I hear that recording again. It's the one in my head that says, "You are not doing a good job at ______", or "You've really got to start doing_____", or "When are you going to get a grip on _____". And when the message is finished, someone hits the repeat button as if I want to hear that again!
And drive me insane it does. I find myself feeling anxious, angry, rushed, pushed, crabby, short-tempered, on edge. Then I try a little harder. I make a new plan. I come up with some ways to conquer the world--at least, just my little world. And guess what? IT DOESN"T WORK! I am only repeating the cycle on a different level.
On these days even my prayers burden me down. "Lord, I'm sorry, I failed at that again," "Lord, I'm sorry I'm not doing a very good job at this parenting thing." "Father, will you help me to be a better mom, a more patient wife, a more gentle person, a kinder neighbor, etc.?" No surprise that a prayer life would dry up under those conditions.
Finally, I just say to God, "Father, I want to live for you. But I am struggling in every area. I am struggling just to talk to you. If I could just see Your face, if I could just look into Your eyes and see Your grace there. I need You."
And then I hear Him so clearly, not audibly, but clearly just the same: "Karen," He says as He looks into my eyes, "I want you to know that I have never been disappointed in you." Tears well in my eyes as His grace pours over me.
"Never?", I ask.
"Never." He says. And the burden falls away. I don't have to try harder, do better, be more. I only have to come to Him. He will give me rest. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.