Thursday, September 19, 2013

The root of the issue

I've been a terrible communicator in my day. 
I wonder how many times I've said "I just don't know how to say what I'm thinking!" - and then give up. Or simply been too afraid to speak up. I've made a lot of messes that way. And missed a lot of important opportunities. 
I read a book last week about a man with a stutter that went away when he read out loud. He didn't have to come up with the words, He could just read smoothly what was on the page - a voice not his own and the words just poured out.  Then he decided to "join the voices" of all the authors by writing his own book and found his own voice. After years of reading aloud his stuttering went away. 
I see myself in him. 
His childhood was rough - way worse than mine- not comparable really. But life put him (his voice really) in a straight jacket. 
{side note - kinda funny- I had a major cut on top of my head when I was a child. In order to keep me still for the shaving of my head and for stitches, they had to put me in a straight jacket. So I'm familiar with the feeling. (And when my hair started growing back my mom called me "quail")}
For various reasons over time, I stopped speaking. Oh, I was verbal, but so very scared and careful. 
I have known this is an area of my life Jesus has had his finger on for quite a while.
He specifically let me know very clearly a couple of weeks ago that the root issue is simply fear. Fear of not being understood. Fear of not being believed. Afraid that I would hurt with my words and make situations even worse. Afraid that people would not like what I had to say. Fear that my kids won't listen... Again. 
So I put myself in a straight jacket. Bottled most things up and began the quiet process of dying. I couldn't figure out who I was supposed to be because I was so worried about making sure everyone around me stayed happy with me. How can you stand up for yourself if you don't know who you are?
So when I asked Jesus a few weeks ago about this root of fear in my life, He was so kind to reveal this. He wanted to free me from these fears, hold my hand, and walk with me through the scary waters of navigating conversations.
He wants me to have a voice. 
 I want to say what I'm thinking- in a kind way. He wants to help me to address tough issues- with grace and patience.  I want to sit beside people and express the love and kindness to them that God has shown to me - even when they are really wounded, confused, and angry. I want to be ok with not having all the answers, but waiting on the Spirit to help me with the words to say. I want to know when I'm NOT supposed to speak as well!  I just don't want to be afraid anymore. 
Just like the man in the story - it will take time and practice for me to learn my voice. And that's ok. It will still be a little scary sometimes. But despite my ingrained first reactions, I think I can finally say, "I'm ready to talk!" 

One of the primary regrets of the dying is they didn't speak their minds. Let no fear silence you. Speak with kindness, but speak.
-Donald Miller tweet


Eddie said...

Great post Delta, I often feel the same way-Fear of not being understood. Fear of not being believed-Afraid that people would not like what I had to say

Hope you are back to posting on a regular basis now.

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