Getting Personal #14: Words

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I’m on the team that runs the computer booth at my church. On Sundays, we run the computers and projectors, putting the order of worship, the scriptures, and the songs and hymns on a screen and the walls, big and bright and huge.

We have two services: an 8:30 service that is more modern and contemporary, and an 11:00 service which is more traditional.

I grew up going to Sunday School and the 11:00 service.

As a young adult, however, I feel more of a connection with the 8:30 service, especially the music.

On a recent Sunday when I was in the booth, the worship band at 8:30 played this one song, titled “Words” from the band Hawk Nelson.

Here’s an excerpt of the lyrics:

They’ve made me feel like a prisoner
They’ve made me feel set free
They’ve made me feel like a criminal
Made me feel like a king

They’ve lifted my heart
To places I’d never been
And they’ve dragged me down
Back to where I began

Words can build you up
Words can break you down
Start a fire in your heart or
Put it out

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

You can heal the heartache
Speak over the fear
(Speak over the fear)
God, Your voice is the only thing
We need to hear
(We need to hear)

Let the words I say
(Let the words I say)
Be the sound of Your grace
(Sound like Your grace)
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

I wanna speak Your love
Not just another noise
Oh, I wanna be Your light
I wanna be Your voice

I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

I realize the intended message is for us to speak God’s word, be his voice, etc.

For me, though, it’s more than that.

This song is empowering. It shows me that we should be a voice, not just for God, but for ourselves, for those around us. We shouldn’t be afraid to use the voice that God gave us!

Words are incredibly powerful.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names/words will never harm me.”


As someone who was taunted and teased, particularly in elementary school, words can and do hurt.

Why do you think we have such a fucking terrible epidemic of bullying and bullying-related suicides?

I know the old saying is “Actions speak louder than words.”

Normally, typically, that is the case.

However, words are also significant.

What you say, sometimes, can make more of a difference.

I’m gonna put my foot in my mouth for a second. Remember, earlier, I said, “We shouldn’t be afraid to use the voice that God gave us!”

Well, that was me. For the longest time, in college especially, I felt afraid to use my voice. I was afraid to speak up and make myself known, particularly to John, who was exerting powerful control over me with his own words and actions.

I was afraid that I wouldn’t be heard, wouldn’t have listeners.

But, I think it goes back farther than college. I was raised to be respectful, to let others speak (a.k.a., “Laura Beth, be quiet so that someone else can have a turn to speak…” I can hear my mother’s voice constantly.)

Because of that, I felt embarrassed. I remember turning red on many occasions when Mom (and sometimes Dad) brought that up. Yes, I know I’m a Chatty Cathy. But using my voice was (is) a way to express myself.

I realize now that, even though my parents said that I could always come and talk to them, about anything, at any time, I didn’t do it a lot. Unless I was desperate or had a problem or was in trouble (and even then, it was absolutely terrifying to open my mouth and say something), I didn’t always feel comfortable talking to them.

I don’t want to raise my future children that way. Words are powerful, and they need to be expressed, and they need to be heard.

To me, the written word is just as powerful, if not more so, than the spoken word.

Because of a lot of encouragement and support, I’m blogging a lot more, more than I ever have. And I fucking love it. I get a bit of a rush, a bit of a high, whenever I get an idea – Whether it be something for a blog post, or a story idea, or maybe something that I could mold into a novel.

Journaling is also helping me with my journey through counseling and anxiety. It’s a release. I like to talk things out, but writing things down also helps, so much.

As I reflect on right now, on this Thursday, preparing for the end of this work week and for an amazing weekend getaway (More on that next week!), I’m so happy that I discovered a love for words at a very early age.

I still have the blue binder, covered in random stickers, that contains the short stories that I wrote from fifth grade up through high school. I want to eventually re-visit those and expand them, as I want to do with my fiction pieces from my college workshop and more current NaNoWriMo novels, but for now, I really enjoy re-reading them, and reflecting on how I got those ideas. How I spent hours at my desk, in the car, and even on the school bus, writing until either my left hand cramped up from holding the pen or I literally ran out of paper.

I’ll keep writing. I’ll keep blogging. I’ll keep journaling.

But, most of all, I’ll keep on keeping on, knowing that I have a powerful voice that should be heard.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

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