Use Your Voice
Recently I had the unfortunate and very stressful experience of losing my voice. Every time I opened my mouth to speak it was quite interesting to hear what husky and strained rendition would come out each time. Ordering through the drive thru was also lots of fun! I can’t believe that they could even hear or understand my “double double” order but by some miracle they seemed to. By far the most difficult part of this ordeal though hands down was trying to teach with no voice. Honestly you do not realize how important your voice is until you do not have it. I had to write a lot of things down and use a wipe board for the students to read from. The students were awesome and came alongside me 100%. Honestly they came to my rescue to help in any way they could which was greatly appreciated. I had the kids “be my voice” to announce what we were doing next, give instructions, and read stories to the class. We joked that the day was to be a “Whisper Festival,” which to their credit they were totally fine with. For one day I could get creative, but fortunately after a day off of rest my voice eventually found its way back. It did give me much to think about though.
Our voices are so much a part of us. It is how we communicate, express ourselves and a key piece of how people recognize us. A friend of mine was telling me of how she spoke to someone who she had not seen in years on the phone and when this person heard her voice she simply said in her excitement “Say more words!” The recipient of the phone call thought she recognized the caller, but was still a bit unsure. Soon she was so grateful when she realized that after all these years she still knew my friend’s voice. Without a voice we cannot be who we want to be. I felt very unfriendly and helpless without my voice as it appeared I was being very antisocial everywhere I went. It was uncomfortable and awkward and I am very thankful it was temporary.
People like to speak for others and that can be a good and bad thing at times. My daughter and I were out for lunch and we had a good chuckle at the couple beside us. The wife talked nonstop and would not let her husband get a word in right down to telling him what to order and ordering for him. Wow! Now that was a bit much. On the contrary, there are many positive situations where it is healthy and helpful to speak on someone’s behalf who is being mistreated or misunderstood. Speaking up for ourselves is also so important. I remember when I felt like I did not have the courage to speak up for myself. I would readily take on many volunteer endeavours with my work and church and soon found myself spread way too thin. It is important for us to learn the value of saying “no” and to do so is a skill that many people need to practice more often.
Our voices can be instruments of hope and healing or tools of destruction. The saying “sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me,” is truly ridiculous. Words do hurt and their effects can stick with someone literally for years. I am shocked sometimes at what I hear others say to people. Some lack the discretion of what should just be kept as a private thought and not voiced. I came across a poster that I often think of before I share information or make a comment based on the letters of the word “THINK.” It asks these questions: Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? Is it kind? I am just as guilty as the next person of not using this tool more often to judge what I should say or not say. Even writing this I feel that check in my spirit of being more conscious of what I say in conversation about people and just life in general. We can learn a lot about people by what they say or don’t say for that matter. It should be our goal to model a kind and respectful person who although may have a different opinion, will still carry on in appropriate dialogue with others.
The Bible talks of the words of our mouths bringing God praise and the meditation of our hearts being acceptable in God’s sight. Being more mindful of having more positive, and uplifting conversations can be helpful for all of us. When we speak it is God’s plan for us to speak words of life. Words that speak into others’ lives not tear them down are so desperately needed in today’s day and age. Many years ago a gentleman in one of the support groups I was leading broke down as he shared that he had NEVER had a birthday party growing up because all his life he was called a “loser,” and a “mistake.” He was never celebrated and the hurt from these words and maltreatment ran deep. I had no idea when his birthday was but to me that was irrelevant. It was clear what had to be done. After the group without his knowledge we organized a surprise birthday party for him for the next week complete with cake, candles, decorations, gifts and lots of appreciation statements. It was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had and I knew that this moment would make a profound impact on this dear man who had never felt valued or edified. We all felt so honoured to speak words of life into this man’s life that day. A clear example of using our voices to bring hope and healing in a simple gesture for someone who so desperately needed it!
So remember we all need to use our voices wisely. Our voices are powerful tools that should never be underestimated. Speak up and encourage someone today. You may never even realize what a difference your kind words can make to someone who is so in need of a positive word.
Until next time
Psalms 19:14 ~ May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Little Lesson Learned: Our voice and words are very powerful. Remember to encourage others and to think things through before speaking in haste.
Copyright: littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2015