Quiet Worship

It hurts.

It hurts to sing.

Sometimes physically, but not usually. The speech therapist has said the best thing I can do is talk…use the vocal cord that works so it stays strong and perhaps will even strengthen. So I talk. And it croaks out, some days husky and hoarse, some days squeaky and mousey and reminds me of a witch.

And it hurts.

My heart.

It hurts.

It hurts when the radio plays or iTunes fills our home. It hurts when our favorite songs come on and I try to sing along while we dance in the kitchen.

It hurts when I’m in the car and the Broadway channel pops up with a favorite song alert, and The Sound of Music fills our car, but there is no music from me.

It hurts when Bri is harmonizing to The Steel Wheels and I try to join in, but only whispers squeak out.

It hurts when I snuggle with my Bella-girl and we sing together before bed.

It hurts every time I stand in church. Every. Single. Time. When I stand to sing with hundreds around me and I must either whisper or mouth the words.

It hurts, y’all.

It hurts so bad.

It hurts when my children are learning a new song and they can’t find the tune, and I cannot help them.

It hurts that I cannot teach my children how to sing.

It hurts because I forget.

It’s been almost two years and still I forget. I open my mouth to sing fully expecting a rich, strong alto to fill the room and instead something akin to a frog’s chortle erupts.

It hurts so bad, y’all.

It hurts to think I cannot sing with my Brian. Over twenty-five of our friends have blessed us with the gift of singing to Jesus for them in their weddings. And we’ve sung for church countless times… not to mention sitting next to him every week in a row a church and longing to join him..to join my loves next to me–Asher’s exuberant song, Bear’s Vienna Boys Choir melodies, and Bella’s sweet soprano…

It hurts that I work for our worship pastor and every week I prepare music for a service in which I cannot sing.

It hurts, y’all.

It hurts so bad.

I miss my voice. I hate the cancer that has so cruelly stolen it from me (for those of you wondering, there is a tumor that is pressing on my laryngal nerve and has paralyzed my right vocal cord). I long to sing again. It’s an ever-present ache that becomes yet another, “Please, Lord?” that I offer to Him along with the plea for my life… for one more day with my loves.

It hurts.

Music has been a defining part of my life for decades. Using my voice in song has been a huge part of that; this loss has been devastating.

We all face deep hurts, I know.

This is one of mine.

It hurts, y’all.

It hurts so bad.

It hurts to beg and still receive a “no” as the answer. It hurts to hold this open-handedly. It hurts to submit to God’s will for me in this. It hurts to choose quiet worship when self-pity is so much easier.

But this part.. this choosing to still sing to Him even with a croaking voice, this choosing to submit, to hold this to Him with open hands… “My voice is Yours, Lord, use it as you will.” They are hard words to utter. But in the beautiful mystery of God’s sovereignty, submission eases the pain some.

And so I croak. I squawk to the radio and I whisper with my co-workers during worship at staff meeting and I mouth the words at church with tears streaming down my face, because whether or not my voice can sing the tune, the words don’t change. The object of worship doesn’t change. He is still worthy, and I am still His child, loved and delighted in by Him, and I am still called to worship.

And so, I sing in my weakness.

And it hurts, y’all.

But it doesn’t hurt quite so bad.

“9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

4 responses to “Quiet Worship”

  1. Betty Anne Schlegel Avatar
    Betty Anne Schlegel

    I hurt for you. I teach piano full-time and lead music in worship. Our bodies are key to our self-expression. Thank God you have the beautiful gift of the written word. He is blessing that. We continue to pray for you and your family. Much love!

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  2. Angie,
    The Lord has taken your oral voice and moved it mightily to paper. What a voice your written word expresses!

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  3. My precious Angie,

    The love of God that is poured in us is the only love that we can trust to bear us up under anything and everything that comes our way. It believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. May this love that is in us control our every move.

    May the peace of God rule in your heart to which you have been called.

    Love and blessings my dear dear one,
    Judie

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  4. O, Angie! I had no idea!
    What a terrible loss! What a painful restriction!
    I can not imagine!
    Thank you for giving us this piece. We need to know. It is important to know. Your sharing with us is valuable. And appreciated.
    I want to weep at the “cruelty” of it. The agony of it.
    I wonder…. I wonder how the LORD will redeem this for you One Day? I wonder! Surely, it will be magnificent? It will have to be, since the loss is so deep and destructive in nature. Surely the remedy, when it comes, will be tenfold glorious!? Surely?
    But in the meantime… in the meantime, dear one, press on. Press in. Hold tight. And weep. And trust. And croak. And imagine a full glorious sound that breaks the barrier of time and eternity….. May I imagine that heaven sings for you and that they make up with full throat what they know your heart is singing? I can only imagine. But I will….for your sake…I will imagine a sound in heaven being made FOR YOU as you “croak” your heart out and as you whisper your Hallelujah.
    I love you.

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