Talking to Myself


Day Two

I talk to myself a lot.

Maybe most people do and they don’t admit it. Or maybe most people don’t and therefore have nothing to admit.

But I proclaim loudly that I talk to myself—out loud—and it helps me. It helps me be a better writer and a better student. It helps me sort out life.

Sometimes, though, talking to myself is self-destructive. I’m pretty good at beating myself up and noticing my flaws (I am a former perfectionist, you know—ahem).

And when tragedy strikes, I find that talking to myself becomes a raw discovery of who God is and what he’s doing.

Last month, my husband found himself suddenly unemployed after a “friend” committed fraud against him by leading him to believe he was hired for a position that didn’t exist. When all of this began to unravel to reveal the lies, I started talking to myself:

Why would God do such a thing? God may care about the big things—famine, natural disasters, and wars—but he obviously doesn’t care about our little family who has no income and no health insurance. God could do anything, so why doesn’t he?

The “talking” continued in that vein as the realities set in. Our bills were suddenly lagging behind. We were trying hard to keep the checking account from being overdrawn. What did we “need”? What could we do without? The decision-making alone was overwhelming.

And then in a moment of talking it out, it occurred to me that I needed to say out loud what I knew to be true, even if I didn’t quite embrace it—even if I said it through gritted teeth and tinged with anger and bitterness. Saying it out loud gave it credibility, purpose, and some semblance of power (and I don’t mean in a “name it and claim it kind of way”).

Saying it out loud made it more real, and hearing it reminded and affirmed what I believed.

I started talking and reciting all the things I knew were true of God, regardless of my situation.

God is all-powerful, all-knowing. God is in control of every single molecule in the universe. God is good. God is both inclined and able to give good gifts to his children, doing more than we can ask or imagine. God loves me and my family. God sits on the throne. The Creator and Sustainer of the Universe has a personal, intimate relationship with me. God is trustworthy. God is always there. He’s on the “other side” of the deepest tragedy, hardest trial, and most painful suffering.

There’s something life-changing and healing about taking yourself out of the equation and simply focusing on the goodness and perfection of God.

I could have also focused on “God has a purpose for this” or “God brings rain on the just and the unjust,” which are true, of course.

But I did not need those truths first or foremost.

On the day we found out we were unemployed to the day I die, I need to know, focus, concentrate on, and meditate upon God; that should always be my priority.

Talking to yourself about God’s perfection is the first step to a deeper faith and surviving a crisis.