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Sometimes I wish you could walk around inside my head for just a day. Or an hour. That would be long enough for you to get a clear picture of how I live “in my head.”

Unwanted thoughts. Do I look stupid? Surely God is tired of me repeating this same old sin. Does she think I’m a good person? What are they thinking about what I just said? It’s just a matter of time before everyone figures out who I really am…

Pastor Joe called it a “noisy soul.” A man of God, leading a church in Chattanooga, TN and ministering to many. On the outside he looks like he has it all together, but inside he’s battling negative thoughts and feelings. Inner “noise” telling him none of what he says is making a difference. That what he says doesn’t matter. Isn’t relevant. Isn’t even true. All lies. Noise.

After he shared his story at a conference, I approached him with tears streaming down my face. I just wanted to let this brave man of God know he wasn’t alone. And that he had put into words exactly what I was experiencing.

pastorjoeI could not stop crying.

I hate crying in front of people. But I couldn’t stop the tears.

A humble man, he turned toward me and our eyes met. I’m sure I looked a wreck. But he saw beyond the physical and said words I’ll never forget: “do you have a noisy soul, too?” And in that instant, I knew I wasn’t alone. In fact, Pastor Joe said to me, “welcome home.”

Pastor Joe’s solution? Continue to trust God. Resist the enemy of my soul. And tell my friends I trust to ignore the “no trespassing” sign and check on me.

See, I had been pulling away from my friends and telling them I was okay, but was isolating and growing more depressed. Living in my head. In my noisy soul. All alone.

I confessed to my friends who’d gone to the conference with me and I continued to cry. Tears of regret. “Please ignore my no trespassing sign.” They already knew I had that sign up. “We’ve been waiting to be invited in…” Such grace I received that day.

It’s been three months since that conference.

Is my soul still noisy? At times, yes. But thanks to people like Joe and my safe friends, it’s a little quieter.

How about you. Do you have a noisy soul?