Hello, hello, hello!
I hope I find you well (spoken like a true email introduction) *laughs*
We briefly talked about seasons the last time, and a few days ago, I turned a year older so I am in a new one myself, love it! Speaking of seasons, the last time we were here what I didn’t mention about that new season is that it fell within a drought coupled with political unrest in the country I was in. That meant prices of basic commodities went up, the basics themselves also went scarce. It was an election year in 2008, one of the most unforgettable years for most if not all Zimbabweans who lived through that period. My aunt’s household was not exempt from this reality. The inflation was skyrocketing, salaries were barely able to afford a decent lifestyle, and sometimes they wouldn’t even come. #Sigh
I am such a firm believer of the fact that no season of our lives comes to waste, God works out every big and tiny detail of our lives to bring us good.
Romans 8: 28 We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
I am also a firm believer that everyone’s journey is unique and the set of opportunities and even challenges you face are relative to who were created to be. Of course there are other contributions to your reality but that’s a topic for another day.
If you remember one of my villages chronicles, I once detailed an extreme case of famine that I experienced. I never thought going through that would help me in any way in my life again but alas! Because I had already experienced this horrible drought earlier, eating plain rice at this point didn’t qualify to me as suffering.
You see, most times God allows us to pass through certain situations because He knows what lies ahead of us and because He is loving, He allows only what can build us up and not tear us down to come our way. Not all your seasons are going to be comfortable, but all your seasons, including the uncomfortable, have a purpose in shaping the person you ought to be for the destiny you have/even the path to that destiny. In any case, most seasons in your life only make sense in hindsight. Train yourself to trust in God’s love in every season you find yourself in.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I don’t even intend to be dwelling much on the drought today so let’s move on…
My season with my aunt was just for a year, because within that year, her husband and later her too had to move to South Africa because the situation in Zimbabwe was not looking good.
During that year, there are two scenarios that I want to focus on today. One of them being the time I was tasked with reciting a poem in front of parents and students at one of the school events in my high school. I remembered every word of the poem and did exceptionally well but I hated the whole thing because I hated the way my voice sounded as I was doing the poem. My voice was sounding so sharp, it made me sound like a toddler, I thought. I felt embarrassed because how dare I stand in front of people and use a baby’s voice.
It’s crazy how I had the ability to dismiss what an achievement it was to even be selected as one of the students that would present before parents and students at a big event…simply because my voice was too sharp and sounded immature.
It was my first year in high school, what did I even need a mature voice for?!!!
I wish this was the only time I convinced myself to hate my voice, it wasn’t!
Similarly, one of the Sundays at church was scheduled to be a Sunday-School Sunday, which meant the children’s church would run the whole service as the adults normally would and I was put as one of the preachers. How that even happened remains a mystery because I generally did not strike as the most confident or even averagely confident child then. Of course, I was extremely nervous, for the silly reason that I didn’t want to disappoint my family in front of the people they respected and for some reason, my family couldn’t make it to church that day so I went on my own. That gave me a slight relief because I assumed that even if it was bad, they wouldn’t know. We are not even going to talk about how naive I was to think no church member would mention it if indeed it was that bad.
As nerve-wrecking as it was, when I stepped onto that pulpit, I quite passionately preached on top of my voice. I have no recollection of what exactly I preached about, but I just know I was quite passionate about it. Oh, I was shaking, my voice was trembling, and I could feel words coming out of my mouth that I didn’t quite rehearse. At the end of the day, when I walked away, the predominant feeling was embarrassment because of the way my voice sounded.
Unbeknownst to me, people at church really liked my ‘sermon’ that they told my aunt that she missed out on ‘mai mfundisi’ (female preacher/preacher’s wife in the Shona language). All the people who wanted to relay the sermon would refer to me as that. It didn’t mean much to me then but it makes sense to me now (and I will explain that in a later blog).
See, the devil attacks what he knows is attached to your destiny. Everyone honest enough will tell you that standing in front of people even to just say one word is not the easiest of tasks. Instead of me seeing that, I felt so sorry for anyone who had to endure my horrible voice. How ridiculous.
Over the years I have come to realize that not that many people like their voices, they either find it too hoarse or too deep or too sharp or too whatever else there is to voices. This is such a deception from the devil. Our voices are not just unnecessary accessories, they are such a profound weapon.
I know most people don’t struggle with believing the power contained in words, even atheists champion the power of words. The voice though? Disregarded.
Let’s see what God says about His own voice:
Psalm 29:3-9 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is upon many (great) waters. 4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. 5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; yes, the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion (Mount Hermon) like a young, wild ox. 7 The voice of the Lord splits and flashes forth forked lightning. 8 The voice of the Lord makes the wilderness tremble; the Lord shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh.9 The voice of the Lord makes the hinds bring forth their young, and His voice strips bare the forests, while in His temple everyone is saying, Glory!
Now, if God would ensure we know what His voice can do, wouldn’t it be absurd if He gave us voices that are not good enough and of no use? Our voices are the sound unique to ourselves as individuals that we send forth in the spirit. It is that sound that prays to God, that sings psalms and hymns, that sends forth your worship, and it is important in its uniqueness so much so that the Bible makes provision that even if you are not musically gifted, you can send forth a joyful noise unto the Lord. Even shouts are a form of worship and warfare, the walls of Jericho did fall down after a shout (Joshua 6:20 for reference), even a cry is a sound recognized in the spirit, Hagar got a response from the Lord based on the sound of her baby’s cry.
Genesis 21:7 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.
I could go on and on about the power of the voice but my point is every time you disregard your voice, you are disregarding such a unique weapon with dynamic power: you are disregarding the vessel that transports the authority in your prayer, your worship, your decrees, your authority. If you are one of those people, do not do that anymore, do not criticize what God thoughtfully gave to you as He was fearfully and wonderfully making you.
This might sound rather extreme, but life and everything about it is spiritual. Every time I have heard someone criticize their voice, it has unsettled me and I never understood why until now. I mean I have heard people criticize everything from their skin tone, weight, size of their eyes, ears, feet and whatever else, and it has not quite bothered me like when someone criticizes their voice. This is obviously not to say the voice is to be worshiped or esteemed in a weird way, or that it is the only important aspect in worship or prayer, definitely not. Use your voice for good, get excited when your voice can be heard ministering to God in worship, thanksgiving, prayer, even in sharing His love with the world or whichever way you can contribute positively to the kingdom of God.
God also loves it when you can decipher His voice in the many voices that are always speaking.
John 10:27 (AMPC) The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me.
Now back to my story, I had two different scenarios in different settings saying unrelated things, but I walked out with the same conclusion that my voice degraded the words I spoke and that those who heard me had had to endure me and had received nothing from me. What was being challenged/attacked was not just my voice, it is probably the least of the things that were being attacked there. It was my ability to stand in front of people and have a say, it was my confidence in what I have to bring in the world, it was where I equated my worth. All these things are things that are attached to my destiny. This was an attempt to discourage me from ever considering doing anything loosely related to voicing myself in any way possible and from then, I purposefully avoided saying much.
Of course, it is not everyone who disregards their voice, perhaps yours is something else. You are a workmanship, everything about you contributes to the kingdom you serve, a complete masterpiece you are. A unique thoughtfully crafted workmanship, love and cherish yourself, don’t waste yourself on pointless pursuits without eternal value. Do not listen to voices that make you believe that you are less than or worthless, you are not.
I know I have spoken a lot so I will end here. Until the next one and beyond, continue to glorify God with your life. If you haven’t been doing so, now sounds like a great time to start.
A LITTLE PRAYER FOR YOU
Father, I thank you for being The Creator God. I am precious in your sight. You thoughtfully created me. I am necessary and worthy and add value to my community. Thank you for being ever-present in my life. I am confident that you are working all things out for my good. You have loved me with an everlasting love, anything or anyone that seeks to convince me that I am not precious in your sight is a lie and I do not believe it. I will fulfill my destiny in you. I am a vessel of honor in your kingdom, I bear good fruit in every season of my life. Amen