For those who don’t know, for about two and a half years I’ve been dealing with vocal issues. Without going into too much depth about it right now, I’ll give you a quick rundown. About two and a half years ago I started having chronic pain in my throat whenever I would speak or sing. When people ask me what it feels like I always say it’s the feeling you get after having screamed at a concert or yelled at a football game for a long period of time. These past couple of years have been filled with numerous doctors appointments, many examinations, loads of testing, one surgery, and months upon months of vocal therapy. The end result? Still in pain. Sure, it’s annoying that a conversation that lasts longer than 15 minutes is painful, but what is more difficult to come to terms with is that I can’t sing anymore. (I’ll often say I “lost my voice” to mean I can’t sing anymore). I should clarify that I can still produce sound. I can even sing if I want to but I don’t because it’s extremely painful. Anyways, for some it may not be a big deal to lose the ability to sing. For me? My world was flipped upside down when I realized that the pain was not going to subside. When I first started dealing with vocal issues most of my world revolved around music and singing. I sang in a number of choirs, competed in choral festivals, performed in theater, and sang in church. My voice was beginning to shape my hopes and dreams. You can see then why losing this gift was difficult.
Like I said before, after months of doctor’s visits and weekly trips to Philly for vocal therapy I still have pain when I speak and sing. At the end of last summer my parents and I made the decision to take a break from vocal dealings while I completed my freshman year of college. We met with a new doctor in Pittsburgh over spring break and decided to start vocal therapy again in the summer with a new therapist. (Vocal therapy is like physical therapy for your vocal chords). Well, summer has come and last week I started vocal therapy again. I should be excited and ready to tackle this with a new doctor and a fresh approach right? Then why did I feel so anxious about entering into therapy again?
It comes back to hope.
Over the past two and a half years I have gotten my hopes up so many times that I would be able to sing again. The doctor would present a diagnosis, offer a solution, and predict when I would be healed. To my dismay, the diagnosis was often incorrect, the solutions didn’t work, and at the end of the day I was still in pain. Time and time again I found a way to hope for healing and time and time again my hope was crushed by ineffective treatments, replacing my hope with disappointment and despair. When I went off to college, I was ready for a break.
Like I said, entering into therapy again this summer made me anxious and I viewed it as a daunting task. I didn’t want to put hope in another physician or new therapy technique only to be disappointed. It was too emotionally draining. I began to wonder what the point was. Is it worth the heartache when I realize that my hard work at therapy has failed?
I was explaining this to my dad when he very quickly brought me back to the truth that my hope is not in doctors. My hope is not in my own abilities. My hope is not in medicine or therapy. As a Christian, my hope and trust is in the living God. I wrote about hope in my first blog and wow, how quick I was to think that God is not in control. The reality is, regardless of how good a doctor I see or how well I can do my therapy techniques, my voice is in God’s hands and he will heal me if he wants to, when he wants to. He is in control. Not the doctors. Not me. With that in mind I’ve found it a lot easier to approach therapy.
Lately I’ve been thinking about Proverbs 3:5-6 which says,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Lately I’ve been caught in the trap of leaning on my own earthly understanding of my condition. It’s easy for me to think that I’m never going to be healed because therapy hasn’t worked and the doctors are running out of ideas. We are told to trust in the Lord instead! I was placing trust in my doctors instead of the God who created me and knows more about the human body than anyone ever could! It brings me a lot of comfort to think that God is not limited by human medicine or doctors. I shouldn’t be scared of therapy. If God chooses to use therapy and some doctors to heal me, that would be wonderful. If therapy doesn’t work, it’s okay because, ultimately, God is in control.
Be encouraged that as a Christian you don’t have to lean on the hope of this world. I was wrong to put my hope in doctors. Maybe your hope is in money, education, your talents- take your pick. If it’s not completely in God alone your hope and trust is in the wrong place. Simple as that.
I’ll end with this. 2 Corinthians 3:12 says
“Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.”
Isn’t that neat? We can boldly approach and deal with the trials of this world when our hope is in God. We don’t need to be timid and fear failure because we serve a God who is sovereign and in control whether we fail or succeed.
That’s all I’ve got! I know it was a long post but I’ll be referring to my voice journey in the future so I thought I would share some background. Have a happy Wednesday 🙂