Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Are You Voiceless?

photo credit: eracampaign.org
Last night I had a dreadful nightmare. In my dream something horrible was happening to me and as I looked the person in eye to tell them to stop, I realized my voice had suddenly disappeared. All of the emotions were running high inside of my mind but there was no way to express how I felt. I was lifeless and voiceless. My dream felt like it lasted hours because of the agony, but most likely it was only a couple of minutes. When I finally woke up, I was relieved that it was all a dream.

As I drove into work this morning I could not help but think about my dream in a both a figurative and literal manner. There were many times early on in my life where I was voiceless. Where just like my dream, situations would occur at school or church and just like my dream, I would be screaming inside my mind, but the sound would not leave my mouth. I was shy and afraid to stand for what I believed in for fear of rejection or retaliation. Then right before I turned 13 years old [age confirmed by my mother] I had that infamous "aha Oprah moment" and decided that I was going to use the voice God entrusted me with because enough was enough.

Many of us walk around voiceless because of the same fears that I had when I was younger. We are afraid that someone will reject our ideals, opinions, feelings, suggestions, recommendations, critiques, etc. Our fear inhibits us and we are left essentially voiceless. But whose choice is it, but our own?

What happens when you choose to stay silent in unjust situations? The agony, frustration, and pain eats away at your heart. You end up internalizing all of the negative emotions and it can lead to resentment and eventually a "tongue lashing" aka you explode and we all know that's not pretty.

Friends, I encourage you to use the voice God has given you to stand up for what is right [obviously in a tactful, polite manner]. Whether it is standing up to a bully [hey, I'm talking to adults here too], fighting for civil rights, speaking up about something that is going in the wrong direction at your church/work/school, or basically anything.

Speaking of being tactful and polite, one of my close friends just shared some wise words with me [thanks, Maria!] and I quote, "You can have all the truth in the world, but if you do not know how to say it correctly and are rude, nobody will listen to you." Valuable lesson for all of us to keep in mind, right? 

God gave us a voice to use [whether it's through our vocal chords, writing, blogging, etc.]-- so, let's use it!

Trust me, once you speak your mind and heart [again, in a tactful manner], you will feel like a thousand pounds have been lifted off of your shoulders! I guarantee it. Try it out for yourself and let me know how it goes! :)
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32