// wake up, o sleeper – Palm Sunday. //

Today is Palm Sunday, and I’ve lost my voice.

These are two entirely unrelated coincidental events, except I don’t think that’s actually the case. You see, over the past couple of weeks, the Lord has been convicting me about the words that I speak. Too often, my speech slips into complaining, criticizing, or gossiping– and too often, it feels so natural that I don’t even realize it until afterwards.

Recently, I’ve started to ask myself: How often do I talk about Jesus in everyday conversations? How often do the words that I speak edify others and honor Christ?

The answers to those questions aren’t very good. So yeah, that’s where my heart’s been lately. As a dear friend told me, when I can just be in His presence, my words will be an overflow of that growth in Christ– more positive, more joyful, more kind. I don’t have to strive to do better; I just have to be, and the better will follow naturally. And learning how to be still in His presence and open to His correction starts with admitting that there’s a heart-issue and that I need to seek Him. I’m aware, and I’m being honest with myself and the Lord about it, and that’s a good starting point for change. I’m not where I want to be with my words, but He is gracious and kind where I fail to be, and I am thankful for that conviction.

And in light of that, the significance of losing my voice today, the beginning of Passover Week, the Sunday before Easter, is not lost on me.

Last year was the year I started paying attention to Palm Sundays, because on that day, I was in an interstate wreck on my way back to Liberty from spring break. It was one of the worst, most terrifying days of my life, and the week between that Palm Sunday and Easter was hectic, with me making trips to doctors’ offices and then arrangements to miss days of class so my mom could bring me home to see an eye doctor. It wasn’t at all what I had imagined when looking at the week ahead that Sunday morning, and as difficult as it was, the Lord was so gracious through it all. He carried me through, and He used that time to keep me more focused on and trusting of Him than I would’ve otherwise been.

It was a week of growth– messy and anxiety-filled, yeah, but ultimately good.

Fast-forward to this year, where Friday I woke up with a sore throat, yesterday I was sick, and today I can’t speak because my vocal chords have decided not to cooperate with me.

Since last year, I’ve learned that when the unexpected happens on a Palm Sunday, it’s time for me to wake up and pay attention.

I don’t know what the Lord has in store for me this week, but I do know what He’s put on my heart lately, and that this particular brand of unexpected is definitely related to the specific area where He’s been convicting me lately.

So I’m going to be open to where He leads me. I’m going to use my silence to listen more closely to His voice. My inability to speak right now is incredibly frustrating, but perhaps I need it in order to hear Him more clearly. It’s all, always, coming together for my good and His glory– from the horror and shame that was my car wreck, to the relatively minor inconvenience that is temporarily losing my voice.

I will rejoice, even if that rejoicing has to be internal for now. I will sing His praise, even in a whisper only He and I can hear. And I will listen to His voice, because it’s a much better sound than my own anyway.

Thank You, Lord, for using these Palm Sundays to wake me from my spiritual slumber and get my attention. Your timing is perfect, and Your ways are better than mine.

I’m listening.

{love always, Em}

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