On Speaking Life

on speaking life

I know this woman. Every time I am with her it is like I am in a torrential downpour of negativity. There is no dam to stop her flow of words and thoughts. They come at a rate of hurricane status, and never once do her words slow to ask me how I am or if I am busy. When she is done, I feel I am drowning in a sea of despair. She never notices me. As a result, this relationship, which is an important one, always takes and never gives, and sometimes I try to limit my interaction with her.

When our interactions are done, I feel like years, days, and hours have been sucked away from my life. I feel heavy, overwhelmed, defeated, judged, and frustrated. I don’t know how to solve the problem. Each time I wish I knew how better to handle the situation, and each time I feel a sense of foreboding and fear that I too will use my words negatively. I fear that she is me, and I am her, and that I am trapped. I cannot seem to stop the oncoming doom. I cannot cut her out of my life. I create boundaries, and she runs over them like a truck that will not stay on the path.

This woman has me considering how to speak life and truth into others. I believe that every word that I speak to this woman is sucked into a black hole never to be pondered again, a vortex of lost words and light given unseen, which is not entirely true, as occasionally I see evidence to the contrary. But, sometimes I don’t say much at all, and I feel incapable of being vulnerable with her.

She slays me with her words, and I wonder if offering life-giving, light-filled words are worth it in return for the death I die each time her words are breathed into me.

I cannot help but wonder if she and I are both deceived in thinking she is a child of light if death is her only offering?

O, my tongue! O, my head! They hurt for the thinking of careless words said by me as well. So I know I am just as capable of speaking deadly words.

I must offer her life even if the pit of darkness swallows my words whole, and I must remind myself of His power over all the fear, the shame, His victory over death. This is how I will rise again – by speaking truth to myself, and eating His healing manna, even when I don’t know what else to do. I choose to speak, and these dry bones in me begin moving, fleshing covering them – an offering of hope in a dry and weary land.

When I speak life to her – she gets to choose which way she will go. Down to the pit or into the light. She may keep choosing the smell of decay over the sweet fragrance of hope, but maybe one day hope will be the one thing that rises and stays. He heals me, and I have to believe one day she’ll be full of light and life too. If enough life-giving words dwell into the dark – surely they will burst forth making her new and free, negativity swept away, gorged by the light?

I speak light because God tells me over and over in His word to do so, and I speak life because I know firsthand that His word is true.

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it, eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21


Linking up with these lovely ladies: Kelli, Michelle, Laura

photo credit: donut2D via photopin cc


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  1. I came over from Kelli’s place. And I am so glad I did. I love the Toby Mac song and the relationship of which you speak…ouch. Our words are so powerful and I applaud you for recognizing that his words are manna for our souls.

  2. It is so hard when we have to be around those who suck life out of us. But all the more reason we need to speak life to them. I’m glad you’re not giving up.

    • Yes, that is so true. I can be so hard at times, but the key is trusting that God is God – He is good and bigger than the person or the problem, and His life giving words are worth giving, even if they seem unheard.

  3. I had a person like this in my life, very sad for her too, but circumstances beyond my control took her out of my life; and though it that was sad too, I felt God brought it about possibly to bring her to a place of healing – that is my prayer. This is such a good article, so well written, and funny too that it is just what I have been thinking about these days. How to handle people that are so bitter that darkness spills out at every point. Prayer is surely the place to start, but it is so hard not to be impacted by them, as you say. You are right, we need to keep going back to the one with the words of life! He heals; I pray he heals this one in your life soon! May we learn to speak life at every turn. Thank you Jamie for your wonderful encouragement!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story and for encouraging me, Maria! I agree and join you in prayer for healing for this woman. :) Thank you!

  4. This is difficult – I too know people like this and being in relationship with them can be quite painful. You describe it so well, that I find my own feelings/experiences affirmed. I find it most helpful to seek the counsel and support of other wise friends and to be prayerfully aware of my own limits and needs. Praying wisdom for you, friend. Thanks for linking with Unforced Rhythms.

    • Yes, so difficult, so painful and hard, and yes, I need the counsel and support of other wise friends!! And to set limits that at least I know for myself, even when the person otherwise attempts to run over the boundaries. Thank you for reminding me of that and for praying for me.

  5. God keeps bringing me back here to this verse: “See to it that no one misses the grace of God.” (Hebrews 12:15) You are so right that our role is to keep speaking life, spreading grace. Because even a little light in a dark place is still light … and over time, the darkness will have no choice but to succumb. I’m blessed by reading this today. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Jaime,
    Oh, this post resonates….I’m sorry you had to experience such negativity and pain…And you’re right….we can only can speaking life because of Christ’s life inside of us…it is not our job to change another person and the truth is we can’t….all we can do is let God comfort and guide us in our speech and response….praying God’s comfort for you now…((hugs))

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