Personal Testimony: Finding my voice on and off paper

Alexis Dewey.
Monday, January 30, 2023. (Photo by Adam De Lisser)
Alexis Dewey. Monday, January 30, 2023. (Photo by Adam De Lisser)

Written by: Alexis Dewey

I never thought I had a “story” that was worth telling, and sometimes I still think that way. I often consider my story plain and ordinary, but perhaps that is just because it is mine, and I have lived with it for so long.   

I am Alexis Dewey. I am a mass communication major with a concentration in editing and writing. I love writing and proofreading papers (hence the major). I started writing when I was just a little girl but for different reasons than most people: I grew up with a speech impediment and went through seven years of speech therapy. Talking and communicating was a struggle I dealt with every day. Since people could not understand me verbally, I started writing them notes as soon as I was old enough to write. It was the most frustrating thing to try to write and spell when I could not even speak yet. I felt like I could not do anything about the impediment; it felt like the therapy was not working.  

I had to meet with several doctors, and my parents were told that I would never be able to do simple things normal kids do. Specifically, the doctors said I would never ride a bike, (due to some other developmental issues),  have a full conversation with another person or graduate high school. However, here I am as a junior in college, studying mass communication. I graduated high school with a 3.89 GPA, and I have preached three sermons this year. Oh, and I can ride a bike, and yes, without training wheels.  

Even though I beat the odds, it was not easy. In fact, it was extremely frustrating at times. I remember trying to speak to my father and having to repeat myself so many times that I broke down into tears. Imagine not being able to talk to your own parents, grandparents and friends because of something you cannot control. It felt like stopping at a red light while driving, except you are color blind, and you don’t know when it’s your turn to go. You stay there, stopped, holding up traffic and no one else understands why. 

I could go on and on about my struggles with this in the past and how it continues to affect my life. However, I’d like to focus on the positives.  Some of my passions are public speaking, acting in plays and preaching sermons. I adore being on stage and talking to people. You can ask my parents and friends: I like to talk a lot. I like to participate up front in church and preach often, but a lot of the time I must get clarification on pronunciations before I speak for different events. 

I find it ironic how God used one of my biggest struggles, turned it around and made it into one of my talents. I still stumble on my words, need lots of help with pronouncing more difficult words and occasionally get frustrated. However, I must recognize how far I have come and that God is not done with my story yet. If it comes down to it, and I can’t tell the story He has given me, I know I can at least write about it.  

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