It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

18 April 2010

Overwhelmed with Gratitude

12:30 PM Posted by steve flores , 1 comment
Gotta love the springtime in Arkansas – (ALLERGY FLARE UP). On Monday, April 12, I lost my singing voice, but not my speaking voice – strange, I know. It was weird. I’ve never really, ever, lost my voice, so I don’t know what that feels like. I’ve had horrible, scratchy, jazz DJ voice, many times, and this time felt the same when I spoke. But, when I began to sing, something different happened. It felt like a little person would bear hug my vocal cords and immediately my voice would cut out–not a peep. It didn’t hurt, but, even stranger, my chin slammed close to my chest as if I was straining. I know it sounds trivial and any normal person would shrug it off as allergies, but since I’ve never experienced this before, it freaked me out. I never mentioned anything, because I thought people would think I’m some hypochondriac – kind of like you’re thinking about me now.

I remember reading Clay Crosse’s (Christian pop singer back in the day) story about how he lost his range and it never recovered. It was a mystery how he developed paralyzed vocal cords. I kept thinking, “It’s happening to me!” I know it sounds selfish and very self-centered to be so concerned about my voice, but my concern was much deeper.

God saved me from drowning in 1995. I acted like a fool and hypocrite most of my high school years. In the summer of 1995, I almost lost my life swimming in Austin, TX. When I finally made it to the bank of the river, with God’s divine grace, I laid on my back heaving. I looked up into the sky and promised God, “You have me, I’m yours. Every talent and gift You have given me, I give it back to You. For the rest of my life, I will serve You.” From that moment, everything in me changed. I have not been the same since. For me, singing became a way to communicate my worship to God and not just from a platform, but personally – in the car, in the shower, walking, running, in my office, wherever. So, the thought of possibly losing my voice grieved and bothered me. I was concerned about losing that personal worship expression. Every day I tried, but could only muster a faint whisper when I sang. It was terribly frustrating.

This morning, April 17, was no different. I woke up, driving to Lowe’s, I turned on the radio and tried to sing. Nothing. I prayed and wondered if everything was ok, physiologically. The duration of not singing started to worry me. I came back home and told Nat I thought it was time for a doctor’s appointment. At the end of the day, I got ready to take a shower and thought I’d give it one more try. I knew which song I wanted to sing, so I grabbed my iPod and set it to “This is Your Song” by Tommy Walker and pushed play. I started to sing, but my voice cracked as my chin slammed against my chest (trust me, it looked as funny as it sounds – ask Nat). I kept singing to show God my earnest desire for Him and then, suddenly, a break-through. No cracking, no chin slamming to my chest, no little person bear-hugging my vocal cords! As suddenly as my voice came back, the tears began to flow. I haven’t felt like that in a while. What a moment that was for me; overwhelmed by gratitude that it brought me to tears! It kind of felt like the day God saved me from drowning, grace-filled and glorious. I realize, I’m not a recording artist, I’m not in high demand because of my singing voice and there are plenty of people who could out-sing me, but that doesn’t matter to me. The words of Tommy Walker’s song became a declaration of why I wanted to sing. When my voice finally broke through it was as if God said, “Ok, I hear You.” I will remember that moment for a lifetime.

Today, find a moment to be broken before God. Realize the Creator wants to hear your voice. Long to worship Him. And discover what He’s given to you, so that you can give it back. I just wanted to share this experience.