Following is a guest post by popular blogger and certified Life Coach, Jo Ann Fore, author of When A Woman Finds Her Voice, which releases this week from Leafwood Publishers. Jo Ann is also founder of the online community, Write Where It Hurts. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook and read more about her ministry at www.WriteWhereItHurts.com
Broken dreams and unmet expectations often leave invisible wounds, ones that linger, confuse, and overwhelm. Our souls stained, our hearts wrecked, we tend to lose hope. And we go quiet.
While silence can be serene and comforting when we need a break from daily living, silencing who we are, our internal voices, weakens our ability to connect heart-to-heart with others.
Over time, our voices can fade to insignificant. The nothingness permeates our lives with low self-esteem and threatens to steal our very identities.
Have you (or someone you know) ever fallen silent? Felt unable to express yourself because you were misunderstood, attacked, or criticized in some way? Have you hurt so badly you doubted the pain could ever go away? More importantly, have you ever felt a sharp pull to hide these hurts?
That’s not God’s plan.
Your voice matters. In fact, it’s a personal gift from the One who made you. Pull that truth in tight—to the very core of your being. Relish the freedom.
You aren’t alone. Unworthy. Powerless. You are important in God’s eyes. You aren’t defined by what has happened to you, or even your own wrong choices; these things will not destroy you. You are loved. Needed. And what you have to say is valuable.
Even before we were born, there was hope for the power of our voices. It was assumed we would speak—important that we did. At birth, family members pressed in to ensure our lungs drew in bittersweet air. Unworried with thoughts or expectations of others, unencumbered by concerns of value, worth, or meaning, and in our most primal and authentic voice, we cried out. Signaled by the sound, everyone celebrated new life.
Those thin places
where truth seeps through—
those are the places where Jesus walks, the places we find healing.
But somewhere along the way we lost that celebration of unimpaired voice. Many of us were shamed, intimidated, or bullied into a habit of silence. In time, we adopted a false voice; we put on a “life-is-just-fine, thanks-for-asking” mask while we lived a life on the outside that was deeply divorced from our innermost truth.
This battle for our voices is intense. We want our freedoms. To feel joy. We want to matter. But our worlds are loud, filled with friends, family, and co-workers as well as social demands and outside negative influences. And in the midst of all this noise, we tend to lose the voices that matter most—both our own, and that of the God who whispers to our hearts.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
In When a Woman Finds Her Voice: Overcoming Life’s Hurts & Using Your Story to Make a Difference, we meet, face-to-face, a hope strong enough to overcome life’s hurts—a practical hope that challenges us, encouraging us to make some tough but important life-changing choices.
My heart in writing this book is to help you become a Silence–Breaker, a woman willing to find and use her voice. Matter fact, we have a new and growing community of women who have pledged to do that very thing—won’t you consider joining us?
That story you’re scared to share—that story has the power to change both your life and the lives of others.
– Jo Ann Fore