Every one of us deals with chatter in the psyche—voices that tear us down and stir up fear. Recognizing the effect of these voices in framing our lives is a game changer. I know, because until I was in my late thirties, I had a choir of inner chatterboxes telling me how insecure, intimidated and useless I was. They succeeded in ruling my daily life for decades. But the moment I chose to shut them down, I tasted a freedom I never knew I could have.
Why had I allowed aimless conversations in my head to distract my purpose for so long when choosing to change took only a moment? I’d fought the battle in my mind from the first grade all the way to age 36. I had no idea the enemy kept me broken just by stealing my focus.
When I reached rock bottom, however, I found the answer to my whys and realized why my future had always turned out like my past: it was because I kept bringing my past with me! That’s when I learned to shut up the hell that tormented me day and night.
I am an authority on how the tormented mind leads to failure because I lived it. However, I no longer have to embrace that life—and neither do you. When you control your thoughts, you control your life. The truth is, you become what you think of most of the time. So becoming free is all about changing the channel in your mind from confusion and doubt to the things God says about you.
No, I don’t think you can do it alone. But I know with everything in me that, through Christ, you can do all things. I am a living example of how He turns a broken mess into a message. Therefore, I fully believe that Jesus wants to turn your misery into a ministry too.
It will take some cooperation on your part. It’s too easy to say we trust God and then try to handle the situation ourselves. God is always working for our good, but He gave us a say in things. If we keep trying to control everything, we limit what He’ll do for us. Even when Jesus was with His disciples in the flesh and working miracles, the people of Nazareth limited Him.
They thought they knew who He was—the son of a carpenter instead of the Son of God. Their unbelief prevented Him from delivering good news and performing miracles in His hometown. So Jesus just moved on. I think He did it because God respects the free will He gave to humanity. He never forces us to believe Him.
Our Unbelief Limits God
Unbelief comes in many forms. During the years when my life was breaking apart, I tried to look like a strong Christian, so I seldom revealed my weaknesses. But at rock bottom I discovered that the strongest Christians are quick to admit their frailties and look to God. The more I did this, the more He got involved in my life. Now when I’m up against it, I say, “Jesus in me can make this happen.”
We need to realize that our unbelief limits God’s power and prevents it from doing its work in us. Paul said in Philippians 4:13 we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. It’s not Jesus Christ who limits us. We do it to ourselves. That’s why it’s so important to discover who God is in our lives. When we do, we find out who we are in His eyes. Then we can quit struggling with the insecurities and self-promotion that define much of society and walk with freedom into our destinies.
As you read these words, remember who I am—a woman who used to be like Cruella de Vil. I was coldhearted, full of venom and hurt. Honestly, what you see today is the result of countless hours spent with the Lord as He reconditions me to be me. I can’t tell you how many times people on social media have asked, “Is this really the Kimberly Jones who went to high school with me?”
They remember the girl dancing on the bar. Now I am the woman who’s walking it straight and leading thousands to God. It didn’t happen overnight. I remember a vision the Lord gave me back when I realized I wanted total change. I told Him I was finished—finished with the life I was living, finished with all the bitterness and pain I carried. That night, God literally transformed me—totally. In a vision He showed me coming out of my body and slipping into the body of a woman in a catlike lacquer bodysuit with thigh-high boots.
I’ve never been able to wear such an outfit except in this vision. I saw myself destroying everything in my path as I walked. The Lord told me He had used everything in my life that I detested to bring me to that day. He told me I would no longer be a destroyer but a healer—someone who could point people toward the change they wanted.
God showed me my past in order to take me into my future. He will do the same for you. Make up your mind that your time for total transformation is now. It’s your choice to make. But I believe it’s time for you to shut hell up and become the person God designed you to be.
This article is excerpted from Real Talk Kim’s book Shut Hell Up (Charisma House 2020).