Wednesday, September 11, 2013

When a Woman Finds her Voice - A Cursed Princess

A voice. You hear it often.  She has a pretty voice.  He has a squeaky voice.  She has such a peppy tone in her voice.  He has such a deep voice.  He has a radio voice.  She has a mothering voice.  She sounds like such a teacher when she talks.  She talks too much.  He talks so little.  Children talk...a lot.  I hate my voice on the phone.  My recorded voice sounds weird.  I can always recognize that singers voice on the radio.  I could decipher my mom's voice from rooms away.  I lost my voice.  My voice is scratchy.

A voice.  A way to tell people how you're feeling.  A way to express love, hate, happiness, sadness, anger, pretense, joy, worship, a cry for help, a plea for prayer, a warning,

For many reasons, our voices have impact.  Impact for good and impact for bad. Impact for hurt or impact for healing.

But what if your voice has been stolen?  Stolen like a scene from little mermaid, where that princess is rendered unrecognizable because she lost her ability to speak?  Who took your voice? What or who is your Ursela? And how far off is your happy ending?

A cursed easily we relate?

I grew up in a home that was less than loving; my father, an alcoholic, who found it difficult to keep money coming in to pay the bills, and my mother, who worked her fingers to the bone and made sure everyone knew how much she resented it. I have a brother and a twin sister who comfortably, along with I, fell into the roles children play in a family suffering from someone who is dependent on drugs and alcohol. I was the "hero". I took care of everyone, I cleaned for everyone, I loved everyone, I solved problems, I held hands, fed the baby, and wiped scraped knees. I spent my carefree days doing everything but being free. Although no one on the outside could see, we were a wounded family, dysfunction with a capital "D".

The problem with this particular role is that the child playing it never develops emotionally. This child is unable to understand who s/he is because they are too busy taking care of everyone else. It is a sad state of affairs for this child because NO ONE knows how badly they are damaged, because they look, from the outside, that they have it all together.

I was as insecure as I could possibly be, but on the outside, I had it all together. I went onto to college, graduated, and started a teaching career...all while participating in a barrage of toxic relationships. I bought into what the world had told me would fill this emptiness, but all it did was leave me lonely, feeling confused at the emotional baggage and physical consequences I never expected. 

When a Woman Finds Her Voice - Jo Ann Fore
After my millionth heartbreak, sparing many intricate and beautiful details, I found Jesus. He filled the void, and at long last, I wasn't empty anymore. I didn't need a man to love me, and was completely fine without one!

As I healed from the pain of my past, I felt a small pull to tell my story - to use my voice....but I couldn't. Satan lied to me, and much like Eve, I listened.  I fell silent...I was ashamed...I was just so afraid. I was content to hide in the shadow of my salvation. Content to remain silent, knowing now I would spend eternity with Jesus.

God is a redeemer...and He wanted my story - my voice. This girl, looking for love in all the wrong places, came to know Jesus, fell in love with Jesus, and was going to marry a PASTOR....was going to be a pastor's wife...and was going to look in the eyes of women for the rest of my life and tell them how I found my voice - and God wanted no "ifs ands or buts" about it!!

We were married and began our lives.  Still silent, my sins began to haunt me because of my inability to overcome Satan's lies.....lies like:
"You are damaged goods"

"A man that has stayed sexually pure deserves better than you!"

"If anyone in the congregation finds out, they will hate you."

"You will have kids who think you are disgusting."

I was being tortured emotionally, and no one, not even my husband knew. I hated myself for what I had done, and I spent countless hours tearing myself to pieces because I knew I was worthless. I didn't know how to fix myself and our marriage was being threatened by it.  Behind the scenes; blame, accusations, and undeserved arrows from my past pain threatened to ruin what God so masterfully put together.

When a Woman Finds her Voice - Jo Ann Fore
After our daughter was born, I endured a mean case of postpartum depression, which I also convinced myself was a punishment from God for my sin. Looking into the eyes of my baby girl, I was determined to be healed. I didn't want her to grow up with these unrecognizable wounds. I was desperate. So very very desperate.

I began to read...Scripture verses about marriage, Bible studies about marriage, verses about redemption, books about girls who weren't loved as children, books about damaged but redeemed girls. I finally gained some perspective and began to let go of some of the chains. Right around this time, my husband asked me to share my testimony in front of the WHOLE church, and then a friend asked me to share my testimony in front of our WHOLE MOPS group. Terrified doesn't sum it up, but I knew it was God leading me further to a place of freedom for the sake of my family. I shared, and I felt God enter into the pain. I released the secrets, I released the suppression, and because of this, I began to feel freedom from something that had been a governing force in my everyday thought life - shame. 
I found my voice.....and as I spoke, I saw in the eyes of the women around me, a whisper, "me too". 

The more I read and talked, the more freedom I felt. It became easier to love my husband the way he deserved to be loved, and I felt more lovable myself.

As a matter of fact, I felt like a lovely, beautiful, redeemed daughter of a  King 
who used my lost and found voice for good...
for the good of this King 
and His kingdom!

I am linking up over at Write Where it Hurts today, and every Wednesday. Jo Ann Fore, a woman I have never officially met and perhaps never will has written a book that has made its' way into my heart. I have had a unique privilege of being a part of a launch team to help her spread the news about this wonderful book. 
Jo Ann Fore

Can I be honest? I am changed because of this experience. Often times we use good intentions to help those around us, lending a hand to bless one another, all the while experiencing God's love in ways only He can manifest. I have been blessed. Abundantly blessed. 
Frankly, I can't wait for you to read this book too! 
I want you to find your voice, and I want it to sing!

Coming October 8th Pre-Order Now.


  1. Bless you. So very very glad you found your voice again! Thank you for sharing so openly. It is a blessing to know we are not alone, and that together we can find our voices and celebrate them.

    1. The body of Christ is a beautiful thing! When we are open about our past, God can use our future for good, and I am oh so desperate for God to make good from all of this!

  2. "I found my voice.....and as I spoke, I saw in the eyes of the women around me, a whisper, "me too".

    Oh the Wisdom of God that prompts us to press past the fear to find freedom and in the midst of that obedience offer the same freedom to others in desperate need as well.
    Thank you for finding and sharing your voice!

    1. I literally feel HIM carrying me through these times, when I need to press past fear! Thank you!

  3. "The more I read and talked, the more freedom I felt. It became easier to love my husband the way he deserved to be loved, and I felt more lovable myself." This speaks to my heart. This is where I pray I am when I am finished and finally set free. Thank you! <3

    1. Feeling lovable was the hardest thing for me to discover - the idea of being loved by a father was hard for me to grasp. Praying for you, Tina! For freedom from that lie!

  4. Thank you for sharing Michelle! I suffered with Postpartum as well and know the pain of having an alcoholic parent. You are brave to share your story my friend, so glad you found peace and acceptance.

    1. Thank you, Sarah! I never feel very brave! As I stated above, I think I literally feel God's arms around me when I speak out. It still is hard....every time. Amazing how even after we are set free, Satan still gets his way, every once in awhile. But, God has the victory - and He is using the dysfunction for good in ways only He can.

  5. Wow! We have very similar stories, Michelle. I too am a formerly damaged, bad girl, turned Pastor's Wife. Praise God for His redeeming love!

    1. Yes, Cheryl, Praise God! I still laugh when I think of what God did by creating me to be a Pastor's wife. A church was the last place I thought I would ever spend most of my time, let alone becoming the one married to the man leading the sheep!

  6. Wow, I so relate! I too lost myself trying to take care of my parents and siblings. I didnt find myself until I was 30. Thankyou for sharing! I am so blessed to be on this journey with you! ( this is Amanda Chance I had to comment with my google acct.)