When You Feel You’ve Lost Your Voice

It was one of those bad dreams. The kind that you wake up from and don’t know where you are. The kind where the sheets are wrapped so oddly around you that you know you’ve struggled.

No one could hear me in my dream. Or, more so, I couldn’t be heard. I was trying. Screaming, in fact. Yelling for someone to help me. But my voice had stopped working. It was just me, standing there, helpless. The thing I despise most.

Dreams like that can leave me unsettled for days. They have a way of pulling up fears in me that aren’t easily left behind. And they remind me that we all have that potential. To lose our voice in our lives.

It happened to me. And, I suspect, to many of you. Over small moments, and tragic happenings, and things that felt out of control in our lives. Maybe it was a loss of some sort: a job, a dream, a loved one. Maybe it was something that broke right before your very eyes: your marriage, a friendship, a goal you’d been working towards.

But, it blindsided you. Left you standing in its wake. Confused, hurt . . . and speechless.

Life has a way of doing that. It seems lately that more and more of us are left standing in the wake. We are shocked at the things that not only happen in our lives, but in the lives around us. In the lives we live beside, and the ones we watch from our television sets. The world seems very different than we thought it was. Than we thought it would be. And our voices seem too small to matter anymore.

Except that they are the only thing that matters anymore.

Maybe you’ve lost yourself in the struggle. Things you never expected to experience have become your everyday life, and you don’t see an end in sight. Maybe you’ve pulled into yourself, withdrawn. Not because you don’t want to be with others, but because you are not who you use to be, and you’re not comfortable with yourself anymore.

But the person you are becoming is a good thing. A God thing.

Maybe it’s been painful, and hard, and sometimes humiliating. It’s been your worst nightmare, and your worst fear, and you’ve seen the worst side of yourself in this battle. But, it’s still a good thing.

Because in the end, on the other side, He has reshaped you to be who He had in mind, instead of who you had in mind. You are more compassionate about things for which He needed your compassion. You are more aware of things that He needed your help in. You’ve begun to notice people that He needs you to see.

Your voice has changed. Matured.

And you’re tired of being silent.

When someone speaks up, things change. That’s where it begins. And there’s no more important time in our lives, in our very history, to use our voice. As parents. As women. As Christians.

So, how do you get a move on with moving on? How do you restretch those vocals and prepare to share your voice again?

Mourn Your Loss

Whatever it was, it matters. And it’s ok when you are sad about what happened. You don’t need to feel bad for feeling bad. You just need to let yourself feel it. To mourn it. So that you can let it go freely, and set yourself free by handing it over to God.

Fight the Fear

Fear of using your voice in your life is the enemies plan. He loves to leave you stranded at that crossroads, looking left and right, and fearing what will come next. But, even what you have gone through can be useful to God. In fact, He will never let you go through something difficult that He won’t turn around and give you opportunities to use. Don’t let fear keep you from taking the next step.

Evaluate

Give some deep consideration to what has just happened in your life. Sometimes we don’t know why things happened, but we can see how they will mold us for the better in the end. Has this situation given you a new perspective? A heart for others? A yearning to draw closer to God?

Test It

This thing has changed you. You may not even feel like the same person anymore. But, you are still exactly who God wants you to be. What does your voice sound like now? Do you have something new to say? Is there something burning in you to do that you’ve never wanted to do before? Follow it. Try it on for size.

Take a Stand

Don’t allow yourself to stay down. When the time is right, when you’re tired of the bottom, and ready to climb out, do it! Ask for help if you need it from a friend, a loved one, a counselor, or God. But, put your mind toward moving forward then take it step by step.

 

God will never leave us in a bad place. It may feel like He has. The clock may tick by for days, or weeks, or years and feel like He’s never going to move. But, He will. Always. And when He does, when He’s ready for us to stand up again, He’ll help us to heal from the hurt. Because He’s created us for a purpose. And in each of our voices is a uniqueness that needs to be heard.

11 Comments

  1. This one was for ME. And about a hundred other parents I know…. so I’m sharing it forward. Laura, thank you. For making me cry and think about why I’ve been so stressed in this whole “my daughter’s coming home whether I’m ready and resourced or not” situation. I’m feeling like my voice doesn’t count and we’re up against this juggernaut and how will I write my darned book when I can’t even string two words (or minutes to myself) together??? Father, we need you to open your mouth for us, the speechless. Please give us words when we’ve nearly forgotten how to use them…

  2. Thank you. This is me. There is a clear call on my life to write and share my voice. There is something in me that God wants me to share. But … I am having a hard time finding my voice, let alone find what to say in this topsy turvey life. This was for me. God help me to get past my fear of what others think, give me the words that you want them to hear.

  3. I’m so glad this spoke to you. Writing can be hard. And there are so many people out there telling you who you should be and what you should write. Stay true to your voice, Julie. God gave it to you for a reason. Sweet blessings. <3

  4. Thanks for this post. whew, I have been saying to myself [for some time] and to God, I’m not heard. no one hears me as if I am invisible. the beating at the stone wall becomes just so…useless. I have felt I had become uncomfortable in my own skin, as if I did not fit it any longer. I was at a retreat not long back and one of my friends that knows what I go through said later wow, I have never seen you be so open and say so much about what you did. that’s when I realized I’m not who I used to be. Now finding I can once again be me or the new me. I have been slowly talking about our ASD/ ADHA /ODD journey in life and find it freeing. As we have moved and I meet new folks raising sp-needs and now they ask me how? or what do I do when…I try to give a gentle answer. and when I told my hubby the car was not sounding right, he actually went out and checked on it….

  5. Nina, I’m so glad you are starting to talk about your struggle. It can be a powerful thing when we finally let go and start using our voices again. It takes alot of courage, especially after a long struggle. Blessings to you as you continue to stretch those vocal chords. <3

  6. Wow.. thanks for writing this piece; it so very much resonates with me. I recently left a job that I’d been in for about two years (and that I’d been doing remotely since I moved to south Florida from NYC). The job was a bad fit but kept me tied to the north in an odd way, and I didn’t necessarily feel grounded down here. Now I feel like the whole world has opened up for me, but I almost afraid to step outside because I’m not even sure who I am anymore. Your words of ‘losing your voice and then finding it again,’ ‘keeping quiet because you’re not sure who you are/not comfortable with who you are,’ are very powerful for me. Add to all of that a newly discovered love of Christianity after just dabbling at the edges for many years (though there a several folks who will say that I haven’t even yet left the side of the pool). It’s all a wonder. And this was just what I needed to read today. Best, Lisa –

  7. Lisa,

    So glad you are hearing inklings of your voice again. It’s a hard, but courageous thing to do. And, I love that you are leaning more into God, who always has a purpose for your voice. Sweet blessings as you continue on your journey. <3

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