Our position within a family or group sometimes determines how our voice is heard and thus formed. I grew up in an amazing family where there was a ton of love so please don't assume I have issues with my family or feel slighted by them. I was loved. I was the third of 4 boys. I was not only the 3rd but I was the third by 8 years. I was the "baby" of the family for 7 years until my youngest brother was born. There are some great perks to being the "baby". I could literally do no wrong in my grandparents eyes and mostly in my mom's eyes as well. I had to royally screw something up to get reprimanded. I did at times cross that line.
There was a downside as well. I do not remember anyone, in the first 16 years of my life, ever asking me what my opinion was on any family decision. If I ever tried to give my opinion, it was minimized. "How cute, Ted has something to say." My family was not cruel or mean. I was just not viewed as a person with a lot of wisdom or insight. Until recently, I gave this very little thought. Keeping my opinions to myself was and largely still is my default. Even after I got older, I sometimes tried to insert my opinion into a conversation and would be dismissed. So, why try to comment?
I hate to repeat myself, but at times it is important to the reader to see my heart and know why I am sharing my heart and my hurts with you. I do not want you to feel sorry for me but I do want you to read this and maybe it hits home with you. I told you all of that to tell you this.
You have a story and you have wisdom to share.
Don't let that past stop you from sharing your heart with others today. If no one has ever told you before, I am telling you now. Your story is worth sharing. God is a God of second chances. He has been with you through your life and brought you through it so that you can share your story to help others. Find a way. There have been friends and teachers in my past who encouraged me and I am so thankful for their example. I don't express myself well verbally but can get my point across with the written word so for me it was writing a devotional and the future books I am working on. Some may be able to write songs, speak in public, or just push through to mentor younger people one on one. They really do respect you enough to listen. You can even find other ways to express your story. Tina uses her art to tell stories that touch people deeply. I have seen tears roll down people's faces as they see the art and hear the story behind the piece. The art will serve as a memorial for that moment when they made a decision to move past the dark period in their life or to memorialize a triumphant moment in their history. The point is, you never know what a positive word from you, given by inspiration of God, can do to help the hearer, reader or viewer.
We are here for purpose and our voice has value.
by Tina Lawver