THE DAY I FOUND MY VOICE
Ever have one of those nightmares? The kind where you can’t move or speak. It’s as though you’re being pinned down by a heavy weight. You wrestle and squirm underneath the unseen heaviness. Held down by the invisible, tossing, turning. Bound.
I’ve been there. Literally.
You try to scream. You can’t part your lips. A crowbar couldn’t pry your mouth open. The jaws of life are unable to bring life. You’re muffled. You’re muted. You’re voiceless.
I’ve been there. Literally and as a euphemism.
I didn’t know I had lost my voice until that glowing glimmer in my eyes began to fade. My eyes. They saw too much. They saw what they were never meant to see. Left glassy, stoic, bitter, cynical and seeing but void of vision, my eyes mimicked the vice around my vocal chords. Tightly squeezed shut and left for dead.
I didn’t know I had lost my voice and that my prayers, now numb, obligatory and sporadic, had become silent. I didn’t realize I had stopped crying out to the Lord. I didn’t realize I had stopped crying.
Subtle movements, as though one in a coma, went undetected by those moving around me at warped speed. My responses, if any, were at a snail’s pace. In shock. Damaged. Stuck. Bound. Immobile while moving. Had to move…’cause life kept moving. Life made it clear that it would. With or without me.
Then I was on my way to work one day. Pouring out my laundry lists of complaints to the Lord that had started off as a half hearted prayer of thanksgiving and request for protection. I got an email alert on my phone from my friend Tamika Patton, a recording artist back on the east coast. It was unusual for her to contact me that time of day. She’s a homegirl of mine that falls in the category of friends that you don’t see or talk to that often, but you can pick up right where you left off no matter how long it’s been. Every single interaction with her has been authentic, drama free, educational, vibrant, fun and inspiring. It had been some time since we’d spoke. Quite a while.
However on that day, September 18, 2012 at 7:33 am her email had a different tone. I pulled over to the side of the road to read it and the unrequested, unexpected, healing words of life and encouragement she wrote, resuscitated me. She had no idea I had flatlined. Smiling but flatlined. Laughing and flatlined. Going to work every day but flatlined. Never missing a Sunday at church but flatlined. Still married, still mothering, still there for everyone else but flatlined. Oft referred to as “leading while bleeding”. Speaking but voiceless.
She wrote, “Every now and then, you are divinely blessed to meet someone that is a well of water, an angel on earth that speaks life to your spirit and rejuvenation at precise moments in your life that only you and the Father know about…”
She was referring to me but didn’t know this was one of the moments and that she was my earth angel. She spoke life to my spirit and rejuvenation at the precise moment in my life I needed it most. That priceless, life changing moment…and only the Father and I knew.
And then… as a newborn baby, with its nose and mouth gently suctioned, my lungs were jolted and I began to cry. As one who travailed, these tears were different.
They were encased in a sound that had once again been found…
Superimposed with hope as though it had no choice…ahhh there it is…there it is…
MY V O I C E…
© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015
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