Discovering Your Voice

Sometimes things stick out like the rotten fruit in the produce section. This post by Sam Luce is one of those that has just stuck to me, and I can’t get it unstuck. Yes, it’s from a year ago. Yes I can’t stop thinking about it.

I like to read, like just a little bit. Bible, Blogs, books, and notes all entice me with their learnings. Learning is something that I love to do, but Sam scared me with the Doing header in his post. He says:

This is where you start to find your voice for your generation. This doesn’t mean that you are going to travel and speak; it means that you are going to use the skills you have learned to reach your generation.

Me, reach my generation? I have no idea what I’m doing yet! Not only that but I really don’t have a good grasp on who I am.

I mean, as a young person I feel as if I’m in the middle of two stark differences sometimes.

What I currently do + What I will one day do

or

Who I am currently + Who I will be one day

What’s hard is that discovering who you are is essential in the journey of becoming you will be one day. But it’s an interesting balance in development and work. Maybe I’m the only one in the world struggling with this, but you have to get your work finished. I desire to finish my work well and to the best of my ability, but at the same time, I desire to learn who I really am and begin to develop the gifts that are uniquely mine.

So in this struggle of today vs tomorrow, I’m having a tough time figuring out more of my tomorrow. Now, I know to an extent it will be quite a few tomorrows before I figure it out but I still want to feel as if I’m making progress.

Here are some of the biggest hurdles that I know I’ll need to overcome in order to figure out my own voice in this crazy world.

1. Struggle

Few things in this world help us to define ourselves than struggle. I’ve certainly had my share of struggles and I will have more, but I’m not looking forward to them. But who we are is forged out of how we suffer.

Suffering = development of compassion or passion

I think it’s an essential element in discovering who we are.

2. Gifts

For me this is one of the biggest struggles. I am what you would call a jack-o-trades. A jack of many but a king of none. This causes me to be a pretty reliable member of a team but a pretty tough person to follow. Without a clear and leading strength, sometimes I waver between options. Most leadership books I’ve read talk about your defining strengths and developing them. This is tough for me to define.

For you, if you have a strong gift or strength area, develop it wholeheartedly. Don’t forsake the other areas, but be awesome at your strength.

If you are like me, and you can do a few things well, but not really one thing awesome, or maybe you do something awesome and don’t know what it is yet, keep going. Keep doing and find people to help draw out the awesome.

3. Insecurity

I have been confronted with my own insecurities more over the last year than ever before. Lack of trust in God has led to me backing down in certain scenarios when I should have stepped up. Not only that, but not letting go of being comfortable with who I am.

If I’m honest, I perceive the church to value a particular type of leadership more than another (one day I might deal with enough insecurity to talk about it), and I’m the other.

But ultimately this comes down to my own insecurity, not the church’s problem. If I’m comfortable with who I am and even more comfortable that God is refining who I am, it will strengthen my voice.

When it comes to developing your voice, these three things will be things that you have to deal with, and I recommend dealing with them headfirst. Dive in and pursue God in the middle of these areas.

Maybe this post if just for me and my own processing, but if you are struggling with discovering your voice, then strive more to know God rather than you. It will come in due time.

Have you struggled to find your specific voice in life? Do you have a message that you are living out on a daily basis?

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J.C. Thompson
J.C. Thompson is the 5th & 6th Grade Director at Brookwood Church in Simpsonville, SC, one of Outreach magazine’s Top 100 Largest Churches in America.