When I hear the statement “Finding my Voice”, It makes me think of someone who is finding what they stand for. What they are passionate about. I’ve been searching for my voice for a long time. Most of the time I didn’t even realize it.
When I was a teenager, I looked up to my uncle because he was a musician and a song writer with a very apparent passion for it, and I envied that. And he was so dang good at it! So, I sought out that passion also. I bought guitars and got lessons to learn to play. Finally, in my early twenties I was able to muster up the patience to actually learn and write a song or two. I loved playing and singing but I wasn’t good at it in my opinion. Not the way he was. I didn’t have the passion for it the way he did, and even though friends and family encouraged me, saying I sounded like Randy Travis, a song or two was as far as it went.
From a young age I can look back and see now I never had a true passion for anything myself. I often followed other people’s passions because I wanted what they had. It wasn’t the thing they were passionate about I wanted. It was the passion for it. It’s such a remarkable thing to me to see someone with a passion for something and see them pursue it. I found myself constantly following people in my life who had a passion. Even if that passion wasn’t healthy.
By my late teenage years, my passion seeking became an unhealthy outlet, that outlet feels now as if it has stolen the last twenty years of my life.
Throughout those twenty years I still had a yearning for something more. It was like there was something inside me telling me I was meant to do more in this life. I continued to envy people with passion. I talked and dreamed of doing more with my life only to slip off into the oblivion of alcoholism night after night and wake up day after day fighting off my demons, until I physically and mentally couldn’t take it anymore.
June of 2013, I went to my first rehab for drugs and alcohol. There I found people with a passion. A passion for recovery! I was surrounded by people like me. Broken people. People with a story to tell. Though most of us could only remember bits and pieces, and they were never great stories with a happy ending, it was the sharing that began to heal us. Knowing there were other people like us out there we could relate to, and that they were actually able to get better, created a passion. It was a passion for survival!
But that part of my story wasn’t over yet.
I guess when you’ve spent the better part of your adult life living a certain way and you’re as hardheaded as I am you don’t change overnight. Especially not by your own will!
I spent Three more years trying to do it my way and went to two more rehab centers. It was in September of 2016 on the third floor of a hotel that had been converted into a rehab facility in South Haven, Mississippi that I Let Go and Let God. I didn’t find my voice that night, but I found the voice I was going to follow from then on. That voice was the Holy Spirit speaking to me from inside. The voice that had been there all along. Everything changed after that. I had found a passion. A passion for God! A passion to figure out who I was at the age 34. To figure out what made me tick. I fell in love with alcoholics anonymous and church at the same time. I fell in love with sharing my story with people who shared their story with me because I could see Jesus working in us all.
Through it all I continued to mourn my past. Mostly because it was such a fog. The stories I shared were stories of pain and struggle. I had a hard time remembering the good stories. The special moments and beautiful times I love to share now. God had given me spiritual eyes and it broke my heart that I couldn’t see the last decade through those same eyes. It’s a hard pill to swallow to realize you have wasted so much precious time that you can’t get back, but God gives us a big glass of chocolate milk to swallow that pill.
My big glass of chocolate milk was coming home after two years of being gone, to my mother asking me to be a part of the family business, meeting my soulmate, getting to be a father and a stepfather, and sharing my story on TV with my uncle, all in the first year!
And then to top it off!
God put a camera in my hand so I could remember it all!
I like to think He did it so I could share it in a special way. Share how He is moving in my life. Do what I was doing in Mississippi and share my story in hopes of helping heal those like me in a small way, by letting them know it’s possible to get better. But I strayed away from that. I have been trying to do things my way and not His way.
It’s been almost a year now since I started learning videography and recording my life, but I have yet to really find my voice. It’s coming up on 5 years since that night in that hotel room, so I feel like a little kid still. Still learning about myself and the world around me. Still trying to uncover what it is in me I want to do more than anything else. More important, what God wants me to do! That same voice in me that’s been there all along is telling me it has to do with videography, sharing my life, letting go and letting Him lead! I just haven’t found out how yet. I probably need to listen harder!
I find myself trying to take control of life myself, the way I always did before. The only difference this time is I don’t fall back on drugs and alcohol. God has given me a new outlet. A creative outlet, and I’m obsessed with every aspect of it. Like a little kid in a candy shop and mom is saying pick one and I want them all!
Since I’ve started making videos and posting on YouTube, one of the most common comments I get is people love my voice. Which is quite odd to me and very ironic at the same time since I spend so much time trying to find my voice! Brings a smile to my face!
I came across the idea of doing a podcast the other day since people say they like my voice, and it felt like that night in the hotel room. It felt special. It almost felt right! Like that little voice. Maybe that’s how I find my voice. I use it. Maybe it’s my voice that people relate to, feel comfort in, or are drawn to. But this time I’m not trying to sing or write songs. I just talk and try to let God speak. I thought maybe I could do something like a vlog cast! It’s a podcast on video. That way I could roll in scenes of things I am talking about for those who would like to watch also.
I would love to start directing my videos and my voice towards my faith and my recovery! I think it’s why I’m here! I honestly believe there’s a lot more out there to recover from than just drugs and alcohol. But I still don’t feel confident doing it alone, so I have asked my good friend Kristian if he would be interested in trying it with me. Kristian has played a big part in helping me and many others find what they are looking for. He will be a good person to keep me focused on God’s plan and not my own!
Who knows, maybe I’ll find my voice after all!
Check out a little bit about my friend Kristian Kennedy and his Ministry at: www.melodymanorranch.com