When all the world told me to hush,
silly girl …
what do you have to say about anything anyway?
you’re just a ____,
not what you should be …
who is even going to care what you have to say?
I chose to ignore the whole wide world
to the Only Voice
that really mattered.
I chose to let it rise from deep within my heart like a sun,
like a song.
I chose to take a deep breath and let it out
like a lightning flash in the sky,
I chose the Light,
and a deep peace settled into my bones
like a strength I’d always known
but hadn’t felt in a while.
If nothing changed in the whole wide world
that was more than enough.
As a mom, I am passionate about teaching my kids to express themselves. Even though this comes at an inconvenience to me sometimes, I encourage them to share their true thoughts and feelings with me. I want them to know their voices matter to me, to God and really, to the world. I want them to be respectful obviously, but I never want them to feel like they have to pretend to gain approval from me or anyone else. I hope they will always be true to their authentic selves throughout their lives.
Lately, it’s been fun to see my 9-month-old daughter pick up on using sign language to let us know when wants “more” food or is “all done” eating. It’s just plain cute when she signs “up please” with a cheesy grin and wiggly outstretched fingers.
Even more than formal signs we’ve taught her, I delight in her joyful shrieks and her “mmmmm” sounds of excitement when she desperately wants to touch something like a dog or a turtle at the zoo. No one shrieks quite like she does or thinks quite like she does. She is uniquely created by God and an absolute treasure to me exactly as as she is naturally. I want to hear her unique voice coming from within her precious little heart
I still love to hear what my 12, 10 and 7-year-olds get excited about, think and feel too. Each one has a totally unique and priceless outlook on life. It is a gift to watch them grow up and evolve over the years, retaining their one-of-a-kind characteristics at the same time.
Even when I disagree with their opinions and hope they outgrow certain thought patterns, I want to know the real them. Even when their authentic opinion causes a clash of wills with what I think is best for them as their mom, their voice matters to me. I don’t want to just overpower them with my parental authority – I want to be in a deep and meaningful relationship with them as they journey through life.
Why do their voices matter so much to me? Because I know how it feels to have my thoughts, feelings and opinions harshly criticized, judged and invalidated. Reclaiming my authentic voice, self expression and creativity has been a healing journey for me that has enhanced every aspect of my life. Naturally, I want the kids to live out loud – right from the start.
I don’t think God is controlling or judgemental, and I don’t think He expects us all to see things the same way or be at the exact same point on our spiritual journey through life. I believe God cares about each and every one of our thoughts, feelings and life experiences. I believe we’re all more alike than different at our core, but it’s okay to think what we think, feel what we feel and wrestle with our faith for as long as it takes to discover God’s peace in our own hearts.
It means the world to me that I have found the courage to write from my deepest convictions about life, love and faith here on Unite in Prayer. I don’t feel like my writing fits into a box, and I don’t know where it’s leading me, but I love that it is authenticity pouring out if my heart and deep sense of spirituality, and I hope you can find that same blessing of self expression in some area of your own life.
Where are YOU at on your journey of authenticity? Do you feel free to express the deepest convictions of your heart and soul in the world? Where are you at in your journey of personal growth and faith? Comment below, and I’ll be delighted to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
God help us find our authentic voices, and give us the courage to be exactly who You created to be, bravely sharing our hearts with the world as we journey through life. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.
written by Nicky Gant for http://www.uniteinprayer.org 8/2/2019