“Women have no place to speak.”
“Your book will find a niche market and stay there.”
"Young people are stupid."
“All fiction writers are liars.”
All of those things have been said to my face.
You could add many, many more, I’m sure. We’ve all had hurtful words tear us down. We’ve all been told we’re not good enough. We’ve all been left speechless, had our voice stolen, been told we do not deserve to be heard.
We all know what it’s like to be speechless.
A Time to Speak
There is a time to speak. You were created with a voice for a reason. God thinks you are worthy of being heard—He wants to hear you. He gave you the words and the story that burn inside you.
If you’re alive and breathing, then you have something to say, something the world needs to hear, something only you can say. Your story has a place in this world. A perfect place for it. It’s not just words filling empty air. It matters. And if you don’t say it, something will be missing from this world.
If anyone ever says otherwise, they’re dead wrong. Don’t ever let a mere person silence you. They don’t get to call the shots on a gift this wonderful. Neither do we for that matter. The only One who does is the One who gave it to you.
A Time to be Silent
There are times, however, when we need to be silent. Not because we aren’t worthy of a voice, but because everyone else is, too. We cannot use our voice to steal someone else’s.
When we’re younger, we’re told, “If you don’t have anything kind to say, then don’t say it.” Why do we forget that as adults?
The hurtful comments I listed above were said to me anywhere from one year ago to four years ago. I’ve never forgotten them, can tell you exactly where I was when they were said to me. Words last forever. And their power never lessens or dies.
The destruction words can have is unimaginable. My preferences aren’t worth tearing someone else down. Even if I’m talking to someone using their words for cruelty, I never want to resort to those tricks. I never want to stoop that low. I don’t want to play their game.
Words also have the unimaginable potential to bring good. To encourage someone. To keep someone going. To brighten someone’s day. To remind them someone cares. To save a life.
For every unkind thing someone has said to me, I have a million kind words to match it.
Words matter. Words last.
There’s a lot of wrong things going on. A lot of people using their words to destroy. Taking the voice and the story that mattered so much and twisting it into something cruel. Those are times when I need to stand up. When I need to speak up. To say it’s not okay. I won’t help anyone by being silent.
But I will by speaking words of life and kindness. By telling the story I was made to tell and ignoring all the voices that tell me I can’t. By saying what God gives me to say.
I refuse to be speechless. What about you?
*What do you think? Share your adventures—and your words—in the comments below!*
And now, maybe a few words that will make you smile. :)
Hi, I'm Rachel! I'm the author of the posts here at ProseWorthy. Thanks for stopping by!