"When we hate the process, we are unknowingly wishing for a religion of rules and legalism with a distant God."

Jenn Stockman

I've been reading a book by Jenn Stockman (The War on Your Voice),  the process of our stories and the value of using our voice to walk through that process. So far, I love this book! I'm still in the beginnng of the book, but my highlighter has been working overtime. 

"To live your story with your voice is to live with a deep value for process."

Our voices hold a lot of power and authority. Your voice is the authority on YOUR story. Stories are meant to be told, to be processed, and to move through the pain to a place of joy and peace. It is with our voice that we are given the freedom to express our love for God and for others, our voice promotes our growth and plants seeds for others to grow. When we have a story, something crucial about our lives, but we hold it deep inside; there's the potential of being stunted. Our voice is there to give us the gift of freedom, to bring our stories into a place of healing and joy. Our voice is a pathway to freedom. It can bring life to places inside of us that lie dormant. When we use our voice to speak chains break.

The enemy of your soul does not want you or me to use our voice. He will do everything he can to bury you so deep that you begin to believe your voice does not work, it is not heard, it is pointless to use. He does not want you to utilize the power you have been given with your voice.

This has been an area of challenge for me for a long time. Using my voice to tell my story is scary at times, but the more I practice the stronger I feel.  The process of my story has been long, painful, confusing. It has also brought me so much joy, love, peace, and hope. All of that is process. My process. It has taken time to learn to love the daily process of finding words and voicing them. 

This is partly why I decided to write a book. I've had a long journey searching for the identity God has given me. I think we all search for identity to some degree, for me it has felt like a lot of searching. I have needed to learn how to process this journey in various ways, blogging, talking, and book writing to name a few. Still, after all these years of work, I find myself afraid to use my voice and of what the process may entail. I also know the enemy is working hard to stop me, instill fear within me, and keep me quiet.  I have to choose everyday to take authority over  my voice and speak my own reality and truth.

What does the process look like for you? Are you using your voice to tell your story? Or, like me, does fear sometimes grip you and your voice goes still? Do you have to grab ahold of who God has created you to be and let your voice be heard through the fear? I know I sometimes do. 

Today I pray for all our voices to be heard. I pray for each one of our processes to move us forward in growth and life. I pray that our God-given authority and power over our own voices will not only change our lives but raise dry bones everywhere we journey.