Life is hard sometimes, not always made up of syrupy storybook tales as some faith-pushers would have us believe. I met Jesus under the umbrella of belief that all is well once you “cross over.” I’ve since learned all is indeed well, but not necessarily as was represented. Christian or not, suppressed emotional pain stains one’s soul.
Silence isn’t always the serene, lustrous golden picture that people paint. When forced upon us, a prohibitive silence darkens the eyes and swallows the spirit. The nothingness permeates our soul, attempting to steal a divine gift, our very identity.
Your voice matters.
Pull that truth in tight. Inhale the freshness. Taste the freedom.
You aren’t helpless. Alone. Trapped. You are important in God’s eyes. You are not defined by what has happened to you, or even your own wrong choices; these things will not destroy you. You are loved. Needed. And what you have to say is important.
Intoxicating, isn’t it? Liberating.
But only for a moment, right?
Dare you believe it? The Pollyanna euphemisms fade fairly quickly, don’t they, as you default to what you know? After a brief escape, your mind pulls back. You may still feel like what you have to say isn’t meaningful, relevant, or valued. It’s hard to forget those times when you were forced to keep secrets or someone made you feel worthless, inferior, or at best, unvalued. Or worse, those times when someone hurt you physically or verbally as they pumped their self-ego at the price of your fragile self-worth.
I well know the roar of silence, the taste of fear. I’ve lived the numbing quiet of emotional pain and unfathomable trials. But I’ve also held the hand of freedom. Savored the liberty to speak.
A tumultuous journey of childhood sexual abuse, life-threatening physical and emotional abuse in a former “Christian” marriage, and a 20-year bulimic struggle threatened to derail God’s purpose for my life. With a shattered sense of safety, I learned to distrust God. I made countless poor choices stemming from low esteem while the fallout of painful life experiences left me voiceless for years.
But it didn’t have to be that way.
Over time, in the healing shadow of Jesus, I addressed the toxic beliefs that had soiled my life and perverted my thoughts.
Funny how we live out what we believe.
As I learned to apply the truth of scripture, I couldn’t help but think differently. Unaware in the midst of it, I was retraining my brain.
Today, I use my formerly silenced voice to tell others about God’s goodness and the plan he has for us as women to live a life of abundance, joy, and purpose. A free life. A full life.
I am only one of countless women who have suffered emotional pain. While the scope is diverse, pain is pain—individual and not to be compared. This common connection links me with soul-wounded women all around the world. Most likely, I share this bond with you. These are our stories. And stories like ours deserve to be dialogued.
As my beautiful friend Catherine Darnell says, “Together our found voices and collective stories gain power and strength, and bare witness to God’s unfailing love for each one of us.” During his earthly tenure, Jesus went out of his way to reach the silenced and ignored; He does the same for us today.
Have you ever felt like what you have to say isn’t important or valued? Consider sharing with us in the comments section (you can post anonymously if needed) so we can pray with you?