For the Silenced Stories



Silence.
When you fall silent.
When you've lost your voice
or
rather
you've allowed your voice to be taken from you.

When we've lived through things and we have these stories to tell but we don't tell them because we feel something negative by them - shame, fear, humiliation, regret... - it's like taking our stories and shoving them inside of one of those cute storage boxes that doubles as a coffee table. We invite our silenced stories to be a part of a space where we want warmth and community and shared chats over warm drinks.

But it's impossible, this community and sharing of hearts, if the core of who we are is stifled and haunting us beneath the guise of centerpiece for our comfy chairs.

I've shared who I am in spurts. I've shared bits and pieces of the story with women in large rooms. But as it fell out, I wanted to scoop it back up and hide it again.

"Oh, it wasn't that bad."
"Thanks, but I'm really not that brave."
"You're so kind but I'm sure you've had it far worse and I'm sorry for that."

These were the responses born of an insecure soul when women wanted to come and relate with me.

And then there was the year that a beautiful girl with a beautiful soul and a beautiful family lost her fight with the depression and we gathered in a room to mourn and say "Goodbye". How she changed me. Because I fought depression too. I had thoughts and feelings that no one knew but I wanted to shoo away encouragement that would try and break through the armored door of my insecure storage unit. I would hear none of it and I would water it all down. "It's not that bad. I'll be OK."

Those same words are the ones I gave to friends years ago when I was in that relationship that still makes for a horrible nightmare now and again. "It's not that bad. I'll be OK." Except I wasn't. I wasn't OK at all. My body was caving in from the anorexia as my spirit was being choked to death.

And it's this very story that tried for years to keep a hand over my mouth. The repeated memory of "You're so fat. You're an idiot. Whore. You're lucky you have me because no one else will ever love you. Be quiet. I don't care what you think. Don't listen to them, they don't love you. Stay here. Why are you looking at me like that? What makes you think you can do that? SHUTUP. Stupid slut..."

I can almost hear the cracking of my delicate heart as I type out those words again. He wanted me so still and quiet and agreeable and to this day, my temptation is to be still and quiet and agreeable.

Enough.

In this season of my life, I'm doing none of those things. I'm calling things what they are and allowing myself to FEEL. I'm sharing my story even if it breaks me over again to help even one person find strength to break down the walls that keep us locked in.  I'm MOVING and DOING and SERVING in ways I'm honestly surprised God allows me to but it's a beautiful humility that makes my praise so big it CANNOT BE CONTAINED.

Do you hear it? Do you hear the whisper in your heart?

"Sweetheart. It's time to wake up."

And as your eyes open slow, you feel the cool air of dawn and feel your spirit dance in the new mercies that cover you in beams of light through the window blinds.

It's time to wake up those sleeping and boxed in places and get moving again - to put our hands to work in the ways only He could call us to. It's time to reach out to those ones - you know the ones. They're the ones who's eyes look like yours - the ones who need your "me too".

No more stillness and silence. Sing out songs of deliverance. Dance on the face of injustice. Light up your face with gladness. Grab hands with those who are hurting and teach them how to do the same. SHOUT OUT & Clap & Celebrate the story you've been given to share.

Remember your freedom and show others how to get free.

Yes?

There's a purpose to our pain, friend. There's a beautiful purpose to the hideous tale. God gives us that purpose & waits patiently for us to finally begin to move in it.

Lean in close. I know you may have seen light hit that dark place that you don't want anyone to know about when you read this. That's a good thing and it's right. Continue to let the light shine on it so you can begin to live in that lifeless place again. And friend? If you need me to help you dance again, I'm here.

~Amy

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