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Breaking Silence

Sometimes when we go through something…

…and we don’t necessarily see it happening to anyone else around us (at least that we can see or pick up on)…

we can believe

that we’re the “only ones in the WHOLE world going through it”…

And it’s easy to get ALL wrapped up in what we’re going through, so that we cannot as easily pay attention to what others are going through around us.

I somehow came across this documentary yesterday…

In the title, I noticed a term I had never heard of before…

“selective mutism”

And then I saw “…my child won’t talk“…

This instantly took me back to what I went through as a child… so I became curious to see what this documentary was about.

As I started watching this,

I just began to weep….

…what these children are going through is EXACTLY what I went through as a child, but until now, I had never heard of it explained or somewhat identified or understood, nor did I think there was anyone else in the whole WORLD who was going through this strange thing that I went through.

You see, starting around the end of kindergarten/ 1st grade, I went “silent” in school, and also in certain other social situations, around most boys/ men, and anyone outside of my “few, closest people.”

I’d sometimes talk on the playground with one or two friends in elementary school, but other than that, I remained completely silent during elementary school, even when it was encouraged to talk or to participate. I never spoke, I would only make gestures, as these kids did, or I would write notes on a paper to communicate with people or even with my teachers.

(Even today, writing to communicate is much easier for me when it comes to “organizing” the communication so that it’s most clearly communicated. I guess I got a lot of practice at that early on!)

…But the MOMENT I would get into the car to ride home from school, I was a “different kid”… really— I was really “me.”

An imaginative, outspoken, lively, silly, expressive, curious, colorful, creative child…

Here’s the best way that I know to explain it…

It was like I went from going “frozen” all day at school…frozen in my words, frozen in my mind, frozen in my expressions….and then I “thawed out” and became “unfrozen” as soon as I got home, and was back in my “safe” zone again.

I’m not much for “labels”… but as I watched this documentary, I literally wept as I realized that other children and families are going through this strange thing that I went though.

And I know, SO WELL, what it feels like.

I know, SO WELL, how much I wanted so badly to “just be normal” like the other kids.

I know, SO WELL, how much I wanted to be able to “loosen up” and “let loose” and just be “me.”

“Just relax” they would say…

“Just talk” they would say…

It’s the “girl who doesn’t talk”…they would say…

They got used to me

being that way.

It was a fear of people hearing my voice, a phobia of others hearing/seeing me attempt to speak, to use my voice, to be seen using my expressions, my creativity, to use “all that I am” to express myself… and once I settled into the habit, that way of life… it became harder and harder to break free.

I was stuck in my own fear, my own distorted perspective, my own habits— these “rules” that I somehow developed for my life out of anxiety and fear.

And in this documentary… I love, so much, to see these children “growing” through this, being patiently helped…step by step, situation by situation, moving forward into breaking through… 💪

Facing these very real “fears” that most people do not understand.

Facing these very real “fears” that most people aren’t even aware of.

You may see a timid child, but I see a brave child, working through these very real, very scary things they must learn to face…


For me, much of this issue did carry into my adulthood—in different, more subtle kinds of ways.

Thankfully much of it has faded.

But yes, there are certain times when it’s still a struggle to work through, even now

But aren’t we all facing certain fears, certain challenges, certain struggles in our lives?

In one way or another, on one level or another?

Some big,

some small,

some understandable,

some not so understandable,

some seen,

some heard,

some hidden,

some unheard…

We may not all have the same challenges, the same afflictions, the same obstacles to face…

but as believers and followers of Christ, are we not all just learning how to live our lives

to overcome the obstacles with Him

to overcome the fears with Him

…so that we can truly LIVE our lives with the Light of Christ radiating from us?

So that we can truly LIVE with hearts of compassion that reach the broken with HIS love…

I’m so thankful for a God who is faithful to lead me through these kinds of things…

and He’s been so patient with me.

He IS so patient with me.

I have felt the patience of His love for me. 💝

And I can feel it now, when I couldn’t back then…

Learning to LIVE our lives, with Him, is a beautiful process. 🌷☀️

Let’s be loving, and patient, and kind to one another, as we all face challenges

in the learning

to LIVE our lives. 💗


Thank You, Lord, for walking with me through this life. 💝

You never give up on what You desire to do in me, even when I do.

And thank You, Lord, for the many ways that You have, and are…setting me free…

…little by little, day by day, way by way,

situation by situation, obstacle by obstacle,

encounter by encounter, with You.

“For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.”—Psalm 63:7

“The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart exults,
And with my song I shall thank Him.”—Psalm 28:7

“I will sing of the goodness and lovingkindness of the LORD forever; With my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness from generation to generation.”—Psalm 89:1

-Heather 🌺

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