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A Woman’s Journey to Full and Fearless Expression

Have you ever felt F.E.A.R.—feeling that your Full Expression was Avoided or Resisted? I have! I didn’t think of my holding back as a fear of speaking up, but rather, as a stifling of my desire to boldly proclaim the spiritual truths that were burning within me. The truth is, fear was the culprit. What if I’ll be judged, persecuted, or put on the spot to defend my position? Such questions profoundly impacted me, causing me to become timid, avoidant, and fearful of backlash or disapproval. More than once, I have repented and expelled these fears in Jesus’ name. 

In my next post, I’ll share examples of how senior women, including myself, have felt discouraged from freely expressing our thoughts and spiritual experiences. In addition, our upbringing might have taught us to suppress our emotions. Emotions often categorized as “low-level,” such as anger, sadness, disappointment, grief, or loneliness, are particularly prone to this classification. At times, pastors held a powerful presence that made me feel small and silenced. (I experienced non-clergy instances, too, but they’re outside today’s scope.) Like a dark cloud, my tendency to avoid conflicts loomed over those scenes. My younger self was rebelling, declaring, “If I can’t have my say, I’m going to take my words and just go elsewhere.” Looking back, I can see how my responses perpetuated rather than resolved the problem.

No matter how we were silenced, we might have internalized the idea of holding back our full expression without realizing it. It’s highly probable that notions about why we should hold back ended up in the submerged portion of our consciousness, much like an underwater iceberg. That’s where our beliefs, including some false beliefs, are stored. We must confront and dismantle the false notions that hold us back to overcome our tendency to avoid and resist expressing ourselves fully. We can find true freedom by consciously bringing these notions to light and reprogramming ourselves with the liberating truth. Help is available through ministries like Unbound, a gentle and non-confrontational healing and deliverance ministry, Christian Healing Ministries, or transformational coaching (beginning later this year at RadiantJoy.us). That inner work is essential because our beliefs are the foundation for our thoughts, shaping how we perceive the world. The words we choose serve as a mirror, reflecting our true thoughts and emotions. Our thoughts and emotions have a direct impact on how we behave.

Just last week, long after events that silenced me, I finally received insights into how and why voices capable of uplifting others have been silenced. Thankfully, I received healing prayer, forgave the offending parties, and was blessed by these prophetic words: “You Have Your Voice Back. Now Serve Me.”

Francis MacNutt coined the term “spiritual abuse” to describe the actions of religious leaders who, even unintentionally, strip away our rightful spiritual freedom. To me, this sense of censorship felt like a heavy weight on my chest. Spiritual abuse for some may encompass manipulation, exploitation, and control through the use of Scriptures, as well as fostering an environment of secrecy and discouraging questioning.

A godly individual should never be free and encouraged to share the incredible ways the Lord has worked in their life. Some have conquered intimidation, finding strength in Christ, who strengthens his people during their moments of weakness. Whenever you sense any reluctance or reluctance to openly declare the greatness of God, especially when it involves sharing the testimony he has entrusted to you, reach out to Jesus and rely on his strength. Request courage, empowerment, and holy boldness from the Holy Spirit—perhaps even the right words. Your birthright as children of God includes these privileges, and expressing your true self in the Lord brings pleasure to him and advances the Kingdom of God.

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