I very clearly remember the first time I lost my voice. It always comes to mind, this time of year, because it happened on Memorial Day. My husband and I had just started dating. I remember, mostly, because it happened very quickly, with no warning.
I sang in church, on Sunday morning. By Sunday evening, my throat was getting a little scratchy. When I got up Monday morning, I couldn’t speak at all. No voice. The next year, I was on the road; after that, I was married and living in.a different state. When we moved back, I lost my voice every year, around Memorial Day, for 3-5 years. It hasn’t happened in the last few years, but I always watch for it, this time of year.
I’m really thinking, this year, about losing my voice. I thought I was losing it a few weeks ago, but it was a false alarm. I’ve had a rough week, this week, for various reasons, and I’ve been thinking about a lot of things. Among them, I’ve been thinking a lot about this particular subject.
When I was younger, I genuinely believed that words were one of my gifts. I’ve never been one for public speaking, but I used to sing, and write, and read… I believed, with great conviction, that the Lord was using my words – my voice – to bless people and accomplish something. I had confidence in my voice, because I believed that God was using it, and that it mattered.
I’ve recently realized that, somewhere along the way, I’ve lost that. I don’t have confidence in my voice anymore. I don’t know if the Lord is using the words that come out of my mouth. I’m struggling to find purpose, because I don’t know what I’m good at. I don’t know what I can do that has meaning.
As I’ve developed allergies, my actual voice has changed. There are also some other factors, but it just isn’t the same as it used to be. I don’t always trust it, like I used to. I’ve also been told that I’ve said things the wrong way. I find myself holding back from speaking, because I don’t want to be taken the wrong way. I don’t want to offend someone, and I don’t want to be misunderstood. I don’t write letters anymore, because letters aren’t really what people do anymore. I don’t encourage people with a card or note (or even a text), because I’m not sure my words are worth much.
I even find it happening in my home. I’m weary of trying to teach my children, because I feel like they don’t listen to what I’m saying. I don’t speak to certain family members, as a general rule, because past misunderstandings have made me bitter, or afraid. I don’t ask for help, because I don’t want to sound like one of those people who can’t do anything and turns every little molehill into some huge mountain.
I’m up, typing this, at two o’clock in the morning, because the Lord is laying it on my heart, and not letting me sleep until it’s done. But, in my heart, I doubt that even these words matter. I don’t think anyone has read my recent posts. I feel compelled to keep that I’ve started posting again to myself, lest I be tooting my own horn. I feel that the Lord will lead people to my posts, if He wants them to read. But I don’t really believe that He is leading anyone.
I suppose, really, this is the whole problem, in a nutshell. I just really don’t believe that He is using my voice. It’s not that I don’t believe He can. It’s not even that I don’t believe my voice is good enough. I just don’t know if I believe my voice matters, anymore. If He’s not using it, does it?
I don’t know. I don’t really know what I’m trying to say, tonight. I just felt led to post, and this is what’s on my heart. I’m sorry if it’s discouraging, but I’m a little discouraged, right now. I’m just trying to be real.
I guess, manybe, I”m trying to find my voice, again, so that He can start using it again. But, first, I have to figure out where I lost it, and what happened to make me let go of it. When did I stop believing that He had a plan for me, and for my voice, and why did I buy into that lie?
I’ll have to get back to you, I guess. For tonight, this is where I am. The questions are real, and they’re looming large, for me, without any immediate answers. All I have, for now, is a promise, and I’ll have to take it on faith.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11