He is at the end of this journey because He is Good at what He does.

  56. God has been speaking to me through many sources – and yet like you said in this post – that voice keeps reaching out and telling me I’m not good enough. I can’t do it. It’ll never happen. It’s pointless. You need to make money for you family. Lies and distraction. Hurt and past failures. (Okay, God they are not failures, it just seems that way to me.) I’m lost and confused and trying to figure it all out and I just can’t. I can hear the voice of Truth telling me to just write. Just do. Just share and lay it all out there. But I’m scared. I’m sure this post wasn’t just written for me, but it pings poignantly and my very aching soul right now. Thank you for being obedient to God’s calling to share – I must go and do likewise.

  57. Dear Lisa,
    Thank you SO much for that prayer. I forwarded it on to my sister. You touched my heart today just when I needed it.
    An old sister 🙂
    Clara

  58. Oh, that prayer, Lisa-Jo… It brings tears today. Today, as I wait for an investigator with a special task force to call, initiating the official investigation into the molestation of my 3.5 year old son by a 15 year old cousin. Today, as I hear the words of my family echoing through my head that I am overreacting and that I will rip our family apart because of this. Today, when I pray that my nephew may be brave and tell the truth about (suspected) abuse inflicted upon him many years ago and about this incident involving my family. Today, as I take a deep breath and try to quiet my mind to do things like load the dishwasher or take the oldest for a haircut. So many things I’m being called to face today. Praising God for his truth as you’ve spoken it.

  59. At a women’s retreat recently the Lord asked me whose voice gets the most attention? When I hear the lie, do I change my behavior, change my clothes, change whatever to try to quiet that voice? And the answer is yes, usually. But the Lord challenged me to stop and ask Him for the truth. Instead of trying to quiet the lying voice of the enemy, I am working on seeking the truth. There’s no peace or rest for me when I listen to the wrong voice. It is a work in progress, and I’ve believed so much of what the liar has said for so long. . .some days are easier than others. But today I stopped and read your prayer, your post, and just had to say thank you for listening to the truth teller and letting us know what he says. He is enough.

  60. Lisa-Jo,

    Thank you for that beautiful prayer. I think we all feel that way so often and we have seasons when we feel like that alot! I dont feel good enough to write responses, so I rarely ever do. That voice gets louder and sometimes, people around you can re-inforce it. I have 3 kids and work from home full-time and surely I can keep up with laundry and the house and getting dinner on since I am here, but I so often drop the ball and flop in bed feeling like I did a zillion things and none of them well. Thank you for your encouragment.

  61. Thank you for this post. I love it! I hear that nagging voice in my head all the time! I heard it this morning. “I’m old, I need to change careers, I need to do something else, you are not good at anything any more.” I keep fighting it though and telling myself I am going to become something else. I’m halfway through my life and I GET to do something else and do something fun, maybe help people. Thank you for the wonderful prayer as well. I will say it often!

  62. Oh girl! I needed that prayer today. And without realizing it, I needed to hear your words of encouragement. Thank you. I am so very grateful for you Lisa Jo!

  63. That prayer was for me today, in the middle of my boxes, surrounded by the fears that I will not leave this last house clean enough, or do well enough at the next one, when God has told me, TOLD ME i will not live in fear. That prayer, I heard it as you prayed it over me today and I am going to keep the picture of the measuring stick snapping over you and your girlfriend’s knee and that will be my place of rest in the middle of this move, the 42nd move in 3 years. Thank you dear sister.

  64. What a beautiful prayer! I read this post in an email right after finding out my daughter in law is going in for surgery today bc they have found cancer on her brain. She has just been through chemo, surgery and is still undergoing radiation for breast cancer and now this. She is a warrior and this prayer is so fitting for her right now. Thank you for posting it. We are encouraged and blessed by it.

  65. Thanks a lot Lisa-Jo. Im actually praying and asking God to help me learn to love myself as He does so that Im able to love others as He does.its true that this small voice comes nagging me often but I am confident that my God loves me even when i’ve got nothing to give . YES, HE IS ENOUGH.Thanks for the encouragement.God bless you and your family.

  66. Beautiful message Lisa! God bless! I know the feeling… We need to use our God given talents for the glory of God!

  67. Beautiful…thank you. As I read this post I was reminded of a fantastic article written by Rachel Pieh Jones last year…in the midst of the renewed “Mommy Wars” debate that was rekindled when Time magazine published a shocking cover photo and story titled, “Are You Mom Enough.” Here’s a tiny excerpt from Rachel’s article:

    “God is, always has been, and always will be, God enough. The battle is over whether or not I will believe it, whether or not I will delight in God’s enough-ness.”

    And here’s a link to Rachel’s full article: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/are-you-mom-enough-mommy-wars

    Thanks, again, and blessings to you!

  68. Lisa-Jo, you are always such a blessing to me. It’s always amazing how you can see deep down into our collective souls!! :)) Thank you for not being afraid to write about the things that most of us struggle with at one point or another. I hear this voice at least once a week!!

  69. That voice is a liar, and not my own…your words echo words from a Christian sister just 3 days ago…that voice is the enemy trying to derail me and often I forget he’s even there, whispering failure until I believe it. Thank you for reminding me again that the enemy is always out to cause us to stumble, especially when we’re on the right track.

  70. Thanks so much for this post! I needed these words today. Our 21 year old son has turned his back on the Lord and is planning to move across the country to live in a Godless situation. Our 18 year old daughter is ready to graduate from high school and has battled mild clinical depression for the last 6 months. My husband and I are crying out to the Lord on behalf of our precious family. We/I feel called to love them unconditionally while interceding for them. Also, we are proclaiming the truth of the Gospel to our son and pointing him back to God’s Word while challenging him to refute the lies of the enemy as my son spirals down into forms of self-destruction. The Lord is the One who loves our kids more than we do. Like the parable of the persistent widow who cried out to the judge and he answered her, we are crying out to God like this parable…”He told them this parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1)

    Thanks for the opportunity to put this into writing. And thanks for the prayer support for those who have posted. Truly, this is the Body of Christ bearing one another’s burdens.

  71. I usually tell the voices of doubt, “I know I can’t do this. Doing it anyway! God is making a way!”
    I am moving into a new season of understanding how God made me and that it is good! That I am an artist, a writer, and a dreamer that has things to share.

    • WHAY TO GO, JENNIFER!!! It’s so exciting to see what has been bundled up inside of ourselves for such a long time. It’s takes courage & sounds like you have it. May God bless you as you move forward to freedom. Your sister, Carolyn

  72. Right now I find God has given our family a calling to simply provide a pleasant, fun place for His people to get together. So many wonderful people out there who aren’t close because they just need a place to be together. This often includes people from our church coming over for fellowship, play groups with other moms and my kids friends, and hosting small study groups in our home, but many times involves overnight guests as well so I cook a lot and wash the guest room sheets often. I find great fulfillment in this way of strengthening the Body of Christ, but have to fight the battle you wrote about often as well. I am not really the organized kind of person you would think of to take on this kind of calling, but it’s the one God gave me and I am finding the unique traits I have that I think are not suited to this task are actually the ones that I need to carry it out well. All the unexpected guests or last minute changes would drive a more organized person crazy and if I really stressed out over perfect food, an immaculately clean house, or nice decor, I’d be upset by it all getting messed up by many feet again and again. People seem to feel at home in my very imperfect hosting style where smudged windows are the norm as well as disposable dishes. Children fit very well here! Since I don’t look like I have it all together, my guests are quick to help bring food, clean up, and even sweep the floor I didn’t get to. I face this struggle big time often just before a big event, and see how the devil tries to rob me of my joy and confidence so I won’t be my best for the people I aim to bless. Great words for me before another full house evening!

    • Elizabeth, you are such a blessing to others. I’m sure that if I lived close to u, I would be drawn to your house and would be friends. I like a relaxed atmosphere you describe. I’m so uncomfortable in an immaculate house that doesn’t look lived in, afraid I might spill of damage something.
      I’ll bet that the people you’ve hosted will never forget you & will smile when they think of you.
      Oh, those insecurities we deal with. When I’m pressured and thinking I don’t have enough time to do what needs to be done, I can become frozen. But the Lord is really helping me to deal with it with IMPERFECT progress. If u’re interested, look at my posted comment below your post today at 2:21. I wrote out how the Lord has shown me some of the ways to get a handle on the feeling of unworthiness. But remember, I’m not perfect either. Your sister, Carolyn

  73. Oh, yeah–I hear those voices real often. The crazy thing is, it doesn’t matter that I had a very satisfying, successful career for decades and received recognition for it. I feel like the new girl in school–self-conscious and awkward, wary of the judgment I’ll receive from others, paralyzed by fear of that criticism. So I do nothing with my desire to be creative. I am going to re-read this post, get back to my blog, and even post a poem I just wrote in memory of my friend who died on Sunday, even though doing so makes me feel very vulnerable and exposed.
    Thanks for this wonderful post and a reminder that we’re not alone in those negative feelings.

    • Hi, Vivi. I understand what u’re going through. It had hung on me for decades as it has for me. I understand the weariness of being judged. I grew up in a very legalistic church & their denomination’s college. It wasn’t fun & sometimes I catch myself judging someone & quickly repent of it b/c I don’t want to be judged that way either. I was a complete mess. I even ended up in the hospital lock-up ward b/c I was beating my head with a hairbrush. That was 10 yrs. ago. I’m here to tell you that there is so much hope for u to break free from where you’ve found yourself for a long time. God will break the strongholds & the walls will come tumbling down. Unfortunately, it can take some time to walk through it to God’s freedom. He’ll give you glimpses into what that feels like, to spur u on. I applaud your courage to want to change & to go into the safe haven of the loving wings of God to rest from the struggle. As you learn more and more to trust God, He will bring you through. Doesn’t mean you won’t go through the pain of God molding you into the image God created for you to be. As that lifts, you’ll find that your creativity will open up just like a rose. But you have to trust that God will not leave you but will continue the work He is doing in your innermost being to be free to be who you are in Him.
      My heart goes out to you & I will pray for you. If you’re interested, I’ve posted a comment/book that’s right under your post. I love you in the Lord as a sister. Keep going b/c it will be worth it.
      Carolyn

  74. Thank you, Lisa-Jo, for sharing your story – it helps for us to be more honest with ourselves. I, too, have/had struggled with that feeling of not being good enough. It turned into such a darkness for me when I felt I needed to be good enough to be loved & felt I wasn’t. I’d feel such pressure & was afraid I to make decision for fear of making the wrong decision, so I wouldn’t, not knowing which way to turn. I expected to be yelled at like my father had done. The Lord has brought healing as I’ve forgiven him to the best of my ability- and it still pops up its ugly head at times & I have to forgive again.
    The Lord has also brought some very good friends into my life who encourage me. They don’t yell at me & they accept me, without judgment, as I am – and they still love & like me! They have taught me grace in their response to me.
    In trying to live up to the opinions of others, comparing myself to what I thought was better than me. I drove myself crazy. I didn’t think I’d ever be free from it
    As an example: I got my BS degree in Piano Performance & then travelled full-time with a Christian band as keyboardist for three years in the states & overseas. When I settled in back home, I started to go to our nursing homes to sing & play keyboard/piano. But I began to feel that what I was doing wasn’t good enough, and felt so condemned & judged. It got so bad that I finally stopped going to the nursing homes & stopped leading worship at my church. That’s how desperate and crippled I was. Logically, it didn’t make any sense, but what was rooted in me since early childhood became truth to me & I couldn’t shake it.
    This last winter, I began to realize that God DIDN’T expect perfection b/c He had already extended His grace to me on this earth. Not being controlled by what others’ thought or expected from me brought incredible freedom; to do what HE has called me to do and doing it as unto Him, our Creator, and not man. I’ve been a Christian since I was 8 or 9 & STILL hadn’t gotten the concept of grace for myself.
    I still catch myself striving for perfection but it’s not that pitch-black darkness. The Lord has been helping me to set limits of time & what is priority & necessary. When I feel the pressure & condemnation building, I ask the Lord if is from Him or myself – well, I think you know the answer to that. So, I take a breath & back up for a few moments to see what I’m doing to myself. Many times, I’ve tried to be perfect without realizing that what I’ve done already IS good enough. God is helping me to realize sooner what the triggers are to catch it b4 it gets worse.
    “THANK YOU, GOD, FOR YOUR FORGIVENESS & GRACE & FOR NEVER LEAVING US TO FLOUNDER ON OUR OWN.”
    Sorry for whomever is reading this for writing a book rather than a comment. I hope you’ll extend God’s grace to me.
    Thanks for your time & I hope this will be a blessing to you.

  75. Thanks, Lisa. Just what I needed to hear and to remember He is always enough. Love that prayer, too. Blessings from Him!

  76. Wow, i just had a breakdown last night and have been feeling a bit useless and weary thinking about and worrying about all the things i feel i stink at…oh how those words “why bother” have been floating around in my head lately…thank you for the encouragement and that prayer was so awesome!

    I feel like the Lord is telling me to surrender…ALL…dreams, fears, worries, etc….i am praying that He give me the strength and courage to do so…Thanks again!

  77. Thank you for sharing this. That nagging voice is what I hear all the time and most of the time I tend to believe and I give up. Raising my two young daughters is my full time job right now and I pray that I can rely on God and His stregnths to do the job well and to believe the negative voice IS a lie.

  78. As much as I loved reading that post. I have enjoyed reading many of the comments and seeing how God is working in the lives of each. How he is calling women to step out in trust and is turning the fear and doubt into something beautiful. Keep on ladies!

  79. Beautiful and poignant words of encouragement, for me and many others. Thank you for sharing. All of my kids are grown and gone, have families of their own, yet still the voice of the enemy roars into what is supposed to be my tranquility years and tells me I messed up in raising our kids. Especially after one or the other has made some serious bad choices. God, though, has been teaching me and reminding me that he isn’t done with me yet… I am a work in progress, and whether I messed up or not, he will use it all for his glory. I must lean into him, pressing harder into his arms when Satan is accusing. I know who I am in Christ, it is those words I cling to.
    Thanks again for bringing words of love and acceptance. 🙂

  80. Thank you for such a wonderful, poignant post. I too have the nagging voice – mine is more of a guilt-after voice : You didn’t do enough, you weren’t good enough.

    The prayer is beautiful, I will be printing it out, and will send this link on through facebook to a friend of mine who’s feeling at the end of her rope today.

    You are truly a blessing to us all! God bless you!

  81. So. I’m not a mom. And I’m not a wife. I’m a just-out-of-college missionary who just today had a super insecure moment with my boyfriend, and boy did I let him in on it. I hate how insecurity eats away at you like that… sometimes it’s impossible for us to cover up our feelings of insecurity and it feels like they’re shining through us so brightly, in the worst way possible. And then after we know others have seen, we feel guilty and ashamed. Maybe it’s just me, but I want to project confidence and security, even though often I don’t FEEL that way in my heart. The lying voice in my head tells me I’ll never be able to conquer insecurity in relationships. And you know what, maybe it won’t be something I ever fully conquer. But fortunately for me, I belong to a Savior who not only died on the Cross to forgive me of all my sins, but who also lived the perfectly righteous, SECURE life I’ll never be able to. Thank you all for the reminder today that without Him, we cannot, we are not. But in Him, and because He says we are worth creating, pursuing, dying for, sustaining, putting His very own Spirit inside of us… We are. We can. We are daughters of the Most High. And our struggles with insecurity will only last as long as it takes us to surrender our “can’ts” and look up at the One who smiles and whispers, “I can.”

  82. In this season God is calling me to rest and receive and delight in Him. He is pleased with me.
    Thank you for this post. With love and in Christ, Angie

  83. In this season God is calling me to rest and receive and delight in Him. He is pleased with me.
    Thank you for this post. With love and in Christ, Angie

  84. This hit home hard! I struggle with the “I’m not good enough” demons and have for years. At times it paralyzes me and holds me back from things I know I am good at, like writing a paper for class. Thank you for the prayer and encouragement.

  85. Thanks Lisa-Jo

    A heart felt prayer that most (if not all ) of us need. I will be in family court on the 13th of June representing myself. It’s a daunting task but I KNOW God is already there. What I am doing is right and something that needs to be done, not just for myself and my children, but for every parent out there that has been told “they are not good enough”

    Love
    Elna

  86. Probably it’s to sit at the table He’s prepared for me, in the presence of my enemies, in the very middle of dark circumstances.. To sit and enjoy what He has to give me. To laugh and thank and praise when my cup overflows. It makes no “sense” to be so whole and secure, under the circumstances, but He’s helping me trust Him.

  87. Lisa-Jo … Praying and believing with you.
    And for you.
    And for all here at incourage.

    xoxo

    (And hey you, LJB … I’ve got that flashlight in my pocket. And also, extra batteries, in case we stay out too late. ‘Cause that’s how we roll.)

  88. Thank you for the encouraging words that helped me see that I am not alone out here in this big round world trying to find my way through life’s struggles.

    CarolHeine/Just-Ducky

  89. Lisa-Jo,
    Thank you so much for your words. They could not have come at a better time for me telling me I am not a lone with these feelings makes me feel a whole heck of a lot better. I just now need to beleive in my uniquely gifts I’ve been given and not dwell in “You’re not good enough, my insecurity and not being perfect.” I know I must give my worries to God but it’s so hard to ask for help and not knowing if I will receive the help I need to “Let it go” and move forward?
    Thank you,
    christy.

  90. I found this topic refreshing to hear about from someone other than my own inner voice. I am led to be a good mama to three girls while battling with ankle issues that are a constant struggle.

  91. I read this today for the first time. It had sat in my inbox this whole time waiting patiently for me to read it right when I needed it. If I would have read it a couple of weeks ago my heart wouldn’t have needed it and it wouldn’t have sunk in to my soul the same way that it did today.

    I needed this today as I try to remember that he has called me to lead a family Bible study this summer that has completely fallen apart. Before I sweep it under the rug and pretend like it never was there to begin with I needed to read this. Now instead of a broom to sweep I will use my hands to pick up the pieces and put them back together. No it wont look the same and yes it will be messy at first but it will be put back together.

    Thank you for these words. Praying that God gives you everything that you need dear sister.

    Sincerely,

    Learning to live courageous for God!

  92. i know just how you feel!!! i don’t know how many times i’ve heard, “you’re not good enough!” that’s when i say, “i am good enough!!!” oh, i may not say it consciously, but i do say it!!!

  93. My son is on heroine. My daughter is pregnant with a married homeless mans child and I am not good enough to even exist

  94. Oh – this went straight to my heart and just made me want to cry my eyes out – you so hit what has been whispered in my head – not because of comparing myself with others – but because I don’t have a sister who whisphers encouragement and I have a house full of sons, one out of the nest, 2 with more than 1 leg out – and 2 firmly ensconced – and the you-don’t-do-it-right seems to be a chorus right now – and there’s just one me, one girl, one mom who has spent their lifetime so trying to – and this one girl, one mom needed that prayer:) thank you!
    Maryleigh