“A forced silence is a dangerous imposter; painting a canvas of safety while plotting our demise. ” Jo Ann Fore, When a Women Finds Her Voice
Silence. I’ve never been good at being still. Or being silent. Ask anyone that knows me well and they will tell you that I’m a talker (too much sometimes) and a busy-body! Perhaps it’s because when I’m still and/or silent all the stuff I’ve buried comes up. Maybe it’s because my mind is rarely quiet… seems it works around the clock wondering, worrying, creating, praying, learning…. Silence has always been a struggle for me, until this year.
It’s not like it was the first time I’d been hurt. However, this spring, I came to know hurt in a much more personal & spiritual way than I’ve ever known before. Hurt so deep that I wrestled with it during the day & through the night. The word “anxiety” became so real to me. The head aches, stomach aches, and physical trembling haunted me. It’s amazing how the more anxious I felt, the more silent I became. My voice-in so many ways-became silent. And the quieter I became, the more miserable I was. My silence painted the canvas of my life with safety but all the smiles and “I’m ok, you?” ‘s only added to the torment.
Reading through this book, I’m convinced that “all things work together for good”, and God is showing me that all the pain and hurt will become part of my story. I’m not exactly sure how, yet, but I know He’s got a plan. With each chapter, I feel a momentum growing in my heart and when it all comes together, may I glorify His name with my words! When Jo Ann wrote, “I imagine you, too, have been intimated or shamed into silence at some point. Maybe not an abusive silence, but silence still. I also imagine that must really hurt God’s heart-when we believe what we have to say isn’t important or valued.” (page 48) I KNEW she wrote those words for me. I’ve been absolutely intimated to be silent. My whole platform and story shut down, because I was completely intimated & hurt. It didn’t resonate with me until now, that perhaps God has hurt over my loss of words. Perhaps I missed out helping some women because I fell silent.
“…God’s plan for us. He longs for us to be who we really are. To find and use our real voices. Our voices matter-it’s a valuable gift from God, and is designed to be used.” (page 49)
What would happen if we all took off our masks and just spoke our truth? What if we used our hurt to help the woman next to us? How FREE would you feel if someone just knew the truth?
“It’s something we all long for, especially when we’re hurting inside. Acceptance. Approval. Confirmation that we somehow matter. Ultimately, true validation has to come from God, yes, but healthy recognition sure warms the heart.” (page 51)
In order for you and I to find our voices, we must forgive-we’ve got to let go. We’ve got to quit burying all the hurt and give to God-and LEAVE it. I know… easier said than done. Sometimes it seems it’s a daily battle-maybe even hourly. But letting go and letting God is the only way to break the silence and find freedom! We must make the choice to forgive and allow God to do HIS work. Jo Ann points out that the Greek word for forgive actually means “letting go”. And… if you’re a control freak like me, letting go can be the hardest thing you’ve ever been asked to do. When we let go, we have to let go of any control that we’ve had (in whatever sort of fashion) of our circumstance and TRUST that God will take care of us. It’s easy to say we trust God, but when it comes to the root of our pain and hurt, do we really?
“Forgiveness is the pathway to freedom, the passage to finding our voices.” (page 53)
What words spoke to you this week? How has God spoken to you through this book? In the comment section tell me how you’re doing! And let me encourage you to find a trusted friend this week in which to share your story with.