I often have conversations in my head, as though I am trying to explain to myself what I’m feeling or sensing about a particular situation. It’s just part of the process I go through as I make my way on this journey I am on. It’s the same for all of us, I guess. We all have a secret dialog inside our noggin, trying to figure things out as we go.
It’s not so much that it is odd (it’s not) as it is that it is so loud. Or maybe it is just that I am listening more acutely, trying harder to hear God in the midst of my own pervasive ramblings.
I’ve spent most of my adult life attached to someone to whom these sort of thoughts were voiced, quietly bantered about, finding the ebb and flow that went along with his thoughts and ideas. We had been melded that way, and what we wanted and needed for the betterment of our family was the natural sinew that bound us together. Our thoughts were blended, nearly automatic. Until they weren’t anymore.
Sometimes you go through a season where everything gets shaken from the roots. Like a tree, you feel as though you have been striped of your fruit, your branches pruned or broken; all that you had counted on lay like leaves fallen to the ground. You can’t bend enough to find your old shape again. You can’t reattach those parts of you that have been taken away. You are once again a sapling, fighting for sustenance, for relevance, for identity.
As we rediscover ourselves, we have to get used to our own voice again. We need to accept that we are relevant, that what we have to say matters. In our life transitions, we tend to look in the mirror and wonder — what happened to that once bountiful, confident version of ourselves? How could this cropped replica ever thrive again? Surely, our best days are in the past. Or so we think.
That’s when this voice, this dialog, begins, ever-gaining in volume. We are learning how to be alone, to listen to what we know is right, reasserting who we are, detangling from the negative thoughts, emotions, and feelings that may have plagued us in the aftermath of transition. We start to tease out the weeds of old ways. New thoughts, new ideas, new transformation starts to take hold. We slowly start to understand that God is rising us up from the ashes and putting a new song in our hearts. We are no longer simply what we were, but becoming a new and improved version.
Like a trumpet blast, we cannot ignore these new thoughts that tear down old walls and triumphantly announce that we really are okay. We are more than survivors. We emerge with new purpose, a new confidence. Who we used to be is being replaced by a refined and more resilient us.
What I have come to understand is that God has our identity in His hands. He loves us and knows us. He knows our past, the storms that will wreck us, and He knows what’s ahead. He’s patient with us as we plod along, getting lost in memories and what used-to-be’s so that when we are ready, we can step into a clearing of what-will-be’s, where He’s already gotten things in order for us.
Perhaps you can’t see it, yet alone believe it. But from what has felt like scorched earth, God is raising you up for new growth. There are new possibilities, second chances, and renewed ways of doing things that will have relevance in your new season. Slowly, you will begin to recognize that you have hope again for what tomorrow will bring.
Make no mistake, all of this is painful. But one day, what was will fall away, and all you will hear is your new voice co-existing with His, and it is loud and clear.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a new future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Can you hear it? It starts as a whisper and crescendos the closer you get to finally letting go of what used to be.
Your voice — you — are beautiful to God. He is always listening. Praise Him in the storm and be expectant for the sound of triumph.