My Lisp.

Sometimes I forget some of the things God has brought me through. And every now and then a fear or insecurity creeps up inside of me, and I have to remind myself that the past is now behind me. God has reconciled and transformed me, and I am living proof that God will use the senseless things of this world to confound the wise.

One of the things I like to tell people is of the speech impediment I had growing up. Mind you, it wasn’t too bad, but nonetheless, I had trouble articulating and conversing to the fullest of my cranial capabilities. I like to tell people about my impediment, because so many of my friends know me as someone who is very articulate with words. A lot of my friends are afraid to argue with me sometimes, because I have a gift of asking that single question that will debunk their whole thesis. And in second grade I couldn’t even properly say, “Sally sells sea shells down by the seashore.”

I had a severe lisp as a child, and my sentences had a way of shoelacing themselves together in an unmelodic sequence of speech spoken without punctuation. In the second grade I started undergoing speech therapy class – being wisped away from the normal, everyday life of an elementary student to the lonely room where our tutoring took place.

Weekly I would have to go home and practice reading sentences while saying my “S’s” without sticking my tongue between my teeth. But what kid wants to do that?! I remember one time I even tried to forge my dad’s signature so that my speech teacher didn’t know I hadn’t practiced. I am a slacker, and apparently always was one.

But God does a wonderful thing in that he uses the uneducated and inarticulate and blesses them with wit and the gift of gab!

I love telling people that I had a speech impediment, because people know me as the guy who over-articulates. My sentences now have a space between every word, with an overly-emphatic hiss of my “S’s.” I am kind of afraid to share that with people, because once my friends realized I took speech therapy classes for several years, they started to pick up on how much I over-articulate words, especially with “S’s”!

God is good though in that he took a young boy with no apparent skills in speech, and has used him to speak and minister to people with clarity and understanding. I love telling people of where I came from, because it is a reflection of the goodness of God (not to mention, a glimpse at His satire)!

Maybe you grew up hurt and abused, and you are now being used as a vessel of health and nourishment. Maybe you grew up despised and rejected, and you are now well-established and bringing loners into a community. Maybe you grew up being told you were dumb and stupid, and are now being used to teach and train others.

Don’t forget where you came from.

Embrace your former weaknesses.

Because they are reflections of God’s goodness, strength, and faithfulness.

Has God used any of your former weaknesses as a means of change and restoration? Has He given you a testimony of irony? Don’t be afraid to share how God has helped you overcome insecurities. You’ll never know who you might encourage or inspire.

Feel free to comment with a testimony.