Rediscovering My Voice, Part 1
" Faith is the confidence that we hope for will actually happen; it gives us the assurance about things we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1
For as long as I can remember I seem to have had overbearing friends in my life. They did most of the decision making for me and I would go along with their plan. I didn't express my opinion with them because I was scared that they would reject me for my difference of opinion. I did however express myself to those I felt safe with. For example, my older sister even though she and I fought a lot she always had my back if there was anybody bullying me she was always there to protect me. She used her confidence, her voice, and intimidation to keep those mean, scary people away. Another person was my mom, she was nurturing and loving. She encouraged my independence, she welcomed my opinions and my voice was heard. When the overbearing people in my life seemed to out weigh my safe people I began to quiet my voice even around those I loved and longed to hear me. Growing up my Dad was an overbearing person, he was loud, angry and dismissive. He would yell and talk over me, he didn't listen and my voice wasn't heard. Communication was never our strong suit as Father and Daughter, he didn't understand me and my independent thinking was viewed as being a rebellious teenager. Even as I write this it's hard for me, I fear that my family will reject this truth and my Dad will perhaps ignore it and be angry with me. In order for me to heal from my Dad not listening to me, avoiding conversations, and moving on like nothing happened I must tell the truth and not silence my voice any longer. I love my Dad and I would never intentionally do anything to hurt him. God has put it on my heart that I must be honest and raw with myself and all of you who read my blogs because you depend on me to be real with you. Dad I don't blame you for me losing my voice but when I was a child you didn't listen to me. I work with God everyday to let go and put more forgiveness on my heart for my Dad for shutting down my voice.
I put my voice on a shelf with men and boys I came in contact with and refused to share my feelings with people in my life even those who were my safe people. I wrote often in diaries, writing was my freedom and my only safe place. Once the physical abuse came into my life and shortly there after the sexual abuse, fear overtook me and I buried my voice. I went to a school where there was a boy who was hitting me and leaving bruises on me. They didn't believe me when I told them what was happening and they did nothing. The people that were paid to listen and protect their students rejected my voice. It was all I could do to them what happened and my voice wasn't heard. When I finally had to tell my Mom about it, the safest person in my life, she basically had to figure it out on her own and it took me about 3 hours to confirm it. After the first time I was raped my voice was no longer buried but lost out in the middle of an ocean that I never thought I would find again. I spent the next 15 years of my life trying to express myself searching for that voice I lost so long ago. I couldn't express myself and I stopped writing in my journals and began to lock away my feelings in a vault. I lived to feel numbness and only had surface conversations. In order for me to have a deep conversation I had to be drunk, and then when I started to feel an emotion I would just drink more in order not to feel it. I could no longer express what I was feeling and that is what scared me the most. I felt hollow and empty and I wandered around aimlessly desperately wanting to feel safe, loved and protected. I thought that if I found those things I would be able to express myself, that my voice would come back to me.
At my lowest God used his perfect timing, stepped in and intervened and gave me a precious and priceless gift. He gave me my husband, a man who made me feel safe for the first time, loved and protected! I discovered very quickly that no matter how much I love him that my voice was still out to sea and communication with him has been my biggest obstacle. I have begged and pleaded with God to find my voice for me, to just please bring it to shore so I know that it's possible for me to find it. God kept telling me to trust in Him, stop forcing it and trying to do this on my own I tried constantly to do it on my own and all I would end up with is me angry, frustrated, hurt and my husband confused, frustrated, and hurt not understanding why his wife can't talk to him. In these last few months God has shown me that my voice is not lost out in the middle of the ocean somewhere, but it has been with me all along I just need to rediscover how to use it. I made a commitment to God and my husband to make an effort and talk to both of them about what's really going on with me. The more honest I am with God the more I lean on him the easier it is to be honest with myself and open up and talk to my husband. It's such a beautiful gift God has given me rediscovering my voice! This has not only helped my relationship with my husband, but has improved my relationships with my family and those who are in my life. The most important realization for me is how much I really need to depend on God and really trust in Him in all things and all aspects in my life. When I finally trust and surrender the rewards and blessings are endless. God, Thank you for bringing me the gift of communication back into my life. I am rediscovering my voice, I am rediscovering who I am in Christ and God is teaching me to love myself again but most of all using my voice for good and loving every minute of it.
"Though you do not see him now, you trust him; you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy."
1 Peter 1:8
Here is a beautiful song and about love, being Who You Are, no matter where you are in life, in recovery, in your brokenness, don't lose yourself and love who God made you to be!