One of the hardest things for me to do in life is not defend myself, and others, when there have been wrongs. To remain silent – To have my voice silenced is nearly unbearable. Can you relate at all?
Most of you don’t know that I was with a book publisher, briefly, while writing my first book, And Now I Choose. I sent in my manuscript and two weeks later they sent sections of it back requesting I remove pieces, or edit to the point where it would simply be an untrue story. So I politely emailed back to let them know that I would not be able to honor their requests. A few more emails were exchanged where neither of us were budging.
In short, my story was far too gritty. It was far too heavy. Far too real. Even though the ending is full of redemption and hope… the journey it took to get there was just too much for them to put their name on. And that’s ok! I hold no grudges at all. Those are their standards and that is fine. But, what wasn’t fine, was that they wanted to censor me. I told them that my abusers censored me my entire childhood. There was no way I would allow a publisher to join in on that ride. So they let me out of contract and we self-published.
It was the first time in my life that I fought for my voice. And it was liberating.
There have been times since where I have chosen to remain silent to protect others, even though it personally hurts. But I have learned to measure the moments and their worth. Sometimes, silence hurts, but sometimes speaking at the wrong time could hurt worse – not only you, but others. Learning to measure those times is tough, really tough. I have not mastered it, but I do know that people are generally well meaning and we all deserve grace. To withhold grace suggests that we are somehow superior and our love is conditional.
Can you relate to this at all? I would love to read some of your stories on times when you have found your voice, or times when you knew your voice could wait.
I must end with saying that if you, or someone you know, is being abused in any way, I am in no way suggesting your voice not be heard. Do whatever it takes to shout your voice. You matter!