Sweetie Pies, for the past year or so I have been engaged in a nasty spiritual battle. I have mentioned it to those closest to me in passing, but this is the first time I have thoroughly discussed it with anyone, although my pastor (who is truly connected to God) picked up on it several months ago. He has very gently been encouraging me by reminding me of the power of my voice, and I have taken baby steps to reclaim this most necessary part of my life. After all, what good is a writer who feels her voice is powerless?
I touched on it somewhat in my last post (if you can remember that far back), and writing those words reminded me of who I am and what my voice can do. It kept me fighting for a few more days.
I’ve written songs in this season and thrown them away or deleted them from my phone. The ones I saved were made into an EP that I made for one person.
I work on my novel. I put it down. My characters don’t trust me and I don’t blame them. I’ve neglected them. I stopped listening to them. I stopped caring about their story.
My friends have to pull on me to sing. The only place I feel safe singing is at church, and only as a help to our praise team. I don’t hear anything good in my voice right now. I only hear every wrong note, every bad tone. I do sing, but my music is gone, and I miss it terribly.
I keep writing. I keep erasing. It’s taking everything in me not to erase this post.
I hope I’m not depressing you, Sweetie Pies. That’s not my intention. However, I do feel that we artists (and humans in general) need to be much more transparent about our struggles to stay connected to our art. Being silent about it has only given more power to the enemy, and I am actively seeking freedom and a more abundant life.
I want you to understand, artist to artist, writer to writer, that our feelings cannot have power over our mandate. We have been commanded to use our voice, our words, our song. In season and out of season. When we feel mighty and when we feel weak. We must continue to show up, to speak up, to sing strong even when every note hurts us. We must continue to write, even when our words break our hearts.
I will tell you, this battle could not have come at a worse time for me. I am surrounded by ridiculously talented singers, writers, photographers and designers. I have finally found the community of artists I prayed for, only to feel at my weakest and most unworthy. If I were younger, I’d scream about the unfairness of the universe. However, in my Christian walk, I can see that God is strengthening me by giving me the tools and the support system to fight against my feelings. I am truly being prepared for something greater, and I find that every time I use my voice, I am both blessed and a blessing.
I am reminded of one of the most powerful essays ever written about silence and fear, Audre Lorde’s Transformation of Silence into Language and Action. It should be required reading for every practicing and aspiring artist. She writes in part —
What are the words you do not yet have? What do you need to say? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence?
Sweetie Pies, I write this as encouragement to rage against the enemy who would keep us bound in silence, hiding the light of our voices in the cloak of quiet. God has commanded us to say and do more, and safety lies only inside His will.
Your silence will not protect you…And there are so many silences to be broken.