How To Overcome The Voice That Keeps Whispering Lies To You.

Not a day goes by where I don’t hear it and almost believe it. It’s that voice that whispers and reminds me of all the awful things I wonder about myself, and this journey as an adoptive and foster parent. But there’s a few truths I’ve discovered about this voice.

woman cover her head with pillow

You heard it, didn’t you? I’m willing to bet, the moment you opened your eyes this morning, it whispered. Heck, it may have even infiltrated your dreams. Like a thief entering your house undetected, it slithered it’s way into your bedroom and poured itself right into your ear. It whispered to you before you even moved your body from beneath your covers. I know you heard it because I heard it too…

….you’re going to fail today!

….your kids hate you!

….you’re a terrible mother!

….those mean things the therapist said the other day about you and your kids? They’re all true!

….your spouse wishes he was married to someone else!

….it was a mistake to adopt!

….your daughter’s attachment issues are your fault! 

….if only you could have protected your other children from your son’s violent aggressive behavior, your family would have been better off!

….your friends are right- you aren’t called to do this!

….why even try? Your son will make everyone’s day a living hell!

….why did you even decide to foster? Your life is too out of control. You’re going to screw these kids up worse!

On and on and on, like a broken record, skipping back to the same lyrics, this voice whispers lies deep into your mind. So intensely, so fierce that you believe them. You cave and begin to accept them as truth. You adjust your life to match the demands of this voice and it slowly takes every ounce of energy you have away.

Like I said, I hear it too. Heard it this morning, in fact. I get it. I know the struggle of pulling yourself out of bed only to face the same uphill climb that you faced yesterday. I know the insecurity that floods your entire being as a result of hearing it whisper to you. But, I’ve discovered two big things about this voice….

  1. It’s a complete and total lie.
  2. When you hear it the most, it means that something good is just around the corner.

As a Christ-follower I’ll call the voice what (and who) it is- Satan. My spiritual enemy at work in the background of my life every single day. The father of all lies. A thief that has one goal- to steal, kill and destroy everything good and right and positive in my life and on this journey as an adoptive parent.

Now, you may have read my two realizations above and decided, “No way! I AM a failure. I SHOULDN’T have fostered. I AM screwing my kids up. I AM a terrible mother (or father)!” Or, you concluded that NOTHING good is just around the corner. There’s absolutely no way. And that my friends is exactly what the enemy wants you to believe.

Want to know why? It’s simple, really. The moment you start thinking positively. The moment you begin fighting hard core for your child’s heart, the moment you decide to love your broken child fiercely and without condition, is the moment the enemy begins to lose. He wants you to believe the lies he tells you. He wins when you do. And you better believe he kicks his tactics into overdrive the second you start to believe otherwise. If he can convince you to retreat, and cower to the whispers, then there’s no way you’ll experience the good things that will eventually show up.

Call this voice that whispers to you from the moment you wake up, to the moment you fall asleep (until you’re wakened in the middle of the night…:-)) exactly what it is….an attack on anything and everything that is good, and right, and worthy.

Your journey as a foster and adoptive parent is good, and right, and worthy. The truth is, you were called to do what you do. You were called to adopt. You were called to foster. This didn’t happen accidentally. It was a beautifully designed plan. And the children you’ve been blessed with are precious, and worthwhile, even though they may be extremely difficult because of the traumatic places they’ve come from.

You were called to love. And you were called to lead this precious family you’ve been given.

The next time that voice whispers lies, remind him what is true. Go down the list…

…You’re lying to me…I’m called to do this!

…My child’s attachment is NOT my fault!

…I AM a good parent, because I choose to stay in the fight!

…I have purpose and meaning.

…We’re going to reach a big breakthrough at some point, I just know it!

…My son DOES have a purpose, and hope, and a future, in-spite of his behavior now!

…I am dearly loved, and cherished, by a Heavenly Father, even though this journey can be really tough and I can take it personally!

…I am changing this child’s life by choosing to care for him through the darkness of the trauma he endured before he came to me!

…It WASN’T a mistake to adopt, and I’m SUPPOSED to be doing this!

Take comfort in knowing that we know exactly what this battle feels like. We know how much you love your children because we love our children that much too. We know how exhausted you are. We know how many times you’ve felt like giving up. We know the passion that burns in your heart. We’re in this trench with you. We hear the whispers early in the morning until late at night. We know the intent of the enemy that wants you to fail.

But, we know this truth…you were meant to do this! You are changing the lives of the children in your care. The children you brought into your home. It may be hard to see it, and you may not see it in your lifetime, but it’s true. Keep believing what is really true about you.

Question: Have you heard the voice lately? What lies have you heard? Share your story with us. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Allisonm

    From the moment I am roused in the morning until I fall into an exhausted slumber; when I awaken in the night until my husband stirs and pulls me close into his arms; how well I know that voice–and whose it is. Thank you for dragging this most oppressive consequence of our calling into the light and naming it.

    Several years ago, our pastor gave us a book called The Bondage Breaker that reminded us that Satan cannot abide the truth and suggested, as you have, that we could experience freedom through practicing the truths of God’s word about God’s nature, our relationship with Him, and our identity in Him. What a wonderful reminder you’ve offered to begin this new year with those truths firmly lodged in our hearts.

    • Allison, I am so glad the post hit home. Thanks for your comment.

  • Gracieblu

    The mean things the [agency employed] therapist said about us? Yup. I’ve been there and almost bought into those lies. Those lies almost tore our family apart. Those lies made me doubt my every move for months. But I kept listening and realized it was only one voice saying those things. So I stopped believing that voice. This work (adopting/fostering) is hard and complex and I question my parenting ability every day. But I keep striving to be better and I keep showing up. At the end of the day, I take comfort in knowing that my kids know what unconditional love feels like.

    • We’ve been there too. It’s so hard to find balance in the middle of this storm. Thanks so much for sharing openly here.

  • Anne O’Neill

    Exactly 6 days ago I told someone how well things were going for our family and how much we enjoyed the holidays-the best since 5 years ago. And then yesterday CPS was at the door again. Over nothing except my son’s confusion of abuse from former families projected onto us. My husband took it the hardest and after 7 months of intense healing, we are broken again. Our resilience is lost. Our partnership is jeopardized. I’m angry and disappointed. I can’t feel much love right now. I can’t believe we are going through this again. After 10 years our son still regressesee to fear. And we tell our story to another set of professionals. Even though this police officer has been here many times for various actions by my sons and he knows our story, I still feel judged. I’m exhausted and don’t know how to recover. Please pray got our family.

    • Allisonm

      I am sorry that your family is going through this and am praying for you all. We’ve not had CPS at our door, but the police many times–often at our request. The officers know us, too. And we keep a mental-health case manager on board to help us keep needed services in place and to be the professional liaison when our son interacts with other systems like his school or law enforcement. That big, deep paper trail has been very helpful at times. We are nine years in. After eight years of PTSD, etc.-induced crisis, our son has been relatively stable this past year. It could blow up any time, but I now know what is possible on the upside and it gives me hope.

      I encourage you to cling to the healing you have all worked so hard for. The trajectory of recovery is an up-and-down road with an overall upward track. It stinks that you are in the valley of the shadow again, but you haven’t lost what you gained before. Our family has weathered so many soul-numbing drops into the valley. There probably will be more, but we are not losing ground, we are simply moving forward through a lower elevation and having to cope while we climb on to better places. And don’t be afraid to enlist and insist on as much support as you can get to make the way forward a little more tolerable.

      • Anne O’Neill

        Thank you for your kind encouragement! The lows are not as low or long as they used to be!

        • Allisonm

          I am continuing to pray for you.

    • Anne, I am so sorry to hear this. Hang in there. We know how this goes. You are not alone. 😉