When I was growing up, I wasn’t much of a talker. I joke that my Mama spoke for me until I went to college… sadly, kinda true. It wasn’t uncommon for people to even ask my parents or me if something was wrong with me because I just didn’t have much to say. It was never really a disrespect of people thing, because my parents wouldn’t stand for that, but it was just honestly a shy thing.
I recently heard someone say that quietness was stupidity or quietness was dumb. Oh, in my flesh, let me tell you who’s dumb, is what I wanted to respond. My heart, you see, is with the quiet one. Much of my quietness growing up was simply from insecurity, but the majority of it was simply from when I had something to say, I’d say it. I’ve parented my girls from that place of taking how God has made them, how they are wired, and I pray those things into big things. I won’t lie, I often felt growing up that I was supposed to be someone else, but my Mom never, even in speaking for me, made me feel that my quietness discounted me for whatever plan God had for my life. She always encouraged me to not be fearful, to speak from my heart, and that the tears I often shed from being labeled could even be used for good. When people say, “God doesn’t make junk,” I believed that because of how my mom treated me about my quietness. I read an article around the same time my oldest daughter was born about how we, as parents, need to be particularly keen on not labeling our kids “strong-willed,” “too quiet,” “plain” and a plethora of other things, but to take those characteristics in our kids and know that strong-willed could lead to big time leader, world-changer, or the quiet one could end up being the one who is so observant and studious that he/she become the researcher that finds a cure for cancer. And that is what we’ve done when it comes to our kids. We’ve prayed for my girl who is quiet in a way that she find great confidence in who she is, and for my girl who is quite talkative, we’ve prayed, “Hey, God, maybe she can be a lawyer!”
Labels suck. They cripple us from often becoming what God intended to be awfully good things. Someone labels us and the big dreams we’ve had for ourselves, often deflate. I’ve often written and spoken about how much I’m for the underdog. To me, that doesn’t just apply to the traits society deems as lowly. The underdog is often the very one that receives much praise, yet they have labeled themselves as never quite being enough. The most treacherous ground we can walk on is allowing what other’s say to make us say no to what GOD is really saying about us! It’s not quietness that is stupid…people are! We are stupid for listening. God is speaking over us words of hope for a future, yet we sit cowering in the corner of “But ‘they’ said I’m not good enough.” Are you speaking words of life over others, or opinions over them? I can still remember awful things people said over me that caused me to quit, and the sad thing is, they went on living great lives, but I allowed their words to often stop me from the BEST things. Friend, let me tell you today that YOU are not junk. God has made you just like He wanted you to be. That thing you’ve dreamed so long of doing…DO IT! Quiet one, your voice may not be audible, but the way you live out your life is LOUD! Be confident that there are many out there that need your quiet spirit to take care of them, listen to them, and really get to know them. Silence does NOT indicate a lack of confidence! To the one that feels discounted, even, because you have a BIG personality, use it to make the world smile. Use it to speak boldly over others. God doesn’t make any of us to just be mediocre. No more hiding. Step out into the light of the awesome creation you are!