So…What’s your song?

At the beginning of 2013, I was still working in that call center that I still will not name…I remember waking up with a sore throat but knowing I would just go to work.  I figured, I felt fine…just had a sore throat.  Well, I hopped on the phone like always and the more I talked, the more I realized, I was losing my voice.  Every person that said something on the phone said, “oh my goodness, you sound horrible!”  I remember thinking, “but I feel fine.”  Finally, I decided to tell my supervisor that I was having a problem.  She said, “Well, I can understand you.”  Aggravated, I pressed on.  Like I said, my throat was sore but aside from that I felt fine.  So I kept water near me and throat lozenges were my breakfast and lunch that day.  About an hour after I talked to my supervisor, my manager called me and ordered me off the phone.  I went to the urgent care…strep test came back negative…just a sore throat.  Well the next day, my voice was completely gone.  I couldn’t even whisper!

I waited a few days and went back to the doctor because the issue hadn’t resolved itself.  The doc ordered me 2 weeks of voice rest.  Two weeks turned into eight!  Eight weeks, I was supposed to not talk or talk as little as possible.  Considering I sang every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at church and worked 8 hours a day on the telephone, I was seeing some serious problems!  I wasn’t mad about not talking…I was mad that I wasn’t going to be able to sing!  Me.  The one who wakes up with a song every morning was not going to be able to sing!  I couldn’t believe it.

Well, eight weeks later, I was better, not good as new as allergy season was upon us at that point…just better.  Something strange happened…I went to choir practice and something irritated me.  I mean I was downright angry!  Then when it was time to sing, either Sunday or Thursday and I’d be either mad or overwhelmed with sadness.  This went on for months and I never told anyone for real because I didn’t know how to express it.  We would sing songs and I would think about the words and it meant nothing to me.  One night, our choir director admonished us to encourage the people and reminded us that we have to believe what we’re singing.

That was the moment I realized my problem.  I didn’t believe what I was singing.  We were singing a song called Higher by William Murphy.  My throat closed up.  I couldn’t sing it because I didn’t believe.  There’s a part at the end that says, “I got my joy back” and it dawned on me that I didn’t have any joy.  It was September already and I had gone the whole year with no joy!

The next morning I woke up very early and couldn’t get back to sleep.  I lay there listening and heard absolutely nothing.  The root of my problem was discovered! I had not been waking up with a song!  How could that have happened I wondered over and over again.  I tried and tried and tried but I could not hear my heart’s song.  The music was gone!  I had lost my physical voice which lead to a loss of my spiritual voice. When I tell you that was the worst feeling in the world! It’s undescribable. I cried many days and nights with no reason I could come to. My friend Nicole prayed with and for me. I literally felt my spirit and flesh wrestling.

Before long, I had it back. It was only through prayer and seeking God that it was restored. So on the cusp of the new year I had my song again.

Now I’m more apt to listen for it. If I don’t hear it I immediately pray and wait for it. When my spiritual ears are opened I get my song and proceed with my day. Back in October or November, our choir began to sing a song written by our fabulous lead guitar player, Quintrell Bruno, called Never Be the Same Again. I was at a low point and close to losing my song again.  The lyrics are just amazing. The melody is haunting but it stayed with me.  I’ve listed the lyrics below but the part I needed…The part I always hear throughout my day…goes..:”don’t you know how much God loves you. Don’t you know how much he cares?” That’s the part I always need to hear. It was introduced to me late in the year but I’d heard it more in my spirit in the last quarter of 2015 than any other song all year long. It’s such a healing song. It’s the balm for my wounded soul. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to experience it.  Read the lyrics here and see what I’m talking about.

This same thing with losing my song happened to me again at the end of 2016.  This time though, I was in a place where it was all black.  I couldn’t sing.  Standing in the choir stand, Watch Night, I know my face told a story that words couldn’t.  I couldn’t even open my mouth to sing and I was scheduled to sing for two services on Sunday morning! I didn’t know it but I was at the door of my breakthrough!  One of my choir sisters prayed for me and I didn’t even know it.  All I knew was that between Saturday night and Sunday morning, a wonderful change came over me.  I had my song back and thankfully, I have come to a place of freedom and I will never be bound again.  I don’t have to wrestle with the darkness for that reason again.

So…what’s your song? Have you listened? Listen to your heart. It’s there.

Until next time,

 

Hakuna Matata

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So…you wanna talk?

So…I met a little girl at church on Sunday named Gabby.  She was four years old.  She introduced me to her sister, Nya, who was two.   We met in the restroom.  Her mom was waiting on the handicapped stall so that the three of them could go together. Unfortunately, the mother’s bladder was impatient and she couldn’t wait. I told her I’d watch the girls while she went and umm…handled business.

Gabby engaged me in the story of her short life! She told me that she and Nya went to school and gave me the rundown of her daily activities and school and we had a WONDERFUL conversation.  She continued to talk to me and tell me about her family, including introducing me to her mom and telling me about her dad and her baby sister Savannah.  She was very excited.  Listening to her, I could tell that she was very smart.  I expressed that to her and how she spoke so well to be only four years old.
As we returned to the sanctuary her mom informed me that “she will tell you her life story if you let her”. The fact of the matter is that I was willing to let her!   The mom’s face told me that she had tired of her daughter’s talking. She is a married mother of three beautiful girls. She told me that they named her Gabby and she certainly gabbed. I said to her mom …”oh that’s her money maker.  Her blessing’s in her mouth.”  Her mom gave me a side eyed glance that said, “I just wish she’d shut up.”  I could understand her mom being tired.  She has girls, 4, 2 and less than 1.  I commend anyone with more than one child.  God knows who to give them to!

Anyway, that scene got me to thinking about my own child and what her gifts and talents are.  Gabby certainly has a gift for gab and I would not be surprised to see her with her own talk show or even a published best selling author before she turns 18!  Anyway, I wondered if my attitude has somehow dampened any of my daughter’s gifts.  Of course, it would be unintentional but I would hate to think that in my frustration or disappointment with my own situations, I have let that come across to my child as “I’m tired of you.”  Now, I don’t know what Gabby’s life is like at home, but she was the happiest little girl and was unaware of what I saw on her mother’s face or perceived in her tone.  As she gets older though, I wonder if it will still be there and if so, will she pick up on it?  Again, I wonder about my own child.  She has dreams that in my eyes seem all over the place.  But at 11, that’s exactly how they should be!  She is definitely an artist.  She’s no Da Vinci, but she can draw.  I know that when she draws a dog it’s actually a dog!  Unlike my own drawings that look like well…garbage on a stick to put it mildly.  ANYWAY….she’s artsy….she dances and has taken dance for 9 years.  She likes music and she is certainly dramatic.  I recently proposed that we move to a different city.  She was “distraught” in that she’d miss her friends and it would be different and her life would be over.  I mentioned that she might get a chance to go to a performing arts school.  An hour later, she came back and was wondering when we’d move.  The new school perked her interest and apparently was more important than some friendship’s allegiance.  Gotta love a tween.

I want to do everything I can to encourage her.  I don’t want her to look back on her childhood and think that something I did or said kept her from a dream.  She wants to act and Lord knows that’d be great, but all the opportunities that present themselves cost an astronomical amount of money to just get the “this that and the other” needed to get seen by the right people.  I know that if that is part of God’s plan for her, then an opportunity will present itself that will be within the means He set for us.  When she wants to be athletic, I’ll do what I can to help.  She’s in the band and chorus at school so those all have their expenses.  I just want to encourage her to be all that she can be.  I’ll do that to the best of my ability until she gets tired of me encouraging her and then I’ll keep on until I can’t do it any more.

So the next time you’re out and about and you see a wonderful little girl willing to tell your her life’s story, let her!  She might be the next Oprah and need you on her show one day!

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata