Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Releasing the Songbird: How the Lord Restored My Voice in an Unexpected Fashion




“Emily won’t be singing at the Right to Life gala tonight. There is no way.”

 With only two hours before the girls were supposed to leave, my declaration of Emily’s decommissioned state of health catapulted Stephanie into a series of frustrated and panicked exclamations.

Emily is one of our lead singers. Not only does she play violin she sings the third part harmony, finding intricate melodies that add a beautiful touch to our songs; an amazing asset to our group.

My two younger sisters, MacKenzie and Corrie have had to step up and fill in while I have been out of commission. They sing beautifully. It's amazing to hear the four of them combining their voices. 

Although I am recovering well, I have not been able to sing. The way a singer breathes changes the pH levels in the body. If you aren't used to it then you would pass out. Unfortunately I am still in the stage where my body isn't used to it. I merely try to breathe the proper way and faint. No joke.

December has been a busy month for the Long Family Singers. With a recording session at a nearby radio station, and four more gigs lined up there wasn't really any room for someone to get sick.

God had other plans.

Saturday, the sixth of December, we had a five hour gig at a coffee shop. As a lover of coffee I was determined to not miss this one. Even though I couldn't sing I could still play the piano. 
We were getting paid in coffee, how much more of a slice of heaven can you give a coffee addict such as myself?

Even though I had been practicing my Christmas music until midnight the night before, I was pumped up and ready to go. Always a good sign. 

To everyone’s astonishment and surprise I made it through the entire gig.
 Emily however didn't. She started having a panic attack on the way home. She felt incredibly weak and tired; so unlike herself.

Things weren't looking good.

We figured with two days of rest before the Right to Life Gala on Tuesday she should be good to go. Not the case however.
This next gig was important. We were performing in a wealthy club in one of the ritziest cities in our state. An opportunity we had never been presented with before. The expectations were raised higher than ever before. 

Monday night, Emily wasn't showing signs of improving; Stephanie was still hoping. All of us were. 

As I prepared to sleep that night an astonishing thought (one might even consider it absurd) skittered across my heart.

What if I sing tomorrow? Nah, that’s not possible, Lord, really, it isn't, well, not unless You perform a miracle. In which case I will be prepared to do whatever You want.

With that I fell asleep not giving it another thought.

The next morning while Emily was finishing up sewing her caroling skirt she commented to me that she wasn't feeling any better. Remembering my thought from the night before, I tried singing a few snatches of notes under my breath. Useless, why did I even bother? I felt sick, as I usually do, and quit.

Well Lord, I’m not going then.

Two hours before they were scheduled to leave Emily experienced an episode, quite similar to the ones I have/had. I knew what to expect and combated the symptoms, calming her down and cocooning her in a number of blankets.
Stephanie came up the stairs and I released the crushing truth (OK, maybe it wasn't that dramatic, but it was to her) Emily would not be singing, or going anywhere for that matter.

After Stephanie had a little rant I tried calming her down by saying,
“What if I go?”

“Haley, you can’t sing.” The look on her face was pure desperation and despair.

“Look, I have a history with the Lord healing my voice. Remember that one fourth of July I lost my voice and He healed it?”

“This is too risky! I am not a risk taker. I am not comfortable with you going. There’s no guarantee that you’ll even make it just practicing.”

Realizing that I wouldn't be making any headway with her I grabbed up my bottles of essential oils and tromped down the stairs. Deep down in my heart I knew this was something the Lord wanted me to do. He wanted me to sing.
I needed to pray and in private. (there were a couple of friends over at the time) I disappeared into the boys’ back bedroom and sank to my knees.

“God, we need a solution to this problem. You know our situation and we need another singer. Either heal Emily right now or give me my voice. You know I can’t sing, it’s too much for me to handle, but if this is something You want me to do please infuse me with Your strength and energy. Whatever happens tonight Lord, let it be for Your glory, and Your glory alone.”

My prayer was much lengthier; I was practically banging on the gates of heaven. As I prayed I felt this change happen in my body. It was as though this burning yet ice cold something was flowing through my veins. No kidding. I continued praying and begging the Lord to show us the answer.

Sing.

I blinked, unsure if that’s really what the Lord wanted me to do. You can understand my hesitancy because up until this point I hadn't been able to sing without passing out.

Sing.

The command was repeated in my mind. With the trickle of a smile tugging at my lips (yes, I was curious and excited to see what would happen) I stood up and began singing under my breath. I stopped singing after a few lines of Hark the Herald Angels Sing. I felt fine. Actually I felt rejuvenated. Well…keep going? So I opened my throat, lowered my jaw and sang with my full potential. I sang four Christmas songs in a row and felt great. I didn't even feel winded.

My face nearly burst with the strength of the smile, more like a grin, that refused to be wiped from my face. I let out a few ecstatic squeals and did a bouncy-like happy dance; wiggling with delight.

Thank You Lord!!!

I rushed out and found Stephanie telling her what had just happened. She gave me this tentative smile, not sure how to react. I could see the hope creeping in at the edges of her eyes.

“Steph, this is what the Lord wants me to do. I couldn't sing this morning, hours ago! I just prayed and I sang four songs all the way through. I feel great!”

She laughed and hugged me tight. After giving mom a brief rundown on what had occurred she says,

 “Well, go get ready.”

We were about twenty-thirty minutes down the road when I realized I had not taken my afternoon dose of supplements. One of them being a large dose of CoQ10 (I refer to them as my energy pills). Never mind that fact, I hadn't even brought along any of my medicines. No essential oils to prevent an episode, nothing. I didn't tell anyone because I wanted to limit the amount of spiking nerves as I possibly could.

Well Lord, I have no medicine. There is no room for me passing out or getting sick. Let’s defy the odds.

The evening was a smashing success. People were blessed, the Lord was glorified, and I survived; scratch that, I flourished. I felt like my old self, before all of the Lyme disease and such.
Every time I thought about what the Lord had done (we had a two hour drive home) I couldn't keep the smile from erupting across my face. The Lord had restored my voice to me.

Here are a couple of pictures taken that night.

Our fabulous caroling costumes which Emily concocted. You wouldn't believe it, but some of those capes are converted skirts. Ingenious, no?



Not a half bad looking bunch are we?



The next question I had was how long? I asked mom what she thought. She said, “It’s probably just temporary.”
Not what I wanted to hear, but maybe she was right. 

That night as I, once again prepared to sleep, I thanked the Lord profusely for letting me sing. It felt wonderful to be singing for Him again. Then I asked Him if He could make it permanent. Defy the odds and heal me completely. I surrendered it all to Him, it’s up to Him.

Thank You Lord for taking my faith to the next level.

I felt tired and sore for the next couple of days, but I can still sing. I can sing without feeling sick. He did restore my voice. Completely. Permanently. I feel like a restraint has been removed from my vocal chords. Not that I couldn't speak or anything. Singing is different. I love singing. When I sing it’s for the Lord. I worship Him with my voice.

Miracles still happen. I am one lifelong proof of that. (Though short as it has been thus far)

So whatever difficult situation you happen to find yourself in I encourage you to take it to the Lord. He may not always say yes or give what you ask, but He knows what’s best.

You can trust Him.


3 comments:

  1. So happy to hear the Lord gave this special thing back to you, Haley. Keep trusting! <3

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