It's been an interesting week. I've had some good, even if frustrating, a-ha moments.
4 years ago, fresh out of seminary and thrilled about my upcoming appointment in the United Methodist Church I lost my voice. Some days it feels more like my vocal chords were ripped from my throat. I put some band-aids over the wounds and garnered some strength and began to speak and preach again. There were days, runs of weeks even, when my voice felt stronger, I thought I was gaining strength and healing, recovering from the wounds but then I'd catch site of blood and speak and preach quietly again.
I don't think I had a clue how deep the wound was/is.
Last fall, I felt attacked as a member of the district committee on ordained ministry asked me, "Do you even like preaching?" He went on to say that I had no passion, no energy, that I did not proclaim the gospel. For months I've carried this with me. It's eaten at the vocal chords, gnawing on them, gobbling up whatever was left from the "accident" 4 years ago. After much anger on my part, thinking has this man even met me? Doesn't he know that I am nothing if not passionate and fiery and energetic? And then I realized that he was probably right. How could my preaching have been passionate and energetic when my vocal chords have been ripped out? How could I exude passion and energy when every word is tentatively spoken? How could I like preaching when I was so very afraid of it?
This week I realized that I have got to tell my story. The whole story. For 4 years I've told bits and pieces of it but never the whole thing. It is my hope that in telling the whole story that I will begin to rebuild my voice, to shake off the chains of fear and doubt so that I may preach the gospel with passion, energy, and courage.