Finding Your Voice

UGH!!! How frustrating and ironic that yesterday I wrote my heart out in a post called Finding Your Voice, and today, every word is lost. If it were an ordinary post, I wouldn't care. I'd just move on and write something else. But I was brave and bold and honest in that post. I wanted to encourage you to find your voice...and wanted to tell you why it matters.

So to wake up this morning and find that all those words have disappeared feels like more than an internet fluke. It feels like an attack. While cursing the internet, I was reminded that there's an enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy {John 10:10}. That thief stole my words! He'd love for me to lose my voice...to give up and keep quiet. And believe me, I'm tempted.

Stormy waters at Blue Mountain Beach.

Rewriting a straight-from-the-heart post is hard. It feels less genuine somehow. Because of the way I write, there's no way it will come out the same way twice. But Lord, if the words are from you, I know you can speak them again. Be my words. {Always my prayer before I write on the blog.}

Deep breath. Here we go.

Sweet blog friends, thank you for receiving my Closure post with such tenderness and compassion. I am lighter because of having spoken up about my heart's hurts, and encouraged because of the way you responded to my honesty. A double blessing!

But I'll be honest, writing your heart out is risky, especially when it involves speaking up about hidden aches and pains. Why speak up when you know it will rock the boat? Why tell the stories of how your heart was crushed when it may result in rejection? Why write something on a blog when some of the people involved might read it and dislike it? Or worse, dislike me?

The people pleaser fears what other people think so much that she'll ignore her own heart in order to make others happy. She wants to be liked and loved so desperately that she'll silence her voice and listen to every other voice out there. She doesn't want to rock the boat or speak too boldly out of fear that she'll be rejected, criticized or left alone. In all the performing, striving and pleasing, she forgets who she is and loses her voice. That was me.

But God has been doing a healing work in me {though counseling, prayer, journaling and reading}, and this is what I've learned along the way: you have to acknowledge the hurt before you can receive the healing. 

That's why I had to write about those last days in Houston...because I wanted to move toward healing and freedom rather than let the hurt build up in silence. You don't always have to speak your heart out loud or in public {I usually just write it out in my journal or wrestle it out in prayer}, but for some reason, I got the sense I was supposed to share those last days in Houston here on the blog. Maybe to encourage one of you? Or maybe so that it would lead to this post? I have no idea. But the important thing is that I found my voice and am free from the bitterness and burden that so often builds when you keep quiet.

One more thing that the recovering people pleaser needs to know: you can't control the response of others. There will always be people who don't like what they hear, and that's okay. {It's usually their issue, not yours.} If your motives are pure {I try to check my heart with God before speaking out loud}, then speaking your heart will bring freedom, not fear.

I mentioned John 10:10 at the beginning of this post. It starts with a thief who comes to steal and destroy, but do you know how it ends? With Jesus proclaiming that He has come to give us life to the FULL. I want that kind of life! {More on that in Living Again.}

Here's the ultimate truth on finding your voice: YOU ARE WORTH IT. Your heart is worth it. You, sweet friend, are of inestimable value. Do you believe that? If you do, then finding your voice will follow. If you don't believe it, start writing, praying or speaking your heart out loud. Let the words flow. You'll find yourself in there, and guess what? You'll like her. The real you - hurts, heartache, struggles and all - is far more beautiful than the safe, protective false self we so often put out there for others to see.

If all of that sounds way too scary, will you email me so I can pray for you by name? I know even the thought of emailing me may sound scary, but I want you to know that someone is speaking your name out loud to the Lord. Not that He needs me to whisper your name. He knows you, sweet child!

And one last word for you, written in the sand at the beach...

Lots of love and hugs to you today,

P.S. Until I wrote my Closure post, I was so stuck in my grief that I didn't have eyes to see the beauty of our new hometown. I didn't pick up my camera a single time, even though I know how therapeutic beauty hunting with a camera is for me. But this week, my eyes are darting wildly at the beauty around me, so if the internet situation improves, I'll be overloading you with photos real soon!


  1. I cannot wait for the picture overload! Enjoy your new surroundings & the beauty the Lord wants to share with you. {HUGS}

  2. Hi Linsey,
    I'm so happy that you took the time to write your thoughts and feelings down again after you lost your first post!! Your writing and your faith truly inspire me!
    I am having my own struggle with my relationship with God right now, and it helps me to know that I am not alone.
    I can't wait to see lot's of photos of your new home town!!
    Have a lovely day.

  3. Hi Linsey- My name is Nicole Hannah, i grew up in Nashville, worked as a nurse practitioner in Franklin, and my husband and daughter and i now live and work as missionaries in Italy. A friend of mine told me about your blog today, and i have spent the last hour or so entranced by both your pictures and your writing. thank you for putting your heart out there so honestly. it inspires me. my husband and i took our own huge leap of faith 4 years ago when we left careers in Nashville for the mission field here in Italy. the journey has been breathtaking. we are actually coming home for 9 months or so in July this year- who knows- maybe we can get together for a coffee or a glass of wine! hope you love Franklin and Nashville- our hearts are SO fond of it!!! May God bless your family richly as you begin this new season of your own journey!

    1. Oh, WOW! Your leap of faith feels so very big...even bigger than mine! I hope you're seeing lots of God's glory in Italy! I'd love to grab a warm cup of something or a glass of wine when you're back "home." Blessings right back at you!

  4. This may be my favorite post yet! Talk about courage! You are a beautiful example of God's grace. Thank you for taking the time to jot down your thoughts and feelings. You may think they feel less genuine, but I think you expressed yourself beautifully! You summoned exactly how I often feel. As a fellow 'people pleaser' I have found that everyone around me is pleased with me BUT me! I have slowly been finding my voice and using it. It is so incredibly liberating.

    Can't wait for the onslaught of photos!

  5. Linsey-

    It takes great courage to move forward, forgive the past, and make a (sometimes) DAILY choice to
    let God be who he says he is and remain pliable in his hands... and your absolutely correct- we do have to
    acknowledge the hurt before he can heal.
    Good that your ready to see what he has for you now- enjoy the beauty of Franklin and the surrounding area. it's beautiful there ! Especially the Leiper's Fork area near you...out in the country. Lovely.
    I have been in your shoes- lost an entire post, so now I do them on pages in my Mac or on a document and
    save... then copy & paste to blog page when I am ready. Maybe that would help you ? Sounds like it may have
    been another reason you lost it this time though.. lol.
    Take Joy in your new Journey !


  6. I am a new reader to your blog. I live in North Alabama so you moving to Franklin got my attention but your lovely heart have kept me reading. May God continue to bless you and maybe your family blossom and grow and bless those around you as you make your home there in beautiful Franklin. I'm looking forward to reading more. I will be praying for your transition.

  7. yay - I cannot wait to see your pics. So happy that everything is coming together for you. I have been praying for you LInsey :) Thanks for sharing everything - I hope my friend Sarah who I commented to you about has contacted you - she lives near Franklin and is such a doll - you will love her. Be blessed and bring on the pics sweet friend :)

  8. sweet friend, i love & respect your transparency. i'm certain i've said those exact words before.
    i think when you love deep & wide and with a tender spirit, closure is not only painful and raw in & of itself but when it's tinged with what appears to be unthoughtful and hurtful details , the pain is even more ragged.
    i think the words you've shared again today are so powerful and so encouraging. ( although i know the frustration with pouring your heart out only to find it 'gone')

    dan left his previous job under hurtful responses. after years & years of pouring out to that job & all involved.
    i can completely understand your feeling and emotions...

    i think it was beautiful that ya'll were able to spend some healing time & some catch your breath time on the emerald coast.
    again, i'm just sorry it didn't work out to meet you in atalnta.

    i look forward to seeing franklin through YOUR lens!!
    blessings linsey

  9. So glad you are now seeing the beauty. God Bless. Hugs, Marty

  10. Thank you for sharing your voice and heart with us. Your post from the beach and closure was hard to read. I could sense the bitterness and sadness you were feeling. It takes a strong person to forgive and an even stronger one to find their own voice. The true mark of God's children is that they keep searching him out in good and bad. I am so thankful to have found your blog and look forward to the pictures from your new home and surroundings!

  11. Your words and your honesty, but, mostly your heart is what has made me a loyal follower! You are a wonderful person. It's that you are yourself and not a "people pleaser" that has drawn so many of us in to your life through your blog. I will continue to keep you in my prayers...and look forward to hearing more of your words!

  12. YAY, YAY, YAY, Linsey!! You go girl! You go for all of us who are just learning to find our voices!! Thank you sweet Linsey!

  13. I am so happy you chose to rewrite this post and to not let the enemy win! You spoke to me today. I have always been a people pleaser. I have always wanted to hide the "ugly" hurts in me from those around me. I have always wanted and felt like I needed to be the strong one. I have dealt with issues with my dad for years and had another strong hurt a little over a week ago. I try to keep it inside..hide it..not let it show, but I know I have to speak it. I have to get it out. I have to turn it over to God. If I let it stay in, then it festers and those around me pay the price for my bitterness.

    Thank you for sharing these truths.

    I have been praying for you.

    God bless you, Amy

  14. I have prayed over y'all daily. Mostly for His perfect peace. If there's anything specific I can be praying for, email me. I am so sorry for the hurts. I know it's human nature to think first-person, but it's such a hurtful way to live. May you find JOY in the closure of the Houston chapter. May you be surrounded by GRACE in your new home-town. May you always feel Him, tender whispers and loud directions BOTH, as you continue your great adventure. Loving you from here.

  15. Welcome to Franklin. Just caught up with reading your posts and my heart is heavy for you. I can only hope to be as brave and honest with feelings. So difficult. You and your family will be lifted in prayer by mine. Love to treat you to lunch soon. Dinah. "Believe"

    1. Dinah! So good to hear from you! I want to give you a huge hug and thank you for sending my blog to your friend who sent it to her neighbor! Thanks to you, we have a lovely place to stay while we wait on our house! SO THANKFUL! How did I not know you lived in Franklin?!?! I'd love to go to lunch!

  16. Linsey, I read both the original post and this one....and they both say so much. THANK YOU FOR WRITING THESE WORDS!!! I need to hear these words frequently to remember that He loves me and I am ENOUGH. Finding my own internal words of love and compassion for myself and not listening and believing the unloving things I can sometimes hear has helped me so much these past few years...and you sweet friend have been part of that journey. Helping me to trust that who I am...who HE made me...is just right, right now. Can't wait to see the pictures and more about your new adventure. You and your family are right where you are supposed to be and you were brave and courageous to face your fears and take the leap with faith. Big Hugs.....Lisa

  17. This post was an especially hard one to write (RE-write actually), so thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me know how it blessed you. I'm praying for all who have emailed me and am honored the you would ask for prayer. It's been a privilege to speak your name over the last week. Blog friends are sweet indeed! xoxo!

  18. Hi Linsey! Ashley passed on the link to your blog when I expressed that I didn't feel like I got a chance to say good bye. I'm grieving that you all have left Houston and yet rejoicing with you for God's fingerprints on your new season. May God's hand and plan continue to unfold in beautiful ways!

  19. Thank you so much for this post. Trying to find my voice now and I have to admit, smetimes i feel like I need to stop. My life would be easier if I stopped writiing my blog etc. But I know God has a plan. It was very nice to read your words today. Thank you for fighing the enemy and posting this again :) God bless you!


"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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