Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Break the Tape: I Don't Have a Voice

Welcome, friends, for today's edition of Break the Tape.  Essentially, our goal is to identify the lies that repeat themselves over and over again in our minds, break the tape that automatically begins plays when ever we feel we've fallen short, and learn a new song to sing in its place. 
Meet Jennifer.  She writes with purpose and with passions.  I never would have guessed that her tape was the one she describes below, but she is a fully picture of the healing power of Jesus.  You can tell this by the way He courses through her words and her heart.
I’m in my room, 13 years old, at my cherry wood desk with the old brown, humming desk lamp by dad used when he was in college. My dad is on the floor, stretched out on the brown carpet, ever-patiently helping me find words to a speech I don’t feel qualified to write on my own. 

I am valedictorian at my Jr. High graduation, and, while I feel honored, I dread trying to write words that captivate an audience of my peers and their parents.  What I say needs to be good.  What I say needs to be interesting and stirring, proof that I deserve to be up there, at the podium, giving the main speech that evening.

And I believe I am the last person anyone would want to hear.

 “Your girls are so quiet . . .” That one statement was said just a few times to my parents, to me and my sisters, while I was young.  But it was the tone that registered, not the words, which made me feel like I had a disease that needed to be cured.

From childhood through college, social situations were opportunities to prove to myself, and others, that I wasn’t a failure, that I did have words to say, that people did find me interesting and want to be around me.  Silence, shyness, became one the things that defined me.  And I detested my inner struggle – my failure -- to find words.

When I needed to write the speech for my Jr. High graduation, I knew my own words wouldn’t be good enough.  And so I asked my dad to give me the words, instead.

“What’s Wrong with a Strong America?” was the title – a talk that spoke patriotically of our Founding Fathers and the Federal Reserve and then dug into the topic of the World Bank and money lending and the insidiousness of interest and how our freedom as Americans is being taken away.  I walked confidently up to that podium in my beautiful pastel cotton Jennifer McCormick dress, the lavender and pale blue flower comb my mom lovingly pinned behind my right ear, and addressed the crowd with confidence and a voice that never wavered. 

Although I had no idea what I was talking about.

These words, the ones my dad gave me to say, were good ones – although somewhat controversial – but full of passion and zeal.  They were words to stir hearts and minds, to capture imaginations and prompt conversation.  I loved my dad with all my heart, respected his ideas, and believed in his power of words.  I had begged him, that day, in my room, to help me write the speech, as I feared, more than anything, that using my own words would be a failure; I would be making a fool of myself.

And he did.  He gave me every word, while helping me to convince myself that he was only helping me frame ideas that were already in my head.  And that is where the tape in my head that ran, continuously, “you’re not good enough . . . see, you don’t have words” got solidified. 

Friends, we become lost when we reject who’ve been made to me and don’t claim the truth of who we are.  Do you have a tape that runs in your mind, whispers to your heart, “you don’t have what it takes,” too?

These tapes in our heads need to be broken for us to believe we are not a mistake, but beautifully, perfectly made, with a voice that gives the Father delight to hear.  For me, it needed to be broken so I could believe that my words mattered, that my heart mattered -- especially in order to accept that I was the daughter of a King.

Three years ago, during a spring break vacation, my husband asked if he could lay hands on me and pray.  I was feeling discouraged, worn down, but I couldn’t pinpoint why.  But I had recently received healing prayer for an abortion I had kept silent about for over 20 years, and I was eager to continue seeking the Father’s healing from wounds He wanted me to turn over, fully, to Him.

As our three kids were tucked in bed and asleep in the next room, my husband prayed that I would be reminded of the truth of who I was – that the Spirit would give me a picture of a place in me that needed to be healed, restored to Him.  As we bent our heads, in silence, in a few moments I saw myself back in my bedroom, 13 years old, sitting at my desk in my room, my dad on the floor.

The difference with this memory was that it became clear, for the first time, that my dad and I weren’t the only ones in the room.  Standing behind my dad, looking at me, with tears in His eyes, was Jesus, full of sorrow, as He witnessed the blows to my heart with each word my loving, good-intentioned dad said – and I wrote down.

With each patriotic word of that speech, the message I heard was, “You aren’t good enough.”  “You don’t have a voice.”  And the messages that I had already believed became the tape that ran over and over in my head. 

There might be false beliefs that you have tucked away in your heart, too, friend.  Likely, there are messages you have believed that, although untrue, feel like the truest thing about you.

The Father is not going to tell you that you are not good enough, but that you are the most glorious, the most beautiful, and, actually, the most strong, in your weaknesses, in Him. 

“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NASB).

The Father is not going to tell you that you don’t have what it takes to accomplish what He has given you to do.  He is going to tell you to lean into Him, trust Him with all that you are and He will give you everything you need.  You, partnered with Him, have His life in you as your guide, your mobilizer, your strength.

“This is a large work I've called you into, but don't be overwhelmed by it. It's best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won't lose out on a thing" (Matthew 10:42 MSG).

I pray, friends, that, as He pursues you {for the Father wants more than anything for you to realize the truth of who – and Whose – you are} that He brings to mind the hidden, wounding messages that you have tucked deep into your heart.  He longs to have you recognize them and let them be brought out into His light. 

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy “(1 Peter 2:9 NASB).

You are His girl.  You are chosen and beautiful and adored.  Any message that makes you feel less than that is not from Him.  And He has an amazing plan to show you the truth. 

Shall we lean in friend, to His truth, together? 

Listen.


{About Jennifer}

Jennifer Camp, voice finder and the wife of a heart warrior, in N. California, mothers three children and leads My Girls, in her home on Monday mornings. She writes at her blog, You Are My Girls, where she writes to remember the truth of her identity in the Father's eyes and to encourage other women to remember, too. Come on over to connect with her at You Are My Girls Community, on Facebook, or at twitter, JenniferCamp1.

30 comments :

  1. Jennifer...just beautiful...and I am so thankful that God’s loving and compassionate heart comes to restore us back...back to His heart...back the person He created us to be...not recreate us to be like others...but before we took our first breath...our own DNA...the person who is to reflect Him in the world...reflect Him in our own unique way...each person part of the beautiful tapestry He weaves in this world. And you my friend have a lovely voice...one that matters...one that I can hear His heart through. blessings to you...and thanks Jen for this series.

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    1. Ro, Yes, I am so thankful to Jen for this series, as there are so many lies that remain hidden, that are difficult for each of us to even recognize sometimes. And I love her challenge to share pieces of His redemption in us. Thank you so much for your loving encouragement -- and the truth you always share. So grateful.

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  2. i love this. god isn't in the "you can't" business. thanks for the reminder....

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    1. Hi Kendal, No He certainly isn't! Love that!! Bless you!

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  3. As a once shy, introverted, child who was afraid to use her words too, this post resonates with me Jennifer. Thank you for sharing your story. It is powerful.

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    1. Thank you so much, Eileen. I am so grateful for your sharing here. And I love how He reminds us, in community, how we are all in this together, and that He comes to bring healing and truth and to redeem.

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  4. I needed this. It felt straight from the Father. Thank you Jennifer. *Thank you *

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  5. Oh what God can do through you, Jennifer. Beautiful, capable you. That's easy for me to say, friend. Where I struggle is when He asks me to say the same thing when I look into the mirror. I'm starting to see. I'm starting to share my story. And I'm starting to feel His loving embrace... And you, friend, have helped me through it. thank you.

    Praying those that need to see this stop by, like I did, for I know they will see Him through your words.

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    1. Nikki, your beautiful heart blesses me. Thank you, friend. Thank you for your loving encouragement and for your much needed prayers. So grateful for you.

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  6. And look at you now. Still a girl sitting at a desk listening to the words whispered to her heart but this time by her Heavenly Father.

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    1. Oh, friend, you make me smile. Thank you.

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  7. Wow Jennifer I am speechless. This is a very powerful message and so clearly communicated. I tweeted it and put it on google plus. "You are His girl" is the word so many of us need to hear. Thanks for sharing your honest story.

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    1. Jean, thank you so much for helping to get this message -- that we are each His girl -- out there. I am so thankful. Yes, this is my heart. Bless you.

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  8. Jennifer, this moment that your husband prayed for you was such a gift allowing you to heal and walk in freedom. And look how He redeemed that time with your father for His good, in your words here, in the way He uses your words for His glory on your blog.

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    1. Shelly, thank you. Yes, I never thought about that piece of it -- that He redeemed that time with my dad, too. Wow. I hiked with him on Saturday, wanting him to know about my writing about this, before it was published, and we had the most beautiful conversation, definitely led by the Spirit. But I didn't put it together, that the Father wanted to redeem the whole story, until you shared here. So beautiful! Thank you!!!

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  9. I know this , I know this voice, The wrong voice, the lier. I tell it daily to "Shut-UP!"

    Thank you for sharing your precious and very personal story. What a might man of God you have to pray over you like that.

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    1. Thank you so much, Diane. Yes, it is so good to recognize the lie and to ask Him to silence it and to help us to have ears for the Father's truth. And yes, I am so thankful for my husband's warrior heart!

      Bless you!

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  10. I've had this bookmarked to read for a couple of days, and I'm glad for some time this morning to read it. Girl, for someone who listened to that tape for so many years, you sure do have a powerful voice. I love the way the way God continues to give you places to share your story--and HIS story--of gracious, powerful healing.

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    1. Nancy, right there, you bless me tremendously. My heart sings as I feel Him smile -- as I am so thankful to be encouraged here, with your sweet words and generous heart. Thank you so much, friend.

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  11. What a blessing to read this. Once again proves what an amazing God we serve, all we have to do is open up to Him and receive his abundant blessings. Amen!

    Jennifer, I do love your new design! Just perfect! Hugs to you!

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    1. Yes, absolutely! And I love that He helps us in the opening up, too. . . as the whispers come and being open and vulnerable -- even if it so good for us -- can feel so difficult sometimes. Thank you, Lea.

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  12. Jen and Jen - what a joy to join you today. As always our Father touches my heart when I read your words Jen. TOday He spoke directly to me with the words

    “This is a large work I've called you into, but don't be overwhelmed by it. It's best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won't lose out on a thing" (Matthew 10:42 MSG).

    How I needed to hear those words. As I struggle to get through here, to go there, I am reminded that God, my Papa is with me and is preparing me for what is to come, so that I will not be overwhelmed by it when it does, and so that I can truly serve Him in that moment.

    Thank you, with love from Ireland

    www.saltandsparkle.com

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    1. Sweet Nicky, I am so encouraged by this verse, too -- helping me to be present to Him, trusting in the good that He is and that He has for me. Love to you, friend.

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  13. I'm so glad you found your own voice, Jennifer, and that you use it so beautifully to glorify God. You are a treasure.

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    1. Jennifer, thank you so much for your loving encouragement. Your words bless me.

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  14. Thank you for sharing so straightforwardly and beautifully. Those of us who weren't perfect growing up and going our way with Him... which would include all of us in one way or another... are blessed by His step into our lives and His healing, deliverance, and spiritual growth. Couldn't make it otherwise. Blessings...

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    1. I am with you here, friend: "couldn't make it otherwise." Absolutely . This is our beginning. Us with Him, redeeming it all. Bless you!

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  15. It is such a gift to know more of your story, and how God is healing you, and giving you such a beautiful voice for Him...love you, friend :)

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    1. I am so blessed by His stories of beauty and hope and redemption. So blessed by your heart, dear friend! :)

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