“Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Colossians 4: 4-6
Have you ever thought about what’s in a voice? It’s something we never truly think about very often. The more formal definition is:
- the sound produced in a person’s larynx and uttered through the mouth, as speech or song.
- A particular opinion or attitude expressed.
From the time we are born we release this god awful cry to show the world we are alive, we have breath, we are here, and will not be ignored. As we grow, our voice develops over time as we get used to the sound, formulating words and eventually being able to hold conversation with those around us.
Throughout this week in Namibia it has been the one thing that has not only consumed my thoughts but in some ways it’s been the one thing that has also haunted me.
On more than one occasion I have asked God:
Why did you give me this voice? This loud, powerful voice that can be heard from afar. A voice so intentional, so bold, so resilient. A voice that with the wrong diction can come off as being to intense, to strong, to loud, to everything and though that is not my heart or who I am…it’s how my voice has presented itself.
My voice comes from a long line of fiery, loud, proud southern family, with strong Italian roots. It’s something I used to hold so dear, so how did I get to the place where I now pray for God to change it? I ask God why me? Why this voice?…and there is no answer in return except for, “This is my gift to you, this is how I made you. This is how I am going to use you.”
Then the fatal spiritual attack…
Lord, take it back.
Take this cup from me and give it to someone else, but if it be your will, then you must now be my voice. You must change my words, and speak through me because right now I have nothing left to say.
You know, they say that a picture paints 1,000 words, and if I had a picture I could show you instead I would…a page can hold 1,000 words, but I am unsure of what to write…so what if you only had 1,000 words left to say?
Would you speak the truth in hopes that the truth would grant you more? Would you tell someone I love you and genuinely mean it? Would you speak life in to others? Or would you simply have nothing left to say and let it waste it away?
There is so much to our voice and the words we say. How we knit them together, how we speak, each connotation revealing how we carry ourselves. It reveals our hearts, our character, the depths of our soul. Something beyond divine, created so unique, our minds forgo the thought of its design as we speak to one another as our minds simply adapt and adopt each unique sound giving us the ability to recognize those that we speak with. Those that we converse with.
If you have followed along in this grand adventure of mine, you more than likely have seen (read about) the various ups and downs. The battles. The walls that I have built, but also the walls that have come crumbling down. The mountain high moments and the journeys in the valleys below. If I have learned one thing at all it’s that ministry is messy. By the time you have reached the mountain top, God reveals the next path before you that will refine you even more so beyond our comprehension. Why? Because staying comfortable is staying complacent. The more you allow for growth and choosing God over the world, the more you allow the spiritual attacks and fiery arrows to come your way. The more you cling to the Lord, the more you realize that these arrows have no true power except for a refining fire that God uses in our lives to refine who we are and continue molding us into the son or daughter of God He has always intended us to be.
God lays the path before us but that path and journey before us isn’t always straight ahead or black and white. There’s turns and misdirections that we tend to not see coming. There’s caution signs that we ignore until we realize the need for redirection and a reset to settle our feet back in the firm foundation and what does it all come back to?
Our voice…Our willingness to not only speak to the Lord in every trial or every victory but to speak to Him in every moment that comes our way.
To speak. To not quiet our voice, but refine it. To season our conversation with salt and wisdom. To slow down our tongues so that when our mouths begin to utter a word it won’t fall short, but pour out love and light.
To speak truth back into ourselves and remember who we are in Christ because that will never change.
I am who I am because God made me exactly who I am. The enemy can attack but the enemy cannot have my voice! This is my voice and the voice that God has gifted to me. My voice won’t change, but how god uses it will.