A few years ago, I attended speech therapy at a wonderful facility called Swing for the Stars. Its name perfectly reflects the impact it had on my own life. I was blessed with a fantastic speech therapist who taught me to accept my stutter and find my worth in the condition of my heart, not in my speaking ability. Although attending speech therapy required three hours of driving roundtrip, the benefits outweighed the distance by far.
During my two years there, I learned helpful techniques such as Easy Breathing, Chunking, Cancellation, Emphasizing, the Stretch, and the Pull-Out. Within months, I found my speech to be much smoother as my confidence level soared. At home, my family encouraged me to use my techniques freely. I could never have improved without the support of my family. Through all of the tears and all of the pain, they were always there for me. . .cheering me on and picking me up every time I fell. To this day, my family is my world.
However, as time went on, I decided to discontinue speech therapy. Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “What?! Why would you stop something that helped you so much?” Looking back now, I agree with you because God has completely changed my heart. . .
My rationale behind quitting speech therapy was that I had been wrong in trying to get rid of something God gave me. By seeking help, I thought I was rejecting the way God made me and questioning His perfect plan. I thought that the only way to truly accept my stutter was to just live with it. . .no matter how much it hurt. I didn’t understand yet that God wants us to THRIVE, not just survive.
Three years later, I realize that my definition of acceptance was not exactly true. Absolutely, the Lord allows trials into our lives that we must embrace as His perfect will. But He also expects us to do our part. God has shown me that it is okay to seek help if it will allow me to serve Him more effectively. Quitting speech therapy didn’t mean that I had accepted my stutter. Only once I saw myself as God sees me would I truly accept my stutter. Acceptance is not an action. It is an attitude.
After years of reflecting and thinking, I have decided to go back to speech therapy this month, and I could not be any more thrilled! I am looking forward to beginning my journey to fluency again. This time, I am not going to speech therapy to “fix” my stutter. I am going to embrace my stutter.