Lessons I’m Learning From Having A Voice But Not Being Able To Speak

Purposefully ignoring my family when they posed questions to me that I couldn’t answer by simply nodding or shaking my head…. Not being able to say “Amen” after a prayer…. Instinctively saying “Excuse me” each time after I burped, only to regretfully realize that I was undermining my progress… Coming across as rude in public, like when I couldn’t thank the lady who graciously held the door to the post office open for me. And so on.

But as hard as the above things have been, it’s been even more difficult to not sing out to God or to cry out to Him in prayer. At my weekly Life Connect Group a few days ago, for instance, I had to sit quietly as everyone else worshiped in song. I felt cruelly out of place as they sang the lyrics to Chris Tomlin’s “Bless The Lord ‘O My Soul”: Sing like never before, o my soul, worship His holy name. Sing like never before…and I can’t even speak a word.

I had looked forward to my follow-up ENT appt. yesterday as my doctor had believed that I’d be cleared to speak. To leave this speechless world with all its frustrations, awkward moments, and inconveniences behind (granted I realize that what I’m going through is a cake walk for many).

After examining my vocal cords, my doctor informed me that I had only progressed about 50%; he had hoped that I’d be about 90% improved. My mind swirled with a myriad of emotions as I followed him back to the exam room to discuss the next step of my treatment plan. The weight of what he said felt as though a ton of bricks had been dropped inside my head: I needed to go at least another two weeks of not speaking. All of this seemed surreal. Based on his optimism when I first saw him, I had no idea there was even a likelihood that I potentially might not be cleared to speak at this visit. His words left me numb.

Stunned and still in disbelief, I fought back the tears as my doctor shook my hand and wished me well. Mustering all the courage I could, I made my way to the front desk to schedule my next appt. As I walked out of that office, trying to come to terms with reality, a thick mental fog seemed to engulf my mind. The weight of not being able to speak for an additional two weeks hit me even harder than the first time.

I returned to my abode. Chayil met me at the stairs as I walked through the door. Transparent and vulnerable–so that my daughter knows her mommy doesn’t always have it together–I let the tears flow as she hugged me. Holding me close and tender, this precious daughter God’s blessed me with said a powerful prayer over me. Then I vanished to my bedroom. After a long time of solitude, I listened to a song called “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns that a friend had recommended. Part of the lyrics say: Your world isn’t falling apart; it’s coming into place. God paints beauty with the ashes…

I knew that but needed to hear it again. The Lord met me as I listened to that song. And He ministered to my soul as I read the Bible Art that my wonderful husband had sent me earlier in the day: The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

What you see in the picture is what I found on the kitchen island when I finally emerged from my room hours later. Need I say anything about the thoughtful and delicious cake that Chayil baked for me? SO grateful for the precious family God has given me. Of course God has me, but I can’t imagine not having their constant love, encouragement, and support. My heavenly Father is soooo good to me…