Speak up

“Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes” – Maggie Kuhn

“It’s the writer’s job to stage confrontations, so the characters will say surprising and revealing things, and educate and entertain us all.” — Kurt Vonnegut

“And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.'” – Acts 18:9-10

Growing up, I was quite honest with how I felt – sometimes for the better but more often than not, for the worse. I was stubborn and frank and showed my poor parents and sisters and grandmas exactly how I felt with temper tantrums and a harsh tongue. I was a confident second grader, chasing after my “boyfriend” and telling him he was mine. I was an assertive 5th grader, telling two girls they were my best friends – whether or not they wanted to be. I think I just knew my family and friends would stay there, even when they didn’t necessarily want to be. 

Somewhere along the way, this changed. First off, I grew up and found my faith. I chose to be a kinder person. I chose relationships over enemies. I chose love over conflict. I chose to pray instead of lose my temper. Mostly for the better. But I lost some of that young girl who wasn’t so afraid of her honest opinion and feelings. 

Through middle school, high school and college, I found it was often so much easier to stay quiet than to speak up. It was often more comfortable to be a conformist over a confrontationist. I worked hard to keep my friends, family, coworkers and community in my court, to have them respect and value me; it became unappealing to make that relationship feel unstable. The world became a much more ominous place. 
Moreover, I saw others as wiser and better than myself – why would I go against their grain and how could I stand up to them? Why should my voice be louder than someone else’s? What if I lost a relationship or respect?

 
This isn’t to say there haven’t been times where I’m able to apply my childhood self to the young woman I am today. My family and friends would tell you that sometimes she comes out full throttle. 
However, to be able to let go of the opinion of the world and hold on to the confidence found in God should be one of our greatest goals. If He is truly with us, we have nothing to be afraid of and so much to gain. 

In confronting issues with God as our guide, we find peace. In being honest and direct when we know something to be right, He reveals wisdom and truth. In being confident that God has our back, we honor ourselves and more importantly, we honor Him. 

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