Unspoken Words

We’ve all heard the saying, “Sticks and Stones can break my bones, but Words can never hurt me.”  We teach it to children, tell it to ourselves.  In truth, it is (one of) the biggest lie(s) that our society has ever produced.  Spoken words can cut deep, creating wounds that affect our souls.  These are the wounds that we hide beneath a layer of self-control.  These are the wounds that make us who we are. 

Just as the spoken word can wound who we are, it is the words that are never said that can kill. 

Seven months ago, I found myself departing the M/V Africa Mercy.  I parted ways with some amazing people, some beautiful children of God, friends that have gotten closer to my heart than anyone before. 

I found myself afraid of the words that we all desperately need to hear.  So, I didn’t say anything at all. 

And it was these unspoken words that tore away at the relationships that were formed in those three months aboard ship, that wounded those that I had come to know and hold dear to my heart.  It was these unspoken words that haunted me each and every single day as I regretted the silence. 

Looking back, I can see that I let fear get in the way of faith, of God’s plan. 

There has not been a single day that I have not looked back on the adventures I had aboard the Africa Mercy, on the friendships that were formed, on each individual that I had come to know and care for, to serve and love through faith.  I’ve missed their presence, the comfort that they bring by physically standing shoulder to shoulder (or elbow) with me.

And each day I regretted the silence, but could not find the courage to break that silence. 

We cannot go back and fix the mistakes that we make in life.  We cannot make the wounds go away, but God gave us the opportunity to begin the healing process.  And after seven months I was finally able to be honest with God, and in turn, honest with myself.  God doesn’t want us to live in silence, He gave us a voice, and even through fear of our own failings, He gives us the courage to use it. 

I wish I could say that I made everything right by saying what was on my heart, but only time can heal the wounds that run across our lives. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that “Sticks and Stones can break our bones, but Words (both spoken and unspoken) can rip apart the soul.”  Don’t be afraid of speaking up when your heart aches to tell someone how you truly feel.  And if you find yourself looking back, asking what if, have the courage to find the voice you once lost. 

God Bless and PEACE

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