Turn back the clock to 6 years ago. I came down with a vocal problem that wouldn’t go away. For a singer, a vocal issue can be quite alarming. It conjures up images of botched surgery and a voice that is potentially ruined for life. Most of us have heard of singing celebrities who are never the same following vocal surgery. So vocal problems are not good news, to say the least.
I could tell you a long story about my vocal problem: misdiagnosis, treatment and the agony of not being allowed to sing for months on end. Instead I want to skip ahead to the good bit. In the end, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. (That is not the good bit. The good bit is coming.)
The chronic illness had the rare side effect of vocal problems which could not be fixed with good ol’ fashioned speech therapy. So my vocal specialist started talking surgery. He recommended that he inject steroids into my vocal chords. You can imagine my enthusiasm at this suggestion.
When I left the specialist that day, my response was to turn to God. “Anything but that, God,” I pleaded. I got a crew of praying people together. We asked God repeatedly that He would heal my voice, without the need for any surgical procedures. We prayed that God would be kind and intervene.
Several months passed. In between prayers, I was singing to God. You cannot imagine the relief of being able to sing to Him again, after several months of complete vocal rest. I had been advised by the specialist that my rare type of vocal problem was not caused by singing, therefore I was free to sing as much as I pleased. And sing I did.
That was a pretty good bit. But there’s an even better bit just around the corner.
About six months after being recommended steroidal injections, I noticed that my voice was starting to improve again. My vocal range was coming back. Singing was becoming easier. The hoarseness which had plagued my voice was disappearing. I wondered what was going on.
Such was my curiosity that I went back to the specialist for a review. He looked at my vocal chords and pronounced that the problem was spontaneously resolving itself. “Can that even happen?” I wondered aloud. The specialist said it was possible. He asked if I had changed anything I was doing, singing-wise.
“I have been singing,” I mused, “but nothing out of the ordinary. Plus, I have had a lot of people praying for me.” The specialist had no other explanation for the healing that was clearly taking place.
So it appeared that God was healing me. In fact, my voice is stronger now than it ever was. God, in healing my voice, has actually increased my vocal range and has slightly altered the tone of my voice, making it more soulful (which I love). I never would have imagined that God would give me extra vocal qualities – or that the path leading me there would be one of illness.
Why did God not heal me straight away? Why did it take a few false starts and six months of praying? I have no idea. Perhaps God is kinder than we think. All I know is every time I sing, I remember Him and the mercy He has shown toward me. Every word I sing, every note, is a testament to His goodness.
Have you experienced God’s healing, physical or otherwise? How has it changed your relationship with God? What are some of the testaments that God has planted in your life?