Daughters of the King, Listen
One voice imbues a sense of unity, purposeful action, and collective power. One voice speaks of who we are and who we know ourselves to be. One voice can speak of what and who we are for. One voice can also speak to the inverse. If you are like me, you might ask, “what exactly does one voice look like?” One voice is a tenuous bond. As women, how do we build toward one voice while acknowledging and embracing the diversity that distinguishes us? So, is one voice even possible?
I believe the first step is to continually come back to what unites us – as daughters of the King. It is not new news. It is thee news. It is the life altering and unifying message of the Gospel. It is Jesus. All of Him. Jesus’ birth. His life. His ministry. Jesus hung on the cross for our sin. Jesus resurrected. His Kingship. His Kingdom. His return. His plan for the nations. His plan for His children.
As daughters of the King, we have a part to play. And ladies, it is my prayer that we not lose this unique opportunity, saddled in doubt, fear, or anxiety; but that we are able to take bolder steps of faith in holy confidence and participate in our destiny. Our lives are meant to be a reflection of God’s character. Our actions are meant to make His name famous. Can we express and manifest it all? No, not on our own. We need help. As women, that is sometimes the hardest thing in the world to admit. But, we do need each other.
The second step is to exert what may seem as the opposite of expressing your voice, so bear with me when I say we all need to exert a bit more of…restraint. Restraint tames our instincts and our professional training to talk firstly and loudly. Nowadays, we are always talking, chatting, blogging, posting, tweeting, instagramming, vining, meming. That is all fun and social, but I am aware of how presence on these tools to participate in culture and community can actually detract from real community. Instead, it can feed my ego, vanities, and constant cravings for distraction and entertainment.
Exercising restraint allows us to listen and offers us a chance to really listen and comb through the clamor. Active listening turns your body posture from offense to presence. Listening allows us to hear God speaking. Listening allows us to hear and know each other for who we are and not only by what we do. Listening allows us to understand. And listening allows us to love each other.
I think we all crave to know what our voice is and to articulate it – strongly, eloquently, beautifully. But often, we tend to bypass the first steps of arriving at that collective voice and focus solely on the successes or failures of our lone attempts.
In the book of Job 33:28-33, Elihu shares a word from the Lord with his friend,
“Pay attention, O Job, listen to me; be silent, and I will speak. If you have any words, answer me; speak, for I desire to justify you. If not, listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”
Slowly, I’ve begun to find my voice in advocating for orphan care and transformative reconciliation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I have had the privilege to co-lead three trips to the eastern region beginning in 2011 where our teams work through the local church to support a biblical education and orphan care center. It was heartbreaking to see the realities of poverty and fatherlessness in the Congo. It has taken two years to observe, listen, learn, and pray through, but I believe my voice is to speak for the voiceless of DRC. So I join my voice to theirs and advocate for those same things.
In the film, DreamGirls, Beyonce gives a heartfelt and passionate rendition of “Listen,” singing:
Listen to the song here in my heart; A melody I start but can’t complete; Listen to the sound from deep within;It’s only beginning to find release.
I write this for the women out there who are trying to find their voice. I empathize deeply. Maybe you know what your voice is but are struggling to express it. Maybe you have a lot of passion and don’t know where to focus it. A friend recently said, “We are a society that says so much but has so little to say.” Ladies, let’s make sure we have something to say. Let’s rally under what unifies us – as daughters of the King. Let’s listen. And in grace and in truth, let’s speak bravely with one voice.
Have you found yourself consistently speaking and not listening? What is one way you can make time in your week to actively listen for God’s voice? What does one voice mean to you?