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!