How does a woman find her voice?
It is a good question. I have been using my voice for many years, even before I experienced healing and freedom. What has changed fundamentally is that I no longer suffer in silence and I am happy and content. I sense God’s work in and through me. Here is a short selection of people I know who have used their voices, borne out of painful experiences, to encourage other women.
Many women are like me. I used to believe I had nothing to offer. I didn’t think I was talented enough or smart enough. I was wrong. God takes who we are, what we have to offer, and then He grows us. Our stories connect us to others. A powerful voice is one that speaks from the heart offering hope and healing in its projection. Women’s voices are arising from every quarter each with something lovely to say. Won’t you find your voice?
Jo Ann finds her voice.
Jo Ann Fore, in her book, When a Woman Finds Her Voice, shares the many sorrows in her life to illustrate the grace of God as He releases her from painful, emotional wounding. In poignant pictures she invites us to see God, who hears when we hurt and frees us from our injured selves. Jo Ann encourages women to speak out, come out of the shadows, and give voice to the miracle of God’s healing touch. Jo Ann tells it like it is. “True emotional healing lies somewhere between intentional choices and divine intervention, a function of surrender, faith, trust, and action.“
Mary finds her voice.
She stood at the front in a room full of women. I wondered what she would say. With self-assurance she began to recite from memory The Twenty-Third Psalm. This was a first for her. Although she was active in our women’s ministry group, this elderly woman was always hesitant, rarely sharing spiritual insights or participating in prayer, preferring to be unnoticed. That night she looked especially beautiful as she voiced the well-loved psalm in a perfect, flawless delivery. She was the last to speak. Peace centered in the room and joy percolated in effervescent waves of love.
Cindy finds her voice.
Her story was painful to hear for all of us listening in that evening. The words came out; a story of abuse at her mother’s hands. “My mother held me down by my hair, a knife in her hand. I knew she was about to kill me. There was fire in her eyes.” In my mind I could see the little girl looking up in terror at her drunken mother. “But something stopped my mother. I saw someone stay her hand. It wasn’t my dad. I think maybe it was an angel or God.” She went on to say how she found God and the ways in which he healed her and made her whole. Through God’s love she was able to forgive her mother.
Joyce finds her voice.
“I knew I didn’t have much longer to live and I was at peace. But I really wanted to be around a little longer for my kids and grand kids and sisters. God provided an organ for a transplant just in the nick of time. I’m so thankful to God for giving me a few more years.” Her face glowed as she spoke of her transformation. It was obvious that each day now is seen as a gift from God to be shared and enjoyed.
I find my voice.
I was a bit nervous speaking from the pulpit, the miracle of God’s intervention pushing me to give Him the praise and glory. It had not been easy. For eighteen months I had lost her then twelve year old daughter in a child custody battle. It had cost her sleepless nights and plenty in attorney fees to try to keep my daughter out of harm’s way. A valuable lesson had been been learned, though. My child belongs to God first. Trust God to take care of her when you can’t be there for her. I began to speak, “I’m here to share with you that my daughter is back living with me. Thank you for praying for us. There were times when I was afraid for her welfare. God let me know that he was taking care of her. I have one thing I want you to know. ‘Let go and let God.'” The crowd began to applaud, then I noticed a quiet man in the back standing up. I knew why. He understood my message. This man’s standing ovation a witness to the truth of ‘Let go and let God.’ His daughter, a young lady, had survived several years incarcerated in a women’s prison known for its violence. God had protected her in that hell-hole and she had been unharmed.
We all must speak what God gives us.
If your time is not here yet, you’re still in the troubling mess of life, that is okay. There will be a day when your healing comes and you will be able to look back and say, “God did that. Amazing!” You will find your voice when the time is right.