Sometimes I hardly notice it. Other times it makes me feel as though I’m losing my mind.

I have tinnitus, which is ringing in the ears. Of all the things that could be wrong with me, this is hardly worth mentioning. Yet there are times when it nearly brings me to tears. It isn’t painful. It is really just an annoyance. Sometimes I feel desperate to make it stop, desperate for a moment of silence.

The high-pitched ringing is nearly always present. In order to tune it out, I need background noise to drown it out. Frustrating for someone who enjoys quiet. Some nights I lay down to go to sleep and it feels deafening. One time I even asked my husband if he could hear it because it seemed impossible that he wouldn’t be able too. Those are the nights when I’m grateful for my husband’s deep snores as it gives me something else to focus on. 

As a child, I remember staying at my grandparents’ and hearing the radio on my grandfather’s nightstand play late into the night. He too needed noise to bring peace.

This ringing in my ears reminds me an awful lot of some other noise in my head. The voice of self-doubt. All too often present. It has only been recently that I’ve come to think of this noise as Satan’s whispers. These whispers are sometimes quiet. Hushed hints of unmet expectations. They point out wrinkles in the mirror. They compare me to others – always letting me know I don’t quite measure up. Sometimes they grow louder. Shouting at me that I’ve messed it all up. I’ve failed. I’m not good enough.

Over and over these whispers tell me lies. 

Lie after lie. If I’m not careful I start to believe the whispers. I fall into a trap of hearing nothing but these worthless words. They create doubt where there should be confidence. They build fences where bridges should be. And the more I listen the more I fear they are right. Right about it all. I’m not enough. I won’t get what I want because I’m not worthy of it.

When I listen to the whispers I say no to things, I let opportunities pass me by because I grow convinced I can’t succeed. The more I let that happen the more doubt and regret follow. It is a vicious cycle. 

So in just the same way, I am forced to mask the tinnitus; I must mask these evil whispers. I need good doses of friendship. I need Christian song lyrics on repeat. I must hang on the words of those I hold dear. I must fill my heart with words of worship. I must amplify laughter. I must listen closely for notes of love and grace. These are the things that speak the truth.

The whispers do tell one truth: I’m not enough. But rather than seeing that as a downfall I am reminded I was never meant to be enough. I was made for connection. I was made to lean into a faith that fills in the gaps. A faith that dispels the lies.

If you are like me and have some whispers you’d like to silence, together let’s make some noise. Let’s speak encouragement to one another. Let’s pay attention to what we listen to. Let’s believe the kind words offered to us rather than dismissing them. 

You and I, we are worthy of peace. We do however have a responsibility to seek it out. It is freely offered if we seek it—just as Satan’s whispers are freely offered. We have choices to make. Together let’s create a new playlist. Let’s put positive on repeat and turn it up. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Michelle Koch

Michelle truly believes that our lives are meant to be amazing adventures and that those adventures can keep us close to home or take us around the world. She dreams of living in the country, but within close proximity to a Target. She is married to a guy she has loved for more than 25 years and doesn’t feel old enough for that to be possible. Her son has her wrapped around his dirty little fingers. Michelle writes about seeking grace, celebrating beauty, and living with gratitude at One Grateful Girl. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

But God, I Can’t Forgive That

In: Faith, Marriage
Woman holding arms and walking by water

Surrender is scary. Giving in feels like defeat. Even when I know it’s the right thing, yielding everything to God is scary. It also feels impossible. The weight of all I’m thinking and feeling is just so dang big and ugly. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes I cling so tightly to my fear I don’t even recognize it for what it is. Bondage. Oppression. Lack of trust. Oh, and then there’s that other thing—pride. Pride keeps me from seeing straight, and it twists all of my perceptions. It makes asking for help so difficult that I forget that...

Keep Reading

Dear Dad, I Pray for Our Healing

In: Faith, Grief, Grown Children
Back shot of woman on bench alone

You are on my mind today. But that’s not unusual. It’s crazy how after 13 years, it doesn’t feel that long since I last saw you. It’s also crazy that I spend far less time thinking about that final day and how awful it was and spend the majority of the time replaying the good memories from all the years before it. But even in the comfort of remembering, I know I made the right decision. Even now, 13 years later, the mix of happy times with the most confusing and painful moments leaves me grasping for answers I have...

Keep Reading

God Redeemed the Broken Parts of My Infertility Story

In: Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Two young children walking on a path near a pond, color photo

It was a Wednesday morning when I sat around a table with a group of mamas I had just recently met. My youngest daughter slept her morning nap in a carrier across my chest. Those of us in the group who held floppy babies swayed back and forth. The others had children in childcare or enrolled in preschool down the road. We were there to chat, learn, grow, and laugh. We were all mamas. But we were not all the same. I didn’t know one of the mom’s names, but I knew I wanted to get to know her because she...

Keep Reading

God Has You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman hugging herself while looking to the side

Holding tight to the cold, sterile rail of the narrow, rollaway ER bed, I hovered helplessly over my oldest daughter. My anxious eyes bounced from her now steadying breaths to the varying lines and tones of the monitor overhead. Audible reminders of her life that may have just been spared. For 14 years, we’d been told anaphylaxis was possible if she ingested peanuts. But it wasn’t until this recent late autumn evening we would experience the fear and frenzy of our apparent new reality. My frantic heart hadn’t stopped racing from the very moment she struggled to catch a breath....

Keep Reading

My Husband Having a Stroke at 30 Wasn’t in Our Plans

In: Faith, Living
Husband and wife, selfie, color photo

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV) This verse in the book of Jeremiah has long been a favorite of mine. In fact, it’s felt relevant across many life events. Its simple, yet powerful reminder has been a place of solace, perhaps even a way to maintain equilibrium when I’ve felt my world spinning a bit out of control. In this season of starting fresh and new year intentions, I find great comfort in knowing...

Keep Reading

She Left Him on Valentine’s Day

In: Faith, Marriage
Husband kissing wife on cheek, color photo

“Can you believe that?” Those were the dreaded knife-cutting whispers I heard from across the table. I sunk deeper into my chair. My hopes fell as everyone would forever remember that I had left my fiancée on Valentine’s Day. Maybe one day it would just dissipate like the dream wedding I had planned or the canceled plane tickets for the Hawaiian honeymoon. Some bridesmaids and guests had already booked plane tickets. It was my own nightmare that kept replaying in my head over and over again. I had messed up. Big time. To be honest, if it made any difference,...

Keep Reading

God was In the Room for Our Daughter’s Open Heart Surgery

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child's hand with IV

I’ve had a strong faith for as long as I can remember, but I always felt bad that I never had a “testimony.” I had never gone through something that made me sit back and say, “Wow, God is real, He is here.” I have always felt it to my core, but no moment had ever stopped me dead in my tracks to where there was no denying that it was God. And then, that moment happened to me on December 5. After five months of fervently praying for a miracle for our daughter, the day came for her heart...

Keep Reading

A Benediction for the Worn Out Mother

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman leaning against kitchen counter, black-and-white photo

Blessed are you, Father, for bestowing upon me the honor of motherhood. For allowing me to experience the deep joy of bringing forth life—a joy I often take for granted and instead choose to begrudge. My children’s cries and demands have worn me down. I do not recognize myself. I selfishly long for the old me. My thoughts are an intangible mess of never-ending tasks, self-criticism, and comparison to those around me. RELATED: God Sees You, Weary Mama But Your word says you are near to the broken-hearted and downtrodden. You do not forget the cause of the tired and the...

Keep Reading

God Doesn’t Forget You When You’re Lost and Unsure

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking into camera, color photo

I’ve been wandering around feeling lost for over a year. Wondering where I’m going, what I’m supposed to be doing. Nothing seems to make sense. I felt purposeless. I felt stuck. I questioned everything: my faith, my marriage, my career—if it could be questioned, I doubted it. And I was completely clueless how to fix the funk. For over a year, I’ve been in the wilderness. I’ve wanted to find my way, but every path seemed like another dead end. The wilderness. I’ve been residing there. Not feeling fed. Not feeling heard. Not feeling seen. Struggling to find a purpose....

Keep Reading

And Then, the Darkness Lifts

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother with baby smiling

Today when I woke, it had lifted, like sunshine peeking after rain. And as my toddler clicked on the lamp beside my bed to see her mama, I saw me too. I got out of bed and I walked down the hall. And the coffee pot sat there waiting for me, as always, like my husband at the kitchen table with his books. He smiled at me, and I think he could tell as I took my medicine, took down a mug, and poured my coffee. I opened the secretary desk and pulled out the chair and my Bible, like...

Keep Reading