I’ve always loved the verse, “Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.” Psalm 51:15. I could have never imagined how the Lord would bring this verse to life in my life though…..
From the day I began piano lessons as a five-year-old, I have loved music and singing. In high school, I took up guitar and began leading worship. For the past four years in Houston, I’ve gotten to lead worship at Lamar High School Young Life every Monday night.
When my Amazing Surgeon diagnosed my thyroid cancer, he calmed nearly all my fears – I can still hear his words, “You won’t lose your hair, you can have kids in a year, you won’t need chemo or radiation, you might lose your voice…..” Wait lose my voice? He described how the thyroid is right by the vocal chords and practically on top of the vocal nerves. He told me he’d be as careful as he could, but he could not promise anything. My talking voice might change a little bit, and my singing voice may never fully come back.
A very well-meaning thyroid cancer survivor told me her singing voice didn’t come back for ten years after her surgery. Ten years?
I know there are so many other things that should have scared me more about my surgery, but honestly losing my voice was at the top of my list. I had already been hoarse for all of July and August (God’s way of getting me to go to the ENT) and I had desperately missed singing in church. I could not imagine my singing voice disappearing forever and the thought made me so, so sad.
But, God was calling me to surrender my voice. To be okay with the fact that He might take it forever. I wrestled a lot and cried a lot, but I trusted Him and I had to just be grateful for the years He let me sing. And I had to trust that it was up to Him if He wanted to bring it back. During that wrestling, I’ll never forget my friend Kelsey’s text, “I’m praying your voice comes back completely – and maybe even better than before if that’s a thing?” The best example of godly friends carrying our burdens with us. I needed her faith in that moment! I hadn’t even thought of praying that boldly.
No matter what the future held, I wanted to seize the moment and record some songs. If I never got to sing again, what songs would I want to have recorded?
- Good Good Father – for sure. This was my anthem all summer/fall and I wanted to always remind myself of His goodness
- Holy Spirit – a super special song to me since Beth Moore’s series on the Spirit when Lisa Pierre sang this at the Bible Study 2 years ago
- You Will Find Me & Cannons – two Young Life songs that will always take me back to Lamar Young Life with 150 friends singing along with me
- & 6 others!
Exactly one month after my diagnosis (Sep 3), my incredibly talented friend Austin and I went to Houston’s Barron Studios and recorded all day (Oct 3). I went back on October 10 and recorded more. I got to share my story with Jason, the amazing sound engineer.
I surprised my my parents with my album for Christmas (and they cried – video on my insta).
After my Oct 20 surgery, my singing voice was hoarse and scratchy for about three weeks. High notes took a couple months to come back, but as of January, my singing voice came back – completely!!!! Hundreds of you prayed with me for that – so thank you, thank you, thank you. Jesus heard. I am so thankful to Jesus for going above and beyond in first healing me, but then also keeping my voice in tact.
Job 1:21 – The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of Yahweh.
So with that introduction, I’d like to present to you the first song Austin and I recorded, “Good Good Father.”