God Can Breathe Life Into Your Voice

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A Child's Trust
Joining Faith Barista’s writing prompt:
Finding Your Voice

I’ve been struggling with this writing prompt. How can I write about finding my voice when it sometimes feels like it’s still trapped inside of me?  I really don’t know how to describe it, but sometimes it feels like there is this pressure deep in my soul crying to get out, to be the real me. But when my voice starts peeking out, that’s when the lies hammer me even more persistently. And I want to shut down again. 

I was about to give up writing this post until I read Bonnie Gray’s post: The Top 5 Lies of Perfectionism, and she encouraged us to take the Love Dare Challenge. To just take the next step that reflects only on the unconditional love of God for us. To let ourselves be loved.

So even if this post sounds as mixed up as my “real” voice does sometimes, I’m going to take the Love Dare Challenge and write anyway. I’m trying hard to JUST BE ME and not feel guilty about it. To not feel selfish if I nurture the true voice of my soul. To not feel I don’t deserve to be healed.

Deep down in my soul there are seeds.

Unique seeds God planted that make me different.

Seeds that have a special purpose in His plan.

Seeds that are meant to grow and bloom.

Seeds that have been smothered with negative words and actions.

Seeds that I’m trying to allow God to breathe life into again.

There is hope in the story of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37. The Spirit of the Lord brought Ezekiel to a valley of dry bones. A jumbled up mess of dead, dried up bones with not a speck of life in them. But what happened?

Feel the shaking of the ground. Hear the thundering and rattling as thousands of bones connected to each other. Then muscles and tendons, flesh, and skin covered those dry bones. But they still needed God’s breath to come alive.

“Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath and spirit to enter you, and you shall live.” (Ezekiel 37:5)

God breathed a spirit of life into dead, dried up bones.

So I tell your heart and mine…

You sometimes feel your voice is so buried,

That it will never come to fullness of life.

Take courage in this story.

God can bring dry bones to life,

And He can resurrect your true voice

To fully live and love as He created you.

Truths About Legalistic Christianity

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” ~ Steve Jobs

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Why Do We Mask Our True Feelings?

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I’m fine!

“Why do you always think you have to act so strong?” My husband has asked me this more than once. Why? Sometimes I really don’t know. I try hard to tell my true feelings, but so often my automatic pilot kicks into a front of strength that I don’t really feel.

I often put on an “I’m fine” mask. I can be struggling both physically and emotionally with chronic illness, but I’m fine. My heart can feel like it’s in a million pieces, but I’m fine. My soul can feel destitute of hope, but I’m fine.

Why do some of us hide our emotions? Whether we are aware of it or not, the past has so much to do with it. The life experiences we’ve been through reflect in our behavior towards ourselves or others (both good and bad). Sometimes it results in hiding under masks of different shapes, sizes, and colors.

When I search my heart, I am certain pains from the past influence my not daring to share true-to-my-heart feelings. Sometimes I put on an “I’m fine” mask, because:

  1. I’m afraid I will hurt someone’s feelings, even if I do tell the truth in love.
  2. I’m afraid I will again be hurt or rejected by either silence or words.
  3. I figure my feelings don’t count anyway.
  4. I’m afraid I won’t be believed or understood anyway.
  5. I feel ashamed to expose who I really am or where I’ve been. People won’t accept me or will look at me differently.
  6. When I expose vulnerability in me or show my need for help or encouragement, I feel panicked and unsafe. It makes me feel weak and powerless, like I’m opening up myself for others to take advantage of me.

Fear can be so powerful, can’t it? Wouldn’t it be great if we could just flip a switch to move forward? To really believe God has us in His grip no matter what?

If only we could just step out inadequate and afraid, believing in our hearts that in our weakness, Jesus is powerful and will supply sufficient grace.

If only we could put on our blinders and see nothing but Jesus holding out His hand. The love in His eyes thawing our frozen hearts so we can reach out and grasp it.

If only we could immerse ourselves more into what Jesus thinks of us, not what people or negative voices within us tell us. To truly believe we are wonderfully created, deeply cherished, and unconditionally accepted by Him.

If only… Perhaps we would then be more ready to take off our masks and be who we truly are and who God meant us to be. 

Life can be a struggle, can’t it? Do you hide the pain you’re really struggling with behind a mask? If yes, why do you think you do it? Not everyone understands, believes, or even wants to hear you, but that’s their choice. That doesn’t make you a less-than-special person.

And you know what? What matters is that Jesus will always understand you, believe you, and cry with you. His hope line is open 24/7.

I pray that this year you and I will learn to be our authentic selves and we will be freed to fly!

A Child's Trust

Choose Authenticity

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Do we live authentically? Do we show people who we genuinely are? Or does shame consume us and not allow our true selves to come out?

Brene Brown immersed herself into the research of shame. Shame is the “swampland of the soul” – the voice that always says to us, “Uh-uh… You’re not good enough.” Unlike guilt that says, “I did something bad,” shame says “I am bad.” We don’t make mistakes. We are the mistake.

In the course of her interviews and research, she came to a shocking revelation. The people who do have a strong sense of belonging believe they are worthy. They carry these characteristics:

  1. Courage – They believe who they are with their whole heart.
  2. Compassion – They are kind first to themselves, so they can be kind to others.
  3. Connection – They connect as a result of authenticity.
  4. Vulnerability – They fully embrace it. They believe what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful.

This conclusion brought Brene to a perplexing standstill in her research. While she knew vulnerability is the core of shame, fear, and a struggle for worthiness, her eyes were opened to see it is also a birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging, and love.

Four tidbits of advice she now offers are:

  1. Let ourselves be seen.
  2. Love with our whole hearts.
  3. Practice gratitude. Lean into joy.
  4. Believe we are enough.

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Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

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Brene Brown: Listening to Shame

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Brene Brown’s Free Posters