Voice by Mandy Baker Johnson
I work for a voice specialist who sees people with throat problems. When patients call me to make appointments, their voices are often crackly, hoarse and husky. Many of them are 'professional voice users' - actors, singers, teachers, public speakers. Sometimes I've recognised famous voices 'off the telly' when they call to make appointments.
A voice is very personal. It is an integral part of who we are. If eyes are the windows of the soul, I guess that makes a voice the door of the soul! We can tell if our loved ones are excited or annoyed or down simply by the tone of their voice.
Even tiny babies can recognise their mother's voice and other sounds they have heard regularly while in the womb.
But what about voices that aren't oral and audible?
God's voice is generally heard internally. The more we get to know Him, the more we're able to hear His voice, and tell it apart from our own thoughts or the negative voice of the enemy. Jesus promised that His own friends would be able to hear His voice.
And what about the writer's voice? When our writing sounds like us and not someone else. When I first started blogging in 2008, I struggled. I had no idea what I as a writer sounded like. My first blog posts were short, stilted and often incredibly formal. I cringe or laugh - depending on my mood - when I reread them now.
I went through a phase of sounding like my favourite writers. It was easy to tell who I'd been reading lately - John Grisham or Beth Moore or L M Montgomery - just by reading what I'd written.
I remember a dawning excitement when my voice as a writer first began to emerge and I knew that yes, this was me! And I could settle in and write from my heart.
I'm not saying I'm there yet, but recognising my own voice as a writer is a good start.
We sometimes recognise a particular author simply through the writing, we know their style. Wouldn't it be thrilling for someone to be able to recognise you and me because they know the way we write, they hear us.
Have you found your voice?
Mandy Baker Johnson is a self-employed medical secretary who enjoys blogging and is working on an autobiographical book about deliverance from darkness and being healed from cerebellar ataxia and ME/chronic fatigue. She enjoys volunteering with a Christian charity working with women in the sex industry.