“You are Perfect in all of Your ways”
Another line from one of those often-sung worship songs. But can I sing it with any real certainty, any real belief?
A friend of mine has a daughter who was born with a rare, deadly heart defect. And she is one of the most caring, genuine, transparent people I know. Watching her trust God through incredible hardship has been mind-blowing and faith-stretching for me. This recent post really had me struggling for composure.
“The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness;
He will quiet you by his love;
He will exult over you with loud singing.”
“I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.“
It’s been my deepest form of expression since…as long as I can remember. And in fact, even when I was still developing, I’m told that I did flips in my Mother’s womb when she would sing. I sing when I’m excited, when I’m joyful, when I’m down, when I’m feeling hopeless. I just about always have a song on my heart, and it directly corresponds with what I want to communicate with God. Song is, you might even say, my prayer language.
Not that I don’t ever pray. I am in prayer all day long. And I journal a good bit too, though not as much as I’d like. But song is where me & Jesus just seem to communicate with each other most, and most intimately.
But this summer, I found myself in a real physical struggle to swallow anything that was not in liquid form. Because of this, I was referred to a Gastroenterologist who ran some tests and told me I have two different issues going on with my esophagus and then set me on path to correct those problems. And, pretty quickly things started getting better! What a relief to be able to sit down for a meal without fear of choking!
But something else happened. My voice changed. Quite rapidly, I started noticing difficulty hitting the high notes I was quite accustomed to singing without trouble. Then, it went from being difficult to impossible. And then I lost pitch control. Within a short time, I pretty much lost my singing voice. I mean, I have some ability to sing in a medium-ish range. But with the pitch control problems, it’s just not enjoyable to sing at all. In fact, it’s painful. Physically painful, but even more so, emotionally painful.
I feel as though I’m losing my way. Losing my voice. Losing my identity. Losing my song.
This must be a little like what Samson felt when he lost his strength and had his eyes gouged out. Personally, I’d rather have no strength and no sight than no voice, no song. Well, I’ve never really had any physical strength to speak of anyway, so maybe that’s not a great comparison.
I don’t know what it’s like to be able to pull 700 pound gates – frame, posts, and all – right out of the ground and carry them on my shoulders. But that was Samson’s gift. He must have felt so terribly isolated, abandoned, and alone when he lost that gift.
And now, I feel like I’ve lost my gift. And I wonder who cut my hair off. Okay, I’ve never had very long hair, but I wonder what I’ve done – or failed to do – that has brought this on.
Then a small voice inside of me says “maybe it’s just time to develop a new prayer language”.
So I find myself on a new journey. It hurts. I don’t like it. I just want my voice back. And maybe someday it will come back. But I know God has allowed this – even ordained it. So It will be okay. Even good. And I believe He will use it for good. He still loves me. He still desires me to seek Him earnestly and often.
I can learn a new song, even if I never sing again. I must. I will.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.”