Learning to Just Be Held

I would be a very ungrateful daughter to my Father, God, for not taking this opportunity to remind everyone again of what He has done for me.  In October of 2004, thirteen years ago this month, God gave me back the voice that no one thought I would ever have again. The voice that was taken away from me during a thyroidectomy that resulted in massive complications and months of therapy, feeding tubes, tracheostomy’s and bilateral vocal chord paralysis, and even a couple of near death instances as a result of the surgery. The doctors/specialists at Emory as much as told me that since I didn’t regain my voice by a certain date, then I wouldn’t regain it. Why? Because that’s Science. Science and the study of medicine, along with all those years of practice and experience they had told them that I would never regain my voice. It simply wouldn’t happen.

So what happened to me that had me waking up on that chilly October morning with that still, soft voice speaking to me and telling me to go ahead, give it a try? What was it that told me to try to say something and see if a sound came out? I knew the odds were stacked so far against me that there was little to no chance that any sound other that that breathy whisper I had at the time would come out, yet some sense compelled me to try anyway.

There are a few factors that I think contributed to my timely healing. Things like the fact that until that point, we hadn’t been going to church, yet the day before I was healed, we decided to go to church and give it a try. But the main reason I believe God chose that time to heal me is because I had finally decided to relinquish control, to lay it all at His feet, and just allow Him to hold me.

I tried to keep a positive outlook throughout the long months since my surgery, but I was also trying to still retain control of the situation myself. I wasn’t willing, until that point, to fully trust that God was working on my behalf and good things would come from this dark time. I was holding on to everything as tightly as I could, I believed that if I fully controlled the situation myself, I could better handle the outcome, even if that meant it wasn’t the outcome I wanted.

Eventually something happened though, I started realizing that it really didn’t matter how tightly I was holding on, I couldn’t control the outcome. I couldn’t really control any of it. I finally came to the realization that if I just laid it all down at the feet of Jesus, if I went all in with Him, and gave Him control, the outcome of the situation wouldn’t really matter. Why wouldn’t it matter? Because no matter the outcome, I still had a voice, whether it was a voice that could be heard with the ears, or a voice that could be read, such as this blog. I still had a voice, and I could use that voice for something good. See..what happened was, I sat down and talked to God, one on one. I just laid it all out and I told Him, “Look, I don’t know what’s happening here. I don’t know why it happened. I know I probably won’t ever get my voice back, and you know what? That’s okay, God, I accept that. I accept it because I know You are planning to use this situation for something good eventually. If I can go through this and come out on the other side, and then use this situation to help someone else somewhere down the road, I’m cool with it. I trust You God, I trust You are doing the best thing for me right now.”

As soon as I gave it all to Him, as soon as I stopped worrying over the situation, stressing over how I would handle things in my family, job and life without being able to speak, as soon as I just sat down and let my Father just hold me, everything fell into place. God healed me. I got up that October morning, listening to that voice tell me to go ahead and say something, and I said the first vocal words I had been able to say since the morning I went back for surgery way back in early spring. I called my husband at work and let him hear my voice. I called my Dad and Mom to wish them a good morning. I heard the joy in their voices as they listened to me speak my first words. What a surreal experience.

Where am I now, thirteen years after all of this happened? Thirteen years after I learned to fully trust God with every nuance of my life? I’m using my new voice, my gift from God, to teach a group of young girls at church about God’s grace, God’s comfort, God’s peace, God’s protection, God’s love. I use it to teach them that God still does heal people. That’s the real gift I received from this situation. The gift of being able to teach others about God.

So, thirteen years later, every day and especially every October, I still take the time to tell God “Thank You.” He didn’t have to heal me, but He chose to. So I thank Him, I ask Him to use me and speak through me, speak through the new voice He has given me. I pray for His will to be done in me and through me. Thank You, Papa!

Exodus 23:25, “Worship the Lord, your God, and His blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.”

Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”