For the past two weeks, Lane and I have been thoroughly entertained with The Voice, a popular singing contest on NBC. The show is in its 14th season, but we have only watched it sporadically until now! Now we are addicted to watching every moment, with delight:-). It is highly entertaining to watch the bantering back and forth and competitive spirit between the coaches, especially Blake and Adam. And Kelly Clarkson’s enthusiasm and feistiness makes it even more fun!
One of the things I’m enjoying most, though, about the show is hearing the stories of the contestants. How they started singing. What inspired their passion for music. And why they decided to audition for The Voice. For some, it is simply the path to “making it big” in the music industry. But for others, it is a way to let their “voice” be heard at the end of an especially painful journey. Like the young man who suddenly became deathly ill, but fully recovered and is now able to pursue a singing career. Or the young woman who after surgery was told her voice would never be the same, but miraculously recovered her voice back, stronger than ever. And last night, the man who fathered a child at the age of 16, and put his life on hold to be there for his little girl. Now, after her high school graduation, he is able to find his voice again and use it to tell his story.
It takes guts and sheer determination to step out on a stage in front of thousands, and let your voice be heard. You risk rejection and humiliation. You might not get even one of the coaches to turn their chair around! But you do it anyway, because your voice needs to be heard.
I have a voice. You have a voice. A story to tell. How will we let our voice be heard? Will we sing? Write? Speak? Make a Ted Talks video? Become an activist for a cause we are passionate about? Start a blog? Share our thoughts with a few close friends? I believe, we all have the inner desire to be known, to be heard. If we keep it all inside, hidden from everyone, our soul will start to shrivel up and die. One way to care for the precious soul of you, the person God created you to be, is to open up. Give voice to the thoughts, feelings and essence of you. God has given you a voice. Opening up and sharing your story, and God’s grace and redemption in that story, can bring healing to your soul and others around you.
This is why I’m starting a blog. To let my voice be heard. To bring healing and hope to whoever listens. My journey is not your journey. My story is not your story. But maybe something I share will speak to you and bring you hope. Here’s where my journey began…..
I never imagined moving to the Atlanta area in 1984. Or being robbed and raped in 1987. Or losing my mom to pancreatic cancer in 1992, when she was only 59 years old. Or struggling to have a happy marriage. Or separating from my husband and reconciling several months later. Or discovering my daughter had Type 1 diabetes at the age of 22. Or navigating drug abuse and addiction of my young adult son. Or being told my husband has incurable brain cancer. Or becoming a widow at the age of 53. Or rekindling a high school friendship and falling in love again. Or marrying that “friend” and becoming a pastor’s wife!
This blog is about redemption. About grace. About hanging on when every fiber of your being wants to give up. About hope. About admitting we are powerless to control the outcome. About faith. About accepting our circumstances without letting them defeat us. About letting people in to our pain when we want to hide behind a lie that everything is just fine. About finding God’s blessings in the midst of life’s deepest loss. About God’s unconditional love and mercy. About releasing our fears and trusting in God’s provision and plan. This blog is about what God has taught me, and is still teaching me, when confronted with life’s greatest challenges. May it encourage you to not only keep hanging on, but to let God refine you in the midst of it all and redeem your brokenness.