Has Your Voice Been Stolen?

tape over mouthThere were many years where I was  able to speak, but due to intermittent paralyzing fear, I refrained from speaking, from sharing how I felt, from objecting to what was offensive, or abusive.  Not speaking in this way feels like you have tape over your mouth, like you’ve been taken against your will, or like you are standing in a doorway, yet unable to enter the room.  The words ring around inside you, echoing off your heart and lungs until you want to scream, but you don’t dare.  It might upset somebody and they might lash out at you.

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. (Proverbs 18:21)

I saw a counselor for a while who listened well, and said something that helped quite a bit.  “So when did you realize your voice had been stolen?”  I didn’t until she asked the question.  Sometimes it’s the questions we need instead of the answers to get us thinking.

God has been restoring my voice – my ability to communicate without fear – over the past several years.  It’s working.  I’m seeing progress as I push forward in sharing, offering my opinion, or standing firm in personal boundaries when needed.  I don’t always get it right, but I’m choosing to speak.  I am better at knowing when not to speak, too, and realizing more of my own personal value in the choosing.

Whether the binding up of words is physical or emotional, the result seems to be the same.  It feels like you are stuck inside a life you didn’t ask for, behind bars that hold you back, gagged with hands tied…while you can only listen to others or obey what they want.  Trapped.

I can sometimes find myself there again where I feel ambushed by the presence and words of another who seems purposed to enter and take over.  My first step is to forgive, and then at my next encounter to guard my boundaries, respond or refrain from responding…according to the need of the moment.

If another has stepped on you with their words until you felt like you were one with the sidewalk, it can be quite difficult to stand without being pushed around.  You may want to say, “No!  Stop!” or “That’s not OK with me!” and yet the words won’t come out. You find yourself doing what you always did – trying to keep peace.

And here’s the thing: If we bring this silent voice to God to heal, He adds to us more of our value, significance, and authenticity. We learn to get the definition of who we are from Him. In that place of peace and freedom, little by little, we will find ourselves standing and speaking!  {Progress is progress, no matter how small.}

And when there is no one to encourage your voice, your words, speak them out loud anyway.  Write them down.  God who never slumbers or sleeps says your words are significant, creative, and needed.

“The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; his words are upon my tongue. (2 Samuel 23:2)

When words are flowing, handle them carefully, tasting them before serving them up.  And when there are no words, listen to God’s voice speaking into your spirit, giving you the discernment you need in the moment.  For whether you speak or not, you are never alone.  And He will restore your voice.  Your words are needed now.

Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, “Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.” (Daniel 10:19)

Much love, peace, and strength ~

Robin

From the desk by the window where the words are spilling through my fingers and onto the screen just for you. May you be strengthened by them! Godspeed, friend!

(c) Robin L. Lewis, October 2015

(Edited and reposted from October 29, 2013)

For information on booking Robin to speak to your group or on Spiritual Life Coaching, you can call or email her here: robinlewiswords@gmail.com – (843) 319-5390. 
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10 thoughts on “Has Your Voice Been Stolen?

  1. Ronda

    Wow! Well said (no pun intended!). I am a chatty, social person, who allows herself to be silenced more times than I’d care to admit. Most often I am so stunned by what others are saying that I can’t seem to find my voice to respond, frequently because I am weighing whether I want to offend someone (forget that their words are offensive to me.) Mockery silenced me for a long time until the Lord ever so gently set me free. Still, the journey to really speaking my mind, unless it is with someone I really trust, is far from over. Thank you for this encouragement to keep on keeping on, and to listen for the leading of the Spirit in order to be one who offers “a word fitly spoken.”
    You are such a blessing Robin. I’m so glad I discovered this blog!
    p.s. I have a feeling your counselor would have asked me the same question!

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  2. Anthony Baker

    That was excellent, Robin. It was a poignant reminder to me how that I have been apt to keep peace when I should have waged war. As a pastor I have more than my own personal, spiritual space to consider. My words to one person could ripple out and affect others in unintended ways. But it is so important that I say what needs to be said when it needs to be said. I don’t want to let fear of saying the wrong thing keep me from saying the right thing when it is needed most.

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  3. Paula Cribb

    After years of abuse I too lost my voice. It was only when I surrendered totally to HIM and was able to forgive, that my voice returned. Fear can make us lose our voice, our self, and cause us to miss the love of the ones who really care. I am thankful for all of those who stood in the gap while my voice was silenced! Thank you Robin!! You know I love ya!!

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  4. Donna L. Fowler

    Robin, a bird that sings sweetly and announces the coming of Spring. I am so blessed by your comments and grateful that God is restoring your voice. He gave it to you and it is uniquely yours. Each bird has its own special song to sing. Each of us has our own divinely inspired gifts to share. God is restoring my voice also. Fear of man brings a snare but who trusts in the Lord shall be safe. No more fear. We can take courage and be who God created us to be in the first place. God bless you as you continue to share your experience, strength, and hope in God. I saw your entry and just had to read it. It was like a magnet drawing me in. The Lord bless and keep you. Go for it! Love, Donna (one of His Beloved daughters.)

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    • Robin Lawrimore

      Dear Donna – thank you for your encouraging words. It’s honoring to hear your story and read your faith, too. And you’re absolutely right – let’s go for it! Let’s be who He made us to be!
      Much love, Robin

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