Summer of Stuttering

IMG_8660Hey guys.

It’s been awhile. I wish I could say it was because I had so much to do this summer, that I filled every second with fun activities or work… and part of it was that, of course. Just check out the super cool picture with this blog taken somewhere along the Northern California coast during a road trip! But truthfully, I just don’t know what to say. Not knowing what to say is incredibly difficult for me. Lately, a big topic on my mind is “Who am I?” and “What qualities about me are consistent?”

This summer my relationship with God was messy. It was nothing like the spiritual growth I experienced last summer. This summer I did not look forward to returning to school. Last summer I struggled with it too, but I ended up looking forward to it by the end. Whereas this year, my anxiety was up the wall.

One aspect of myself that I have always been thankful for is that I always strive to be better that I am. My life shows a pretty constantly state of growth in one way or other. It isn’t always spiritual growth though… and sometimes, it looks a lot like backtracking. That’s how I feel about this last year. How do I do with God when I don’t have anyone checking in on me? I’ll give you a clue into the last year: not as well as I would like. There are incredible difficulties for me when I don’t have consistency.

However, that isn’t to say my summer was devoid of growth. My life changed a lot and I’m starting to see that as I moved back up to school. One huge thing I tackled was giant amounts of anxiety about my stutter. The core of who I am has developed a ton of anxiety because I stutter, which has been true since I was, like, five years old. This was brought to the surface this summer. Every day at camp, a kiddo would ask about it. My neck literally hurt because of it. There was no escaping my anxiety. There was no hiding behind my friends or hiding away in novels. I had to learn how to either talk about my “disability” with children in a polite way, or tell them it was not the time to talk about it. I had to learn to let it go. I didn’t do a good job with that, haha. I wanted to take out my voice box a couple of times. But I had to talk to my friends about it. I had to open up about my biggest weakness. I had to talk about the thing that I have avoided thinking about since I started high school– my worst enemy, my destruction, my antagonist.

Last spring (and I know I’ve talked about this SOMEWHERE in a blog), I watched this film called “thisisstuttering” (click the link to like the facebook page!) by a Biola senior. He’s my age and in the same place if life, so that made it even more relevant. And the most shocking part of the film, for me, was that it started off with the question, “How do I get rid of this awful thing?” and ended with, “This is me. This is who I am. I hate it so much. But I thank God for it because it has made me who I am. I hate it. But I thank God for it.” I emailed Morgan, this guy, about it back and forth, and when I saw the film, I talked to his girlfriend for an hour afterwards. Accepting my stutter… a film of acceptance. He reminded me that my entire life, speech therapy has been, “How do we get rid of this awful thing – or at least HIDE it?” as opposed to “How do I learn to cope with this – how do I have confidence despite this?” and so I felt like a failure when I grew up and my stutter stayed. It was an amazing gateway for an awful summer of stuttering. I could not have made it through this summer without that hope – not hope for my stutter to disappear, but hope that I could accept it and explain it to people… hope that I can embrace my speech habit instead of cry myself asleep because of it.

Morgan’s struggle with God about his stutter reminded me of my own. I try not to talk to God about it because in my eyes, there is NO excuse to have cursed me with something like this. Can I just… I don’t CARE that Moses had a stutter. I just don’t care. I am not Moses. I couldn’t count how many times that I’m told “Just look at Moses.” Moses had a burning bush telling him to go into public speaking to change the world. Of course he feels horribly insecure, but it’s different. Besides, Moses ended up getting too scared and had his brother talk instead of him – how is that something that I can look up to?

So thus begins my final year of schooling… and most of my friends graduated already. I have no idea what God has ahead of me… but I know it will be good. My neck is tense, which means that I am not prepared for trying to make new friends. Difficulties will ensure. But I know this year will be different from the years before it.

Keep me in your prayers. Keep me in your thoughts.

I need to add this… there’s a kickstart campaign that ends THIS week and it still needs a little bit of funding. It’s about people with stutters and the anxiety and difficulties with that. I encourage, heck, I beg you, to check out the video. You don’t have to donate… just watch the little five-minute video on the kickstart page. It may open your eyes in a way that only films can do.

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3 thoughts on “Summer of Stuttering

  1. Being with you is always encouraging, no matter what. I don’t even notice any stutter during our times together. Your heart and your life and your desire to hope in Him again each day, shines brilliantly, more brightly than anything else. I love how you have continued to be around your friends, to reach out, to have a job where you had to face this most difficult and challenging and terrifying part of you…that takes some true strength, my dear!!! You have been and always will be an inspiration to me!! I am sorry I wasn’t there for you as much as I should have been.. I have no excuses because none mean anything. But definitely know that you’re always an encouragement, JUST THE WAY YOU ARE, I have been blessed to meet and spend time with you and I look forward to visiting you at the campus soon!!!! Thoughts and prayers are with you for sure, just keep opening up your heart in these blog posts, letting others know and see you in ways that can only be expressed in written words. And guess what? There is no stutter in writing. :) :) Keep walking with God, no matter what!!! It is He that shines so brightly in you when you smile, laugh, speak, anything. Love you, never lose hope!!

  2. Jamie, this is an incredible post. I am SO glad you came to the premiere and we could chat! I am so excited to hear you’ve made progress over the last year and will be praying that you continue to move forward! Stuttering is quite the ordeal, but it’s part of who we are, part of how God made us!

    • Thanks for the comment, Morgan! I am so glad I came to your premiere too. I have so many friends who want to watch it so they can better understand it. :) Thanks for sharing my post!

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