The Orator. That was the title one of my best friends gave me. This is the same best friend who knew for years that behind the smiles and charisma, underneath the “floetic” orations that I often gave, was a young woman who had not found her voice. How ironic! I was a theater student and an avid competitor in forensic speech (I usually brought home first place trophies in the category of “dramatic interpretation”). I was one of the first children put on the church program to welcome guests, pray, or recite the Easter speech. In college, I showed off my public speaking skills through research and presentations in national symposia, and later became a young preacher who won an award in seminary for my homiletic skills. And yet, like an iceberg, people didn’t readily see the mass of insecurities I was hiding under the surface. I was someone who felt proficient in the packaging of thoughts complete with a pretty bow, but I was not confident in the content of the gifts that I offered. My biggest fear was that my voice would be found deficient; that the words I offered would be nothing more than empty bombast that would be exposed to my embarrassment and detriment. Alas, I didn’t know who I was. And therefore, I wasn’t sure that anything that I said was good enough.  I had become adept at the “fake it ‘til you make it” game. The problem – or perhaps the hidden blessing – is that I faked it so well that I was often pushed onto more and bigger platforms. I’ve had to dig deep, and do the hard work of really finding my voice. And now, I have to become more comfortable with sharing it. Why? Because I have so much to say. Because I have had experiences that afforded me wisdom beyond my years, and have carved out a place for me among the prophets of our times. Because I have a story to tell, and I was meant to tell it. Because I have learned that my voice is my greatest expression of love, my most dangerous weapon against despair, and my most effective medicine for what ails. Because someone, somewhere, has been asking the Universe to lift a voice of love and hope and grace that sounds like mine.

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And so, I press through the doubts. I laugh at my ego every time the “what ifs” arise that try to shake me. I ground myself while looking above and breathing in deeply that God has given me everything that I need to speak. So here I am: The Orator. A prophet. A sage. A young-ish crone. A surrendered vessel with a clarion call for connection, growth and healing in the world. Thus says Sabrina…