Go is my one word for 2014, the word that guides everything I do.
I published a post titled “Go. Like It Matters. Go. Like It’s Your Life.” on January 6, 2014. I loved that post. So much so that I’ve kept it on the home page of my blog all these months. It’s linked to a graphic on my sidebar.
So why am I referring to a post I wrote back in January when it’s mid-August? Because there’s one part of that post that especially excited and moved me when I wrote it. For the past couple of months, I’ve been feeling the need to revisit those words.
“Go. tell them all the beautiful things they never knew about themselves.
Go. tell them what they really need to hear. Tell them you see them. Tell them you noticed. Tell them they’re loved. Tell them they’ve not been forgotten. Tell them they’ve been heard. Tell them they’re precious, worthy, irreplaceable. Tell them there’s a plan for their life. Ya, Go. Do that. And do it again.
Go. where little girls laugh. And big girls are free to laugh again. Go. Restore the little girl voice.
And don’t forget the vision. Go. Continue becoming the beautiful, old, wise woman.”
There’s something about those words that speak to me deeply. When I wrote that post, I knew what every word meant, and much of it is playing out in real time. But I’m believing those bolded words in particular hold the greatest meaning. Those words flowed out. Those words got my heart racing. Those words had power. Those words felt right. Those words gave me life, joy and peace. Those words felt like my future.
Seven and a half months into the year, I can say with confidence that those bolded words will carry with me into 2015 and beyond. I’m not even close to being finished with those words.
But there is something I feel called to do with a handful of those words right now.
Five words have been calling to me. They’re the five words that have stuck in my mind since I wrote them in January.
Restore the little girl voice.
I’ve wondered. Is there something in those words that’s not just for them, but for me, too?
So in late July, I began brainstorming an August series titled Restoring the Little Girl Voice.
In early August at my 20th high school reunion, I had the opportunity to visit my childhood friend’s home, the place I spent countless hours growing up. As I climbed the staircase into the treehouse we played in time and time again, as I sat in the corner of her basement eating pickles, reminiscing about the exact spot we played pin the tail on the donkey as kids, and as I sat at her dining room table eating breakfast quietly with my husband that Sunday morning, I was reminded that this restoring the little girl voice was good.
Last week I wrote that post about what a great honor it will be to join Compassion International on a sponsor tour to Dominican Republic and blog on behalf of children living in poverty. I recounted God’s working out His story in my life from the very start, from way back when. When I was still a little girl. I knew, yet again, this restoration of the little girl voice was a good, good thing.
So here’s my plan. For the rest of August, as the Spirit leads, I’m going to be writing a series titled Restoring the Little Girl Voice. Today marks Part 1. I don’t know how many parts there will be. This is a write as needed series, which is totally unlike me. But I’m giving myself freedom to explore with no rushing, no expectations, no boundaries, no specific desired outcome other than restoration. At this point, I’m not sure what restoration will look like. But that sentence, restore the little girl voice, is calling for attention.
Maybe you’re still not sure what this is going to look like? Here are my thoughts…
I’ll be going through old photo albums from my childhood. Anything from birth to 17 years of age will be up for grabs. I’ll be looking for pictures that evoke some sort of strong emotion in me. If it feels like there’s something that needs to be healed, restored, or laid to rest, I’m going there. For each photograph, I’ll write a blog post, a letter to my childhood self. A letter telling that little girl all the things she needs to know, all the feelings she needs to feel, all the thoughts she needs to express, all the things she might want to consider to make life a little easier from there on out.
I’m fully aware that I could journal and make this a private exercise. I’m aware I might make some people a bit uncomfortable. Because I’ll be digging into my past, into my little girl self. I might reveal thoughts that most would keep private. I might dig a little deeper than I thought I would. I might uncover thoughts and feelings I never knew existed, thoughts and feelings I pushed down for years, thoughts and feelings I’ve battled to this day, even as an adult.
But I’ve thought this through. I’ll be wise and prudent. If this needs to go private at any time, I’ll make that happen.
I’m also aware that this exercise will be healing. And I’m aware that exercises like this, when made public, have the potential to bring about healing for others. That’s why I started this blog. To help you know you’re not alone. To help you see we’re all in this together. To help you find meaning in life. To help you discover the purpose of your life. So I’m willing to be vulnerable. For you. So you might bear witness to the bud of my life unfolding into full bloom. And in turn, that you might be inspired, that you might finally allow yourself to bloom. Because don’t we all need a little uncovering, a little unfolding of our best, most authentic selves?
So let’s do this. Now is the time. I’m setting out on an unknown journey to restore my little girl voice, and perhaps, along the way, you’ll be encouraged to restore your little girl voice. And hey, men, I haven’t forgotten you. Perhaps along the way, you’ll be encouraged to restore your little boy voice. It doesn’t sound as pretty, but it’ll work all the same.
Restoration, it’s a good thing.
So let’s restore.
Let’s begin again.
Let’s restore the little girl voice.
This is the trailer for Bonnie Gray’s new book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace. The book is incredibly soulful and healing. I recommend it heartily and without reservation for anyone who’s seeking white space, room to breathe. This video is peaceful, breathtakingly restorative to me. It’s a beautiful representation of the tone in which I’d like to write this series, Restoring the Little Girl Voice. Thank you, Bonnie, for your beauty and authenticity.