The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you. He will rejoice over you with singing.
I met Heather attending the class I never wanted to take – Divorce Care. It was the last place I wished to be on a Tuesday night, in the basement of our church with other singles learning how to recover from divorce. But Heather was a bright light - I was drawn to her playfulness and her ability to give affirmationand affection even while in the middle of her own pain. I got my fill of snuggles and hugs spending time with her four children, ranging in age from one to five. Divorce Care was well worth my time and my friendship with Heather was a bonus.
We walked the mall recently, her kids safely burning off energy in Drop In and Play so we could have some time alone. Heather has fallen in love again. She is amazed that Bill enjoys hearing her process her day without filters, and can to listen to her talk for hours. She isn’t used to that – her ex-husband would silence her when she went on too long, and she learned to keep her thoughts to herself. Heather is rediscovering her voice in this second chance at love.
Finding our voice can be difficult in this painful world. Dana Jack, a psychologist and professor at WWU, researched “self-silencing” as a cause of depression in women. Not being able to bring your voice to a relationship means you are not really counted, valued, and cared for. I lost my own voice slowly, over several years, as I tried to keep the peace in our home. I can’t blame anyone else – it was something I did to myself because I didn’t believe my voice would make an impact, and I didn’t like to rock the boat. But when I did start speaking up, it was costly, and I ended up alone.
God created us to be relational – to know and to be known by others. I recently started my day with sadness, feeling lonely. I keep a special jar by my bedside of truths to hold onto – words and verses collected over the past year that encourage me. I picked one for the day and read “enjoyed”. That truth opposes the lie I have believed that I am discarded and unwanted. Zephaniah 3:17 reminds me that God not only is with me, He also takes great delight in me and rejoices over me.
God is like my friend Heather’s fiancé. He listens to me as I process my day, even in my head, and wants me to bring all my thoughts to Him without filtering them first. I don’t need to summarize to keep his attention. He invites me to use my voice in our relationship. He enjoys spending time with me.
Can you embrace the challenge of seeing God as a pursuing lover, a devoted fiancé who enjoys you? Will you ask God to help you recover your voice as you share your thoughts with Him?
-- Marsha Craig