Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Be A Voice, Not An Echo

Somewhere in the depths of my captive memories I held tight to the lie that my voice held no power.  I expect it started in early childhood, but knowing the root cause may remain a mystery and is really not important.  What I do know is that it took up residence and I spent too much of my life echoing the thoughts of others, believing my voice held no power.

A great example of this was displayed early in our marriage.  During the first ten years,  I would always start opinions or responses with..."Joel says..........."  If Joel said something, that was the way it was. He did not demand that at all, I just believed his words held more weight than mine.  Then Joel's cousin Luther helped me understand what I was doing.  While he was getting his doctorate in the Twin Cities he used to come and spend a great deal of time with me and the family. Joel was working long hours at a hospital, attending classes, and studying hard at night, so he did not have much free time.  Luther saw this pattern I had of quoting Joel.  He began to say to me, "I don't want to know what Joel thinks, I want to know what YOU think!"  Things began to change inside, and honestly, it took some adjusting for both Joel and myself.  After 10 years of marriage I began to voice my own thoughts and give them value.

Even though I have been writing for others for the past 16 years, finding my voice and believing in it has continued to be a slow journey.  This growth process really excelled into the fast lane when I started Sozo Ministry for inner healing the end of 2012.  In fact, Sozo has played a pivotal roll in my healing story.  During my first visit, before I had ever met the women in charge of my session, they had prayed about me and had some things to tell me.  The first thing they shared was that Holy Spirit had told them to tell me~~ "You. have. a. voice."  They told me that God listens to my voice, He wants to hear what I have to say, and that He wants me to use my voice.  They went on to share a couple of Bible verses, the same ones God had been highlighting to me all week.   I was stunned by their words, but quickly realized that God was at work here.  Part of the inner healing that took place was finding my voice.  I am so grateful that God has asked me to use my written words to speak about Him.  Grateful I am to be a voice for God and not an echo for someone else. We all are called to be a voice.

The original quote, "Be a voice, not an echo",  is by Albert Einstein.  Kris Vallotton expanded on it in his book, "Heavy Rain", with words I wanted to share here.

"I have been called to be a voice, not an echo."  
"I refuse to be reduced to a political affiliation, a denomination, a generation, 
a geographic location, my sexual orientation or my ordination.  
I will not settle for becoming a cheap imitation of another 
instead of an original of myself.  ......" 
"On the other hand, it is not my desire to become a maverick 
who exchanges the solid foundation of time-tested truth
 for the test tube of isolation.  
Therefore I will allow the Holy Spirit 
to lead me, guide me, and correct me..... be a voice and not an echo"

Recently I watched Diane Sawyer's interview with Jaycee Duger on ABC.  Diane asked Jaycee's counselor if she thought she should tell her it was time to move on and stop talking about what happened to her.  (She has written a second book about her long horrific ordeal. ) The counselor made a profound statement. She told Diane that Jaycee had been held captive with no freedom to make her own choices for 18 years.  She would not begin to tell her what to do.  Jaycee would know when it was time to move on.  Jaycee's voice had been taken away, all her freedom had be taken away for so long, and it was important that no one tell her what to do or say now that she was free.  It was important that she be heard.  She now had a voice.

Finding our voice is a true gift.  We are all unique and so are our lives, so is our journey.  We are all called to be a voice, not an echo.  Along the way it is easy to settle, to keep silent, to be an echo, but God has created us to rise up and be His voice.  His voice crying out in the wilderness....His voice proclaiming the gospel...........His voice speaking love and truth.  His voice. Our voice.  We are to be a voice, not an echo!

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