I have a million excuses not to write. One of my favorites is, “I just can’t find my voice.” I had a voice when I was younger! When I started this blog back in 2006, I had lots of voice to go around. It grew louder and bolder when I lived in West Africa. It grew softer and less frequent when I returned to the States. It almost disappeared when I was in “the process” for Holy Orders, feeling especially vulnerable and exposed.
This week I’ve been at a conference with ~100 young clergy women representing many denominations. I’ve been inspired by the powerful voices of Dr. Karoline Lewis and the Rev. Traci Blackmon–both giants in my world. I’ve been inspired by the voices of my peers–thoughtful and real. But I’ve also felt like an imposter–especially in a group where several women my age and younger are published authors with *actual things to say* and voices to say it with.
Today’s schedule intentionally left space for self-care and affinity groups. A saw one post about writers getting together, but I knew it didn’t apply to me. So my self-care was to sit alone at a bar with pen and paper. I’ve done the same every morning this week at breakfast. It has been a total luxury to have so much alone time this week! I almost question if I’m becoming an introvert, but it’s more likely I’m just a tired mama.
I came back to my apartment with a mission–to update my blog with a backlog of sermons so I couldn’t use my other favorite excuse of being too far behind to catch up. While updating, I read things I’ve written over the past several months. I even watched a few preaching clips. And what I discovered is that I do have a voice and I have been using it. I may have lots of excuses for not writing, but “not having a voice” can no longer be one of them. And I need to start rebutting the other excuses too. Because I’m a writer. And someday those words will actually ring true–even to me.