Ultimately I blog for myself. To document stories of my life and the life of my family. To satisfy the voices in my head. The voices that want to speak but don’t feel they can.
I find that when I try to speak my mind, I can’t find the right words and my thoughts get lost in translation. When I write I can marinate on the words…sometimes deleting them and starting again until the words are just right. Like writing this paragraph three times.
Since I was young I have felt my voice hasn’t been heard. Forty-something years is a long time to feel a voice is silent. Growing up I was the awkward overweight “shy” kid. I hated being called shy more than being called fat. Largely, the perception of a shy person is that they have nothing worthwhile to say. I was treated as if I had nothing worthwhile to say. My feelings were dismissed.
And, so I believed the lies.
That kind of negative thinking followed me throughout adulthood.
Shyness is actually a fear of negative criticism. Fear of failure, or looking stupid. Fear that ones ideas, or thoughts, aren’t good enough. Fear of not pleasing people. Fear of being rejected.
I believed if I spoke up my worst fears would be confirmed. I was stupid. Fat. Not god enough. Add being a small town kid with a bad haircut on top of that, and you’ve got yourself one hot mess!
I spoke harsh words to myself. Often.
Who hasn’t spoke negatively to yourself? Words we won’t say to someone we love, but, yet we speak them to ourselves. We’re brutal.
You is kind. You is smart. You is important.
― Kathryn Stockett, The Help
That’s not to say that I have quietly lived with people telling me what to do. No, I have times of bravery. Times of disobedience. Trying to carve my path. Going my way when others said I shouldn’t. I’ve done “okay”, but there is something missing.
I want more. I need more.
My One Word is LEAP. Originally, I chose the word to focus around this new blog move and expansion, but, it goes so much deeper than that.
It means leaping into the unknown. It means take a leap to find my voice. It means to have a leap of faith, because I don’t know where this journey will lead…I can only have faith. It means to leap and trust God.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
— Proverbs 3:5&6
It means to leap and create something. Anything. Not everyone is going to like it, or agree with it. And that’s okay. It means to leap and be true to me. It means to leap and be true to my style, my words, my voice.
Maybe you too are trying to find your voice too. Are you nodding with me?
I am restless for more. I want to do more. Be more.
I want to make a difference, even if it is small. Being ho-hum and scared doesn’t work anymore.
How about you? Is there something that is holding you back from leaping? Are you like me, restless for something more? Ready to leap?
Oh this post resonated very deeply. Thank you for being willing to take “the leap”. 🙂
Thanks Kristine. It was a little scary writing it…but it’s honest.
This is a beautiful post. Your heart and voice are beautiful. No matter the leap,the journey will be worth it.
Your comments about fear of failure remind me of something God has shown me recently. I’ve lived long in fear of failing and have finally seen that actually, I fail all of the time! And it’s okay! To “fail” just means that something desired or expected didn’t happen. It doesn’t have to mean condemnation and all things horrible. And when well-meaning people (myself included) say “it wasn’t really a failure” we are really reinforcing that we don’t want to call things failures because failure is really bad. I’ve found so much joy and freedom in acknowledging and embracing failure instead of trying to avoid it. So may you find freedom as you leap – even when you fail – because failure is a lovely reminder that we are not God and that we need a Savior. And praise Jesus, we have one! 🙂 Happy New Year and happy leaping!
Hi Jeri. I just followed the link from Faith Barista to find your post. Beautifully written and wonderful to read. I relate to living some 40 plus years and feeling your voice hasn’t been heard. For me, there have been moments that I think someone is listening, or at least in part. But I’ve been yearning for those who would value my voice and what I have to say. I basically said that in a comment posted on Faith Barista a few days ago and she wrote me the most beautiful response of encouragement, confirming this is a place for voices to be expressed and heard. Today, I read your post and I heard your voice. I too am restless, wanting more…NEEDING more and yet knowing it is intricately linked to BEING the more that God designed and intended me to be. I’ve left behind the nasty bad self talk, but it is scary to risk hearing such things from other voices. Thank you for being Brave and sharing so transparently. Also, thank you for taking that LEAP here. You are encouraging me to LEAP in my own ways as you jump! Blessings!
Thanks Babs, for your words of encouragement. The leap scary sometimes but worth it in the end to be true to ones self. Keep leaping!
When I saw “What’s Holding You Back? Leap,” in the pic at Faith Barista, I knew I had to read your post. Everything you said resonated in my heart. My one word is “Trust,” and leaping is exactly what I long to do. But it’s sure scary, isn’t it? Thank you for sharing your heart, Jeri.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. It is so true that taking a leap, whether it’s leap to find my voice, or leap to trust, can be hard…and scary. I have faith that we both can do it!
The post I started today sounds just like this! Feeling the pull to write SOMETHING, to be heard, to have a voice– but believing the negative thinking instead. I’m here with you, friend; I want to leap but I’m terrified! Is it weak that I want support? Sisters to stand with me and hold me up as I leap into the unknown? It’s been so long since I had that and I’m praying God will provide as I take the next step.
Great minds think a like! No, it’s not weak to want/need support. That is why I write and I am so honest. I want to offer encouragement to those need it. I think it helps me be brave to leap. It’s scary, I know. I have had second thoughts about posting a few posts that I have written this month. I have almost this whole month written! But I can’t stop writing. I truly feel the need to do it. The pull to speak is great right now.
In the Bible there is reference to “fear not” (or some form of that saying) 365 times. One time for everyday of the year! So, fear not! Leap.