The best Christmas gift I have received (early) this year is that about three weeks ago I discovered (in church) I was able to sing again.
After the thyroidectomy I had in July, I went around hoarse. I couldn’t yell at my husband—perhaps the words should be, I couldn’t call him. “David! Da-a-vid!” came out as kind of a croaky whisper. The nodule in my neck that the Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon removed was the size of a tennis ball. He showed me an iPhone photo to prove it. I will spare you evidence of the fact, but I did slip a copy into my prayer journal to remind myself.
The doctor sounded obviously relieved when he reported, “Good news.” What cancer I did have was small, slow-growing and would not require further treatment (since it and the whole thyroid had been removed). But I also think he was relieved that the node, being so large, hadn’t wrapped itself around my trachea and my vocal chords.
However, the hoarseness lasted for several months, and I gave up singing in church. Probably, I thought to myself, I will never sing again. As far as the world is concerned, this is no great loss. I am not the musician in our family. The list of true familial talent is extensive. The capability of the extended clans—mine and David’s—is remarkable. There are those that have degrees in music. There are orchestrators, studio musicians, record producers. No one—no one—is going to miss the fact that I might be permanently out of voice.
I don’t know when the hoarseness of my talking voice faded. I just realized one day that there was little strain left. But I did distinctly notice in church one Sunday morning around Thanksgiving that it seemed as though I was on pitch, reaching the higher notes, and slipping in and out of David’s harmony. I love to sing in church beside my husband. What’s more, surprise, there seemed to be no strain.
So just in time for Advent, just in time for carols and Christmas hymns I discovered I was singing again. “Sweet Little Jesus Boy” … “Adeste Fidelis” … “Bring a Torch, Jeannette Isabella” … “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” … “Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light” … “Lo! How a Rose E’er Blooming.”
To sing again—this is the greatest of all Christmas gifts to me. I sing thankfully. I sing gratefully. I am not silent.
Award-winning author Karen Mains has long had an interest in spiritual formation and the obedient Christian walk. She has written about the God Hunt in her book by the same name, The God Hunt: The Delightful Chase and the Wonder of Being Found. A hardback copy can be ordered from Mainstay Ministries for $10.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to autograph a copy for you.
Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags, Africa bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. They are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.