How Negative Voices Helped Me Discover My Voice…

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Photo Credit: AmberRae

Photo Credit: AmberRae

It sounds a little crazy and odd but I’m 33 years old, and it wasn’t until recently that I felt as though I had discovered my voice. If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I’m an Immigration Attorney so, it probably sounds even crazier to hear there’s a lawyer out there who’s just now discovering her voice—but it happened, so I’ll explain.

For as long as I can recall, I’ve always had a pretty soft, high-pitched voice.  In fact, to-date, new callers still mistake me for a 16-year-old teenaged girl by phone. Throughout my adolescent years I never gave any thought to my little soft, high-pitched voice because every other girl sounded just like me. I entered college and I still paid no attention to it.

Nope, it wasn’t until I began law school that I began to feel self-conscious about my squeaky voice because I suddenly began to hear remarks like:

“your voice is so soft”

“you sound too sweet”

“you sound like a little girl”

oh and my favorite…”you could never represent criminals without a voice like that”  

At first, I paid no attention to the remarks but a few years passed and the remarks began to bother me once I began practicing.  I was a lawyer.  I was supposed to feel tall, strong and confident but each time someone made a remark, I began to feel small, unequipped and disqualified.  I began to wonder if clients would take me seriously and I began to wonder how and if, my voice would affect my success as a lawyer.

Having fallen prey to negative remarks and criticism, I began to try to develop a “phone voice” by trying to make my voice sound deeper.  I noticed that if I spoke while thirsty, my voice actually sounded about 1-2 octaves deeper so I’d purposely make business calls while thirsty.  Pretty crazy and silly, huh?  These shenanigans only lasted about 2 weeks because I kept getting too thirsty during the calls, lol.  I’d get so thirsty that I’d end up taking a sip of water during the conversation and my  teenaged voice would come right back during the middle of the call. It was pretty hilarious to say the least! 

I can’t really recall the day or the event that made me stop doing that crazy voice altering thing but I do remember the why! I remember realizing that I call myself “Erika The Encourager” but allowing myself to feel so discouraged and disqualified by the opinions of others.  I remember realizing that I was in a fight with something that wasn’t meant to be fought or even changed.

The truth of the matter is that God knew I was going to become a lawyer long before anyone else on this earth did. He knew and He fashioned my purpose.  He purposely carved a space in my heart for the love of justice.  He took time to design my stature, my eyes and my smile.  He tailored my voice until it was just right and the way he wanted it. “Who cares if I sound different than most lawyers” I thought to myself.  I was never meant to sound like anyone else.  I was designed to be one of a kind.  I was created to be Erika L. Glenn and no else. 

Instead of looking for the many ways I differed from other attorneys, I began to look for the God in me.  I was his fearfully, wonderfully-made daughter and I was the result of his very first breath into man and woman (Ps. 139:14; Gen. 1). I was made without flaw.  As I began to let those reminders sink in, the conversations with clients became a bit easier and I began to walk into the courtroom a bit taller each time.

Today, when I stand to speak in a courtroom I don’t wait for feelings of inadequacy to set in.  I let the Word of God set the tone. When I stand, I expect my voice to bring me favor.  I expect it to bring favor to my clients.  I expect it to bring a smile to my Father’s face because I am walking in the purpose that He planned and predestined for me.     

Today, when I speak I don’t do it for approval…I do it from approval. Why?  Because my voice has been certified by the seal of the Cross and it has been equipped for victory.

The day has come that I have finally found my voice! 

Perhaps someone has said or done something to cause you to shrink back or stifle your voice.  If so, may I remind you of whom you are in Christ?  Today, may you be reminded that you were formed with a purpose for such a time like this. May you be reminded that you were made to perfection and remember that no weapon will ever prosper against you. Today, may you feel empowered to push back against the lies of the enemy. May you be bold.  May you be brave.  May you discover your voice.  May you never cease to use your gift because it causes our Father in Heaven to smile upon you.  May you be blessed in al that you do forever and ever!

Love,

~ETE

Photo Credit: Spoken.ly

Photo Credit: Spoken.ly

 

 

 

 

 

12 Comments
  • Debra
    May 7, 2015

    Great post, Erika! I think we’ve all felt that way. This is very encouraging for everyone, but especially us lawyers because it’s very hard to stand and speak for someone else. I’ve had days when it was hard for me to find my voice, too! I’m so much more comfortable writing.

    • ErikaTheEncourager
      May 7, 2015

      Thanks so much Debra! I really appreciate that! It feels good to finally walk in my own shoes with confidence! It’s amazing how life’s challenges end up making us better writers, isn’t it?

  • Nina
    May 7, 2015

    Love this post, E! It’s funny, as I read your blog posts, I ALWAYS hear your voice as if you’re talking directly to me, and it always makes me smile. I LOVE your voice. And I am thankful that you use to it speak truth and encouragement.

    • ErikaTheEncourager
      May 7, 2015

      Awww, thanks so much sister! That seriously just made me smile! And, haha, I can always hear your voice when I read your comments lol! I love you! <3

  • Anonymous
    May 7, 2015

    Erica, I always enjoy reading your blogs. They are still refreshing. I love your boldness. I am reminded of Ephesians 6:20, For which I am an ambassador in bonds:that therein I may speak boldly as I ought to speak.Thank you for taking that stand.Love you more, cousin Pinkie

    • ErikaTheEncourager
      May 8, 2015

      Hi Cousin Pinkie!

      Thank you so much for always encouraging and supporting me! It really means a lot to me!

  • Roselyn
    May 8, 2015

    It’s amazing how God can use what we humans many see as a negative about ourselves like our insecurities and use it to draw us close and show us that our imperfections are so perfect with Christ. God truly makes no mistakes and everything about you is just as He intended. Just as God did for Paul so has He done for you through your voice which is very soothing to many. All for His glory! 1 Corinthians 4:9
    “And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.”
    Thank God for giving you such a soft beautiful voice! We love it!!!

    • ErikaTheEncourager
      May 8, 2015

      Rozzy! I always love and appreciate the scriptures you share with me. They are always so perfect and on time! I am going to save this one because it’s a perfect match for this very thing & I’m sure I’ll need to remind myself of this very thing in the future. Thanks sis! <3

  • Courtney W
    May 8, 2015

    We can all use encouragement on finding our voice, talents, or using our gifts. Many times careless comments keep us from our destiny causing us to question who God has created us to be. By using scripture and surrounding ourselves with encouragers, like you, we can always move toward our God given destiny. Thank you for this post. It truly blessed me!

    • ErikaTheEncourager
      May 9, 2015

      Thanks friend! I think you hit the nail on the head by pointing out the importance of surrounding ourselves with scripture. It’s the only true word that will never fail. I’m thankful for being surrounded by encouragers & uplifters like you too!

  • Maya Moore
    October 27, 2015

    First I must say I LOVE the conversational tone of your blog! Sounds sincere and authentic, just like your real life speaking voice I’m sure. 🙂

    The water sip thing had me LOLing!!! We’ve all been there trying to change something or other.
    I’ve found that blogging really has helped me find my voice. I never really felt like my opinions, thoughts and ideas were valid or worthy of anyone taking note. But after I started writing I discovered that there was SO much depth to what I had to say! Then after receiving such positive responses from others who showed interest in my site I was like “Hey! I do have something to say! I am somebody!” LOL. I learned that my voice was powerful and that it matters in this life.  🙂

    Yes to the fist pump about being fearfully and wonderfully made! I love the “from approval” reference. That encouraged me and I am going to try to keep this in mind when I’m tempted to act for approval. There is great freedom in being yourself! Amen!

    • ErikaTheEncourager
      October 28, 2015

      Hey there! Thanks so much for taking time to comment! I think it’s incredible how God uses our gifts to show us that we matter to him. That we are wanted, valuable and special. It’s like a huge light-bulb goes off on the inside when we learn our value and worth in Christ!

      I’m going to check out your blog!!! <3

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