[ before I even begin, let me clarify with saying that I understand the irony of this post….that I am writing about, well you’ll see….]
have you ever heard a recording of your own voice? I have and hate it. In January I recorded myself several times reading something very short for church and as I listened to the recording I just kept thinking that I felt so bad for everyone that had to listen to me on a daily basis. I thought that my voice was nasally and didn’t sound at all like I hear myself. It was nearly painful to hear my own voice played back.
A couple of years ago I lost my voice. I had a case of laryngitis that was persistent for approximately 9 months. It left me utter speechless at times. (I am sure that you can imagine all of the jokes I heard about my condition….. “oh, what do you have to say Kelly?’ “Oh, I wish my wife would catch that!”…. not funny, it gets old after a few months) Nevertheless I remember the first day that I left speech therapy and I heard my voice for the first time. It took a lot of work, but I was able to call my mom and get out the words, “Hi Mom, it’s me Kelly. I’m talking.” It pretty much took all of my energy to just utter that phrase. I had to think so much and calculate my words in a way that was foreign. This was easily one of the biggest accomplishments of my life…saying those 7 words. Needless to say, my voice is my Achilles’ heel.
However, there is so much more than just the physiological reasoning behind my voice being a weakness for me. I don’t know why, but recently I have been thinking about the fact that I am the one that hears my voice more than anyone else. (most people are probably saying “duh, Kelly” at this point) For some reason, this thought blew. my. mind. I hear my voice more than anyone else. Not only am I present for every conversation that I participate in, but I constantly hear the internal dialogue of my thoughts. Sometimes this is good. Sometimes, my own voice within my head is processing all that is around me. Oftentimes, I think that this processing is funny because let’s be honest……I’m hilarious(well, at least I think I am). However, just like speaking those 7 simple words or hearing the recording, sometimes hearing my own voice can be painful. Quite often this voice is tearing me apart. I am not enough. I’m failing. I’m alone. This voice leaves my spirit void and my heart filled with despair, and brokenness. I deceive myself into believing that those are fact. I lie to myself and say that I speak the truth to myself. However, the real truth is that those are feelings. Quite often my voice tells me that I am inadequate and not equipped. However, the truth is that God has equipped me and called me. My voice often silences the truth that others speak into me, although they know and love me, I often find an excuse (given to me by my voice) to not hear the truth that they speak.
So for this Lenten season I have tried to hear less of my own voice. (Although I probably still speak just as much) I try to not listen to my internal voice that tears me down. I try to not hear the voice that claws at my spirit. I am vowing to spend time daily in meditation where I breathe in truth and exhale the lies that I tell myself. It is difficult. I struggle. I find myself at times feeling discouraged and although I know that my feelings are valid that they are not necessarily fact. I lie to myself.
The truth found in scripture, creation, and spoken to me by others must be louder than the lies that I tell myself.
Now, I know that my voice is not all bad. I know that at times I am the one that God uses to speak truth into others. But in this season, I desire to hear less of my own voice and more of others. Less lies more truth. I am so thankful for those who speak words of truth and affirmation to me daily. I am especially thankful for those that continue to love me even when I don’t accept the truth.
I don’t know if you are like me. Perhaps your own voice speaks words that affirm your spirit. However, I believe that the root of my lying voice is the sin that I am stuck in. in which case, I would challenge that we all suffer with internal dialogue of sin of some kind. My hope for you (and me) is that we would work to silence that and turn our hearts towards truth.
In the days that I was rendered silent I was able to see how essential and mighty my voice can be.
I still believe that it is truly powerful.