Beyond The Voice
Updated: Feb 3, 2021
As I sat in nervous excitement, my vocal coach broke down the expectations. I thought to myself "I can't believe I'm doing this... this stupid Do 5 Uncomfortable Things in 30 Days Challenge... Father, why singing lessons? Why have you brought me here?" My crazy train of thoughts interrupted when she asked me about my experience singing and it hit me... I have no experience... I sing to myself... Not even my mother has hear me sing. My voice is literally the one area in my life where I shrunk the most. Although, it didn't always appear that way. In a previous job, I could and did command any room. I had too, I was responsible for many young people and staff at a local community center. I ran programs for preschoolers up to youth, camps and after-school programs. And I ran it tightly. Safety, and no liability with fun and excellence was my thing. But that's a story for another time, because looking back, I know He enabled and emboldened me. What 18 year old decides to run a camp of 200 participants and 22 staff, with 2 years of work experience, lol? But when it came to the area that mattered most... speaking up for myself, I was a doormat. As we started the lesson, I sang a few notes, my whole body started to have an reaction. I felt overwhelmed, sweaty and hyper aware of everything. My throat felt dry and tight. I had the biggest lump in my throat, threatening to block off my airways. In my discomfort, I explained to her that growing up my voice was the one area that I was bullied about the most. It started as early as I could remember. I was constantly asked why I had such a deep voice in a little body. Too young to even know or question what a voice was 'supposed to' sound like, but I gathered that mine's wasn't it. Over the years, there was constant commentary and I acknowledge that malice was not always the intent but it stung all the same. I learned to quiet myself. To mute myself. I began speaking very quietly and mumbled. Especially if I felt threatened by the person I was speaking with. It was even a major problem in my last relationship, yet I still couldn't muster the courage to speak up. And could never identify why. And still I pushed through, with her gentle coaching I opened up more and more. I started to sing. As I sung, the painful memories returned. I had held so much in these vocal chords and larynx. Then the realization hit me... this voice.. this is what God will use... I was finally coming into alignment. Everything made sense... The bullying was never about me.. they were attacks from the enemy, but I had brought into it. Lie after lie, I believed this layered, hidden version of me. It was a slow... slow undoing of who I was. Mutism became a part of my identity. As I remained obedient and showed up for each session (and trust me I did not want to - the fear was real), I began to see and feel the truth. I was His daughter. Fearfully and wonderfully made. My trust in God solidified. My trust in myself grew. My confidence soared! I started putting the pieces together. This is who I am. Who He says I Am. And so over the next few months He spoke to me about being more intentional with my voice and His message. It has been a journey and I am so excited for this podcast because He has led me here. I'm overjoyed to think that we're just getting started! I'm thrilled to be able to share this with you. And I hope you'll join me in seeking Him, finding identity, owning your influence and being authentically you. This podcast is how I stayed obedient and started to live life fearlessly. Fearless: Feeling the fear and doing it anyway because He who is in me is Greater than he that is in the world.