Voices That Hinder Our Journey
by Sarah Schwerin
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV).
Crisp new business cards were stacked next to my book proposals and one-sheets. An empty suitcase sat on my bed in anticipation of my second writer’s conference. While I practiced my pitch into the mirror, a beeping noise from the laundry room interrupted my focus. Dress clothes tumbled in the dryer beating a familiar message inside my head. Suddenly, I was weary and burdened listening to the voices within.
God didn’t tell you to write a book. Why would he? You aren’t an author. Your book is trash. You’re a pretender, a wannabe. Cancel the reservations, or everyone will see what a fake you are.
I often wonder if the rhythm of Nehemiah’s camel hooves beating into the desert sands carried a similar message to him as my dryer did in my situation. I imagine as he traveled to accomplish a seemingly impossible feat, the echo of discouragement rang in his ear. Perhaps he heard something like this: Turn back; you’re making a huge mistake.
Nehemiah was born in Babylon, far away from his family’s home of Jerusalem. When a brother returned from their ancestral home, Nehemiah questioned the man and wept with disappointment. Although he bemoaned his troubled and disgraced people, God prompted Nehemiah to do something about the grave situation. His city had been ransacked, the walls and gates broken and in desperate need of repair. Upset by the news, he embarked on a journey to Jerusalem that would’ve taken more than four months.
The Bible doesn’t tell us what the journey was like, but when Nehemiah reached his destination, his enemies attempted to disrupt his work by threatening his safety and telling lies. In response, Nehemiah didn’t complain, form a committee, or make a post on social media. He prayed for months before and during his trip. Nehemiah wouldn’t allow his enemies or the voices in his head to stop him. With God’s help, he took 52 days to rebuild a wall that had been broken for 100 years.
The writer’s conference didn’t produce the coveted “yes,” to the pitch I’d rehearsed in the mirror. Yet, it was a success because I’d received confirmation and direction. Like Nehemiah, I ignored the voices in my head and the attacks of the enemy; I kept praying and continued to pursue my writing career.
Our minds and enemies may continue to distract us. They will find ways to disrupt our plans and whisper lies into our ears. However, we have an invitation from the King to succeed! If we follow God, he will help us to rebuild the broken places in our lives.
Dear Lord, help me to follow you. Show me how to stay focused, ignoring the negative things I often tell myself and the accusations of the enemy’s voice. I may not know where this writing journey will lead, but I know you, Lord, will travel with me. Thank you for the rest you provide when I’m weary and burdened. Thank you for your gentle and humble heart. Amen.
Traumatic events from her early life haunted Sarah for years. As a result, she acquired her love of stories when she created adventures to help herself fall asleep. Now she desires to share the hope and healing she has found. Sarah, a homeschool mom, has been published in Whispers of Grace and Macaroni Kid Newsletter. To connect with her, visit sarahschwerin.com.