A couple weeks ago I wrote a blog about having my life changed. It came with many epiphanies and realization and honestly a lot of good solid truth I hadn’t chosen to believe for a long time. Which of course hinders so much of what I was doing and who I was.
But here’s the thing: I still need to repent: to change the way I see things.
I’m living my life with the following sentence.
I have a powerful voice IN SPITE OF the fact that it can be hard to understand me.
Notice I carefully worded that to not say BUT because I am an advocate that BUT negates what comes before it.
But so does in spite of.
When I was 5ish I had my tonsils taken out. And for a medical reason I’m not even going to try to explain this lead to me having to essentially relearn how to speak because of a gap that was left in my airway.
I was in speech therapy at school; went to an ear nose and throat doctor; had this surgery where all I can remember is having plugs put up my nose.
I had to learn how to place my tounge and how to concentrate when I speak. If I spoke to fast the air got caught in my nose and mouth and it sounded mumbling. I also (still) perpetually sound like I have a cold. A fact that really just kids tend to point out to me.
And in all of this I got made fun of. A lot. The sound that the teacher on Charlie brown makes is what kids, and sometimes my brothers would respond to me with whenever I spoke.
So I just stopped talking.
For a very long time I didn’t speak out in class or make myself known because I was just afraid I wouldn’t be understood. Because when I spoke people didn’t listen. They laughed.
The funny part is speaking in front of people doesn’t make me nervous. I know I have something to say; it’s just the act of saying it. The act of being understood at a basic level that causes me to get nervous.
When I was in fifth grade I chose choir when it came time to choose a path of music for a few reasons; one being the band teacher scared me; two I remember my speech therapist Mrs. Martin said it might be good and three I can’t blow up a balloon why should I be able to blow into an instrument.
So I jumped into choir and stayed there for years. I went through high school and college in a choir and on worship teams.
I found comfort in my singing voice because it WASN’T my speaking voice. I don’t get nervous singing anymore because I know that it sounds different.
And I basically detest the sound of my speaking voice.
Why is this coming out now?
I believe in the power of my voice. I also believe it doesn’t need to come in a beautiful package and I think I had come to terms with that fact. That I just need to use my voice IN SPITE OF how it actually sounds. And if people don’t understand me, or think I have a cold, or make fun of how I sound that’s ok.
I don’t need to have a beautiful speaking voice.
(I forget that I have a God that likes to surprise me.)
Sitting in the English tea room this week I had a lady from England lean over her table to talk to me. She proceeded to tell me that I have the loveliest accent she had ever heard and she could listen to me SPEAK all day.
Not SING but SPEAK.
In my whole life I’ve never had someone tell me that.
I’ve confidently spoken out for so long IN SPITE OF being insecure about how it sounds.
That lovely woman in the tea room doesn’t know what she did for me that day.
She gave me beauty I didn’t even know I was capable of having.
What a difference to believe that the voice that I have is
worth listening to not just for what it holds but how it sounds.
I don’t know what to do completely with the gift she gave me but I do know it was a surprising lovely gift that bashed a lot of hurt and pain from my life away.
So my repentance: my “change the way I see things” is this.
I have a powerful LOVELY speaking voice
IN SPITE OF the fact it might be hard for people to understand me.