The discipline of journaling my thoughts has the power to either encourage or haunt me. While it’s true that reading words I’ve penned in the past can be a wonderful reminder of Father’s faithfulness, it can also be a reminder of my own faulty tendency toward melancholy.
Toward all those everyday wonders that fall by the wayside, trampled underfoot by the weight of the cares of this life.
Today I am thankful for both past words and present truth.
After reading the following journal entry penned several months ago, I realized that God has been setting me free from the fear of declaring myself. Day by day, sometimes even moment by moment, He has been releasing me from capitulating to lesser things as I determine what to embrace and what I allow to be loosened from my all-too-often grasping fingers.
Perhaps you can relate…
“‘You gotta start declaring yourself,’ she said. And I laughed, because all my life I’ve been trying to state my case in whispers.” – Elora Ramirez
Even though most people would not define me as “quiet,” I so easily can relate with the above statement. It’s hard to “declare yourself” when you’re floundering to come to grips with who you really are. Especially when the real me continues to morph and change, much like the turning of seasons.
I am very much a work “in process.” Sometimes seemingly stagnating in the winter of my soul; other times inwardly whirling with summer thunderstorms — a cacophony of emotions quickened by fears or paralyzed with pain. There are the rare glimpses of beauty bursting through the springtime of my personality as I blossom with hope and the thought of new beginnings. And there are those moments of autumn when all seems to be coming loose within, falling rapidly as leaves to the ground. Aching with desire to skip over the cold of winter and return to the pleasantness of spring, I find myself rushing to recapture the beauty that seems so elusive in the gray deadness of preparation.
From the midst of this whirlwind of self, I wonderingly whisper, “Who am I?” as I’m whisked away by these moments of time passing — even though I seldom feel as if I’m entrenched in anything other than the here and now of others’ expectations.
Chained yet again by needs I dare not neglect.
As I ponder this missive of declaring, I too easily content myself to remain in the discontent of deferring to others. Of rushing to fulfill the call of the urgent when the cry to create is ringing within.
So I stifle my declarations and answer with a whisper, reaching out once more to fulfill the desires of others. Sharing their stories while silencing my own…
Today, I thankfully realized that I have been making steps toward regaining my voice. I’m learning to declare myself beyond just the merest of whispers.
I actually told someone “no” this past week – “no” to an opportunity for ministry, even (insert audible gasp here). Once I got past the initial twinge of guilt which likes to accompany disappointing a friend’s expectations, I realized how freeing it was to loosen my grasp on something rather than tighten it.
To “let go” and not look back may still be a temptation that I’ll have to face in the future, but for now, I know this is what I’m to do.
Step by step – or more appropriately, handful by handful – I’m learning to allow God to fill and empty these busy fingers of mine. More importantly, I’m learning to write my story… line by line, sometimes letter by letter, with a whole lot of scribbling and editing.
My next prayer is to move past the editing and one day have the freedom to openly spill forth the words as they escape, without the editing and trimming and taking away portions of me that God finds beautiful and desirable, even when I find them less than poetic. But that is another work left for another story.
If you have found yourself being stifled by the cries of others, I challenge you to join me in “declaring” yourself. Not selfishly making declarations, mind you. There’s a vast difference between the two. No, I’m simply inviting you to refuse to silence yourself and your God-given desires; to create and release the beauty you’ve been holding within. It’s time to allow those declarations to escape, in ways that make them more noticeable than your whispers which have been muted by the expectations of others.
It’s time to give voice to your own story, dear one. The world needs your beauty. It needs your talents and gift, your unique and quirky personality that differs from all others.
So silence the urgent, and embrace what is needful in order to “let go” and “live free.”