Three weeks ago, I was jubilant and couldn’t help but share my news. For over two years I’d had vocal fatigue, and God had touched me. My voice was clear and strong…but now I’m somewhat confused. I wouldn’t ordinarily bring others into my confusion, but since I’ve put this story out there for the world to see, I feel integrity compels me to share this publicly.
For a couple days my voice was different and better, and then it began to fatigue again. By Friday, April 11, four days later, I’d recognized this fact. But I wasn’t ready to deal with it.
Yesterday, I began thinking about this present reality.
You might wonder, why am I just beginning to deal with this now? Dealing with suffering is difficult enough, but on that particular day, Friday, April 11, I had no time because I was organizing and leading a group of thirty-five persons going to a conference down in Rochester, NY. I didn’t have time, I didn’t have spare emotional energy…
One of the convenient (and sometimes terrible) things about my personality is that I can just shove my emotions into a corner. Not in an attempt to be fake…but in an effort to stay sane and capable. This is never a good long-term solution, hence why I’m dealing with this now.
But before I left for the weekend, I wrote some thoughts in a journal. Here are excerpts from my entry on Friday, April 11.
God, I thought April 7 was one of the biggest days of my life thus far . . . I thought You healed me. I could feel Your presence. My voice felt good, and it sounded strong and clear. I testified; I overcame doubts and trusted completely. I took a bold step of faith and declared Your goodness to the congregation of saints.
That night I was so excited. I could still feel Your presence. I couldn’t sleep. So I came down, journaled. Posted the good news on Facebook . . . Initially, every notification was a reminder of Your goodness and grace.
But then, my voice began to fatigue again.
On Thursday, I began to realize my voice hasn’t been healed. I haven’t told anyone this revelation. It’s crushing. The weight of this fatigue, I’d become accustomed to carrying. Monday night when God touched me, I cried in joy and relief. Now, that same weight is back, but I feel as if it has fallen from a great height. I am crushed.
Oh God, what has happened!? Why did you let me think I was well if I wasn’t?
Thursday night and Friday morning, my head spun with many different possible explanations: Maybe God was trying to send me a message? Maybe He’d never touched me? Maybe it was all in my head? Maybe it was a bit of a “men as trees” healing? Maybe…? Maybe…? I’m convinced God did do something, and I’m still praying for healing, but I definitely don’t have all the answers.
I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a possible explanation that would fit and confirm whatever you want to believe. But, to be honest, it’s hard for me to even care at this point…because what I’d really like is to not be dealing with this vocal fatigue any longer. What happened these past three weeks would quickly become an odd dream if tomorrow I woke up fully healed.
Ah, I feel pathetic, knowing that there are people who deal with much graver suffering. But that doesn’t make mine any less real. I understand this may seem trivial to an outside observer, “So you can’t talk for long without getting a sore throat and losing vocal quality?” Yeah…but when you’ve been called to teach, counsel, preach, and sing, when these are some of your most significant callings, vocal fatigue is trying.
I confess, initially I felt a little betrayed, and I wrote that in one of my journal entries. But now, a few weeks later, as I reflect, I certainly know that God doesn’t owe me anything, so I’m unoffended. However, I am somewhat confused and very bummed, to put it mildly. But I’m doing my best to trust Jesus.
Actually, in my journal entry from that original Monday night, I clearly articulated that my praise and worship don’t hinge upon whether or not I’m healed. And this is another opportunity to walk in that truth.
Tonight Jesus healed me.
Oh thank you Lord!
It’s difficult to express how huge this was for me…however, as I was thinking excitedly about how awesome this will be, now having my voice, I was challenged: Jesus is no different today than He was yesterday. With or without a voice, I can praise Him. With or without a voice I can do everything to which He’s called me. I need not doubt that He is able when I’m not.
That said, having a voice is mad convenient, and I’m grateful! Thank you Jesus!
It’s painful to even read that entry; this is a difficult season for sure. The enemy is at the door, waiting to bring in fear, frustration, discouragement, and depression. But I choose to turn to Jesus.
I’m not a very personal guy, and if it weren’t for the fact that I’d already made this a very public thing on Facebook, I doubt I’d say anything to almost anyone. But I try to be honest, and I must make sure that public accounts are clear and true. But the last thing I want to do is somehow allow that which could greatly discourage me discourage others. So, I’ll leave you with Psalm Forty-Two; I love how it ends, “For I shall yet praise Him.”
Do I have questions? Yes. Is this wicked difficult? Yes. Is Jesus worthy of our affection, devotion, praise, and worship? Yes.
1 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
“Where is your God?”
4 When I remember these things,
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and praise,
With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.
6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me;
Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan,
And from the heights of Hermon,
From the Hill Mizar.
7 Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
8 The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.
9 I will say to God my Rock,
“Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a breaking of my bones,
My enemies reproach me,
While they say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.
p.s. I’ve loved this song by Tim Hughes for many years (one of the first worship songs I learned to play on guitar several years ago).
Note: this is an *entirely* fictional. An explanation.
My father, to keep his cool, was looking away from me and out the window. His speech paused for a moment as he inhaled deeply of his Cohiba Esplendido cigar, a high-end Cuban of which he was particularly fond. Personally, I don’t enjoy smoke nor the negative effects upon one’s health, but seeing that it lightened his dyspeptic mood, at that moment I was very thankful for the wonderful class of things resulting from tobacco use. As he exhaled, the smoke lingered for a moment but slowly began to rise; he continued. [Read the full post.]
And I don’t express it well or often enough. Thus, this post.
I’m from a small town in Northern NY (seven hours from NYC and five and a half from Buffalo). In some ways, this area lacks so much, but in the most important ways, it is amazingly special! (It’s the people here!)
This is fairly simple and quite focused, but I believe these ideas will prove to be of great significance in later discussions concerning sex. I pray it will equip and encourage believers in the midst of a culture lacking a firm foundation.
We Are Sexual Beings
It’s just a fact. And I think this is obvious enough that I will add little to substantiate this claim.
Suffice to say, there are seven billion people on this planet, and we’re all here because our parents had sex. And, with few exceptions, we can all personally identify as beings with libido and the physical design to engage in genital intercourse.
Enough said, we’re sexual beings.
Sex Is a Gift
Yes, sex is a gift from God.
Did you know that sex was God’s idea? Yep, He designed it. He’s the reason sex exists. He’s the reason sex is so pleasureful, intimate, and special.
Writing Is Hard Work
I haven’t posted something in a while. Weeks turned into months, and I’ve thought upon and began several potential blog posts.