I have a lot to say but simply don’t have the courage to say what’s on my mind or on my heart. For as long as I remember I was fearful to speak because I have a stutter. Ever since I was a little girl I have had a stuttering problem. My stuttering didn’t affect me until the first time someone made fun of me in elementary school, those cruel words spoken to me that day left me thinking that something was wrong with me, that I should be ashamed of my stuttering. I would love to write that I stopped believing those lies but I didn’t. Those lies became my truth. I would also love to write that the teasing stopped but sadly it didn’t. The older I got the unkind comments were still being flung at me, getting worse and troubling me more. Due to my stuttering I was ashamed of who I was. The pain I would feel when I stuttered in front of someone and them looking at me with a stare of impatience or confusion was too much to endure. So, I decided, if I thought I was going to stutter I just wouldn’t speak. I’d rather be silent then have a stuttering episode and feel humiliated.
One night, I came home after a difficult day with my speech and I ran to my room. I burst in to tears as I fell to my knees. I started pleading with God yelling, “Why God?! Why do have a stutter?! Don’t you see I’m in pain?! Please just take it away!” Instantly I heard the sweetest whisper from the Lord. He said, ” Delaney, I put this stutter in you for a reason. You are able. I’m going to use it one day to help others”. The thing is I’m just a vessel that God wants to use. At that time, I didn’t know how God was going to use me, but I put my trust in Him that someday he will reveal it to me.
“Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.””
John 13:7 (MSG)
I realized a few months ago, that without knowing I allowed the enemy to use my stutter to silence me and to steal my freedom to speak. A brief time after the Lord spoke to me on that night, He revealed how He was going to use me. During a time of worship at church He said, “Delaney I want you to be a Speech Therapist”. I didn’t know why He called me to be a Speech Therapist, but He sees things I don’t. The enemy doesn’t have that hold over me anymore, my God wants me to speak. God is going to use me to speak into people’s lives. All those moments of self-doubt and tears will be worth it when I use what God has given me to help others.
God changed my heart. He restored me. He gave me the freedom and courage to speak again. I was fearful to speak but now I’m fearless to speak. I felt unworthy to speak but now what I have to say is worth saying. For so long, I thought since I had a stuttering problem that my words didn’t have value, but I was wrong. My words do have value because they are God’s words. My prayer use to be for God to take away my stutter but it has changed for God to use my stutter to help others.
Whenever I have a bad day or the lies start to creep on in, I run to God for strength and I think of all the potential people God is going to use me to help. I must constantly remind myself to give myself grace and that my stutter doesn’t make me less than. I have to tell myself never to be ashamed of who God created me to be.
Now I thank Him for my stutter. I feel honored that He chose me, a girl with a stutter, to help others overcome their speech problems. I found freedom to speak through God’s perfect love and I can trust that God will be with my words wherever I go and whomever I meet.
10 “Moses raised another objection to God: “Master, please, I don’t talk well. I’ve never been good with words, neither before nor after you spoke to me. I stutter and stammer.”
11 “God said, “And who do you think made the human mouth? And who makes some mute, some deaf, some sighted, some blind? Isn’t it I, God?”
12 “So, get going. I’ll be right there with you—with your mouth! I’ll be right there to teach you what to say.””
Exodus 4:10-12 (MSG)