"You Are My Lionel"
We recently watched again the movie, "The King’s Speech,” which was originally released in 2010. In case you didn't see it, it is the true story is of the man who reluctantly assumed the throne as King George VI. He suffered with a dreadful stammer which seemingly made him unfit to be king. Through the help and friendship of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel, the King was able to find his voice and become worthy of the throne.
At the time this movie was hitting the theatres, we had already been working with a male client for several months. As a boy, he lived in fear of the night and the monsters in his room. But his even greater fear was of the emotional and verbal abuse from his father. He became hypervigilant of his surroundings in the hope of predicting when the next attack from his father would come. He knew full well that the warning was never quite enough to avoid the drama, trauma, and the words that cut him to his core.
Fast-forward forty years, and the man is now sitting in our counseling office. He is one year into working with us to heal the trauma from his childhood that is affecting his relationships today, including his connection with Father God. He reaches across the room and hands us two tickets to “The King’s Speech” and asks us to call him after we see the film—that there is something he wants to share with us afterward that we will only understand after we see the movie.
Two weeks later we saw the movie, and we called him. With a break in his voice, he whispered, “You are my Lionel—you gave me a voice. You believed in me. You cared.” We were undone by such a heart-stopping compliment. That was God. That was God’s heart for him. No one wanted that man to have a voice more than God did. The rules he learned in his dysfunctional family—don’t talk, don’t feel, don’t trust—were rewritten by Father God that day:
“I have given you a voice.”
“I have given you a heart that is made to feel.”
“I have made you to trust so that you can hold your heart open to love.”
To be given a voice is not to constantly talk. Sometimes the greatest voice we have is when we choose to be silent. When Jesus stood before Pilate, he never opened his mouth, but his heart cry could be heard throughout the heavens. When we have a voice, we can learn when to speak and when to listen. Christ’s silence was not because of fear or shame or from walling off his heart. We can choose silence and rest because “God knows.” God is our defense. God hears our heart even when no sound comes from our lips.
If there is someone in your life who is your Lionel, be blessed. If not, then maybe you could become your own Lionel. Listen to the voice God has put inside of you. Ask for his direction on how to be a voice, have a voice, and hear his voice.
Father God, you say in your Word that if I call to you, you will answer me and show me great and unsearchable things—things I do not know (Jeremiah 33:3). It was you who created me with a voice so that I could call out to you, praise you, and freely share your heart with others. But Lord, things have happened that have hindered the voice that you gave me. I invite you to restore everything that you intended for me to have when you created me, and that includes my voice. Like Moses who felt like his voice was inadequate to speak to Pharaoh on your behalf, but ultimately used his voice with authority, grant me that same freedom and authority with the voice you have given me.
(Excerpt from "Loving God, Loving Myself")
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COUNSELING MINISTRY: If you or anyone you know is in need of finding a safe place for emotional and/or spiritual healing and restoration, please contact us at The Father's Heart Intensive Christian Counseling Ministry. Check out our web site at fathersheart.com or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are located in the North Georgia Mountains in a retreat-like setting and counsel individuals or couples for periods of two to five-days in length.