As a young girl, I was silenced.
“Children should be seen and not heard”
It was the prison I lived in for the first 13 years of life.
When my parents divorced. I found my voice.
It was ladened in rebellion, an open resistance to the establishment (family) in which I was raised.
My teen years were filled with resisting any and all type of authority.
The desire to be heard through the rebellion was evident.
But hurting people can not see the forest through the trees.
And so my uncensored life continued until I met “Jesus”.
My voice then silenced yet again, but this time under the guise of “religion.”
Legalism took me by the hand and for 23 years, I was made to believe that I could have no thoughts that went against a set of rules, written in books of discipline, taught in catechisms based off of tradition.
The silencing of my voice and my independence, not only had a choke hold on me, but also my marriage, my husband and my three children.
And so we ran.
And then it all fell apart.
Marriage. Finances. Children. Home.
My world spinning out of control, destruction peering at me, on the horizon.
UNTIL they grabbed me. Saved me from my peril.
Jesus and Anna*
And they told me to “SPEAK”
So I did, and they listened.
And listened and listened and listened.
I was heard.
It was grace. It was healing. It was breakthrough.
I found my voice.
And my voice mattered, for the first time in my life, I felt a liberation for my words, and my opinions and viewpoints.
I was SET.FREE.
No longer caged but on a journey to be “ME”. No cookie cutter , mass produced follower of Christ, but a unique individual, created in HIS image with a voice all her own.
No more shame. No more guilt. No more mandates of what, when, where or how.
A Voice to be heard.
A Voice to be shared.
A Voice that matters.
And I have never been the same.
Reading through the chapters of her own personal story, I found myself nodding my head on every page. I could relate to so much. We hide our voices behind shame, guilt, religion, rules, or not wanting to appear weak. So we wear masks to cover it all, and underneath it all, we are dying, a slow painful, self deprecating death.
We were made to speak. We are powerful women with voices to bring grace, compassion, healing, mercy and breakthrough. We are needed.
But we can not do it alone. We need each other. We need community.
Jo Ann states in her book, “When we stifle the need for connection, we sacrifice a healing intimacy and companionship, forfeiting the opportunity to unfold that which cannot be discovered in solitude.” and “There is nothing that replaces the open-hearted power of a live, intimate conversation with a trusted friend.”
We each have a unique voice. Crafted by the Father’s loving hands and breathed in with life.
We each have a extraordinary story. One that needs to be told.
Jo Ann has written a book that will encourage you and empower you to make the next steps to freedom in this area.
Your story matters.
Will you share it?
Will you release your voice?
Join me and a hundred other women and sign the pledge here.
You can preorder “When A Woman Finds Her Voice” here.
And even enter a giveaway for a free copy here.
Lesley is a Wife. Mom. Friend. Sister. Daughter. Artist, and Writer. Stage 4 Cancer fighter. Authentic. Passionate Risk Taker. and a lover of Jesus. She is the founder of Dandelion Wishes, Inc. and also writes alongside her husband of 22 years at Miraculous Life. You can also read part of Lesley’s personal story here.