01 October 2015

[talk: I've Got Something To Say.]

It's been a while since I've blogged ... most times, it's about a recent event or pics of something important to our little family.  But today - I'm going to be vulnerable and talk, er - write, about something that I'm currently going through.

To catch up you to speed - if you don't know me all that well - here's a crash coarse on who Tawn is:

1.  I began music lessons at the age of 3 on the violin.
2.  My first solo at church was at the age of 3.
3.  I began piano lessons at the age of 4.
4.  I quit violin after finishing my grade 8, to concentrate on piano.
5.  I began worship leading at my church's youth group at age 14.
6.  I began teaching piano at age 14.
6.  I began leading worship in the main service at age 17.
7.  I finished my ARCT in piano performance at age 17 before finishing high school.
8.  I completed my ARCT Teachers and AVCM Teachers and ran a music studio for a decade.
9.  I am currently responsible for the worship at Recovery Church, and am active in all parts of worship at CLA church (retreats, main service(s), events ...)
10.  I have been offered Music Pastor positions at various churches, but have always felt called to my home church - as a volunteer.  I have never been on staff.

So.  There you have it.   My musical identity in a nutshell.  

My identity.

Then, about three years ago, I got a bout of laryngitis during our Christmas Production.  I lost my voice completely and still attempted to sing a solo.  It was so frustrating.  Since then, my voice is the first thing to be attacked when I get sick.  Generally, I have a pretty strong alto-voice, but it vanishes into choppy, non-reliable notes when this happens.  

Fast forward to four weeks ago, when I felt it coming on again.  I got the sniffles, and felt my throat tightening up.  I was leading on the Sunday morning for both services, and knew that I was going to be pushing it.  It felt hot, it felt tight - but I gave it my all  - like it was the last time ever.  Which in hindsight, is possible.

These past four weeks,  I've been protecting my voice.  Not talking as much, not raising my voice and absolutely no singing.  I finally got in to see my doctor this past Monday and he immediately put me on "vocal rest" until I get in to see the ENT (ears/nose/throat) Specialist.

When will I get in to see the ENT?  I have no clue but until then, it's silence for me.  That's frustrating because my voice may be totally fine;  these last 4 weeks may have rested it enough.  But maybe not.  It's better to be safe than sorry. 

I am capable of talking - I've just been instructed to not to.  Singing?  I don't know if I can.  I haven't tried.  It's completely off the table for now.

It does FEEL a lot better, for sure - whatever that means.

In this season, life is tricker.  Parenting is more work -- trying to get a child's attention over the volume, without a voice?  Hard.   I do a lot of whistling LOL and I have a cool app on my phone that gets their attention.

It's lonely.  The phone rings - I can't answer it.  I can't meet people for coffee, I can't read bedtime stories, I can't have a conversation at the dinner table, I can't sing at the piano (although I've been playing a lot more).  Drive thrus are a no-go for after school snacks on the way to piano lessons.  Things you don't even think about, feel a lot different.  I noticed that people tend to get frustrated when they can't hear me as I mouth words - or - they try and make light of it.  I will try and mouth words, and they tease me.  It's totally all done in fun - but I sometimes just want to cry out of my own frustration.   I'm ok with this journey,  but I don't really  find it super "funny" *wink*, you know?

If you tried to not talk for an entire day -- you'd realize that it's not easy.  And you'd probably just give up.  But I have the doctor's words in my mind - where he said, "if there is something wrong - you MUST let it heal or you may never sing again."


But in the silence, there have been SUCH bright moments too.  It's amazing how much you observe when you're listening or watching others talk.  Most times, people aren't actually listening to each other - they're thinking about how THEY want to reply.  For me - not having the ability to answer has reminded me to really listen.  And more importantly, I now realize how I HAVEN'T been listening for so long as I watch others do the same.

My house is much quieter.  No yelling up and down the stairs ... and I move my butt if I need to communicate with someone instead or shrieking it across the room.  The kids are catching on too -- the volume has gone down a lot.  That's a good thing LOL.

God's timing is always perfect.  Now - I don't know if this was His plan to start with, or if I just simply overused my voice - yadayadayada.  Although I'm a very spiritual person, I tend to not "over spiritualize" things.  BUT.  I do know that the timing of this is very ... interesting.

At the end of the month, I am heading overseas with a team from our Recovery Church.  I can't talk, I can't sing.  I will have to be creative ... and find my purpose somewhere else.  That kinda excites me and terrifies me all at the same time.

In addition to that,  I am an active participant of our Worship Dept Core Team, and am super excited about changes there.   We've been meeting these past couple of months, with so much thought and prayer going into new vision.  SO exciting.  Tonight we are having our first Creative Night and I have never felt more valuable and more of a team player as I do right now - even without a voice.   My "person" in valued, not my ability.  If I never sing again ... I can train.  I can raise-up.  I can support.  I can teach.  I can encourage.  I can listen.  I can love.  I am valuable without being on stage.

Duh  :).  

I already knew that.  

See we all know that our identity cannot be in WHAT we do, because we realize that those things can be changed in a moment.  But having an opportunity to be reminded that my value is in WHO I am, and even more importantly - who I am because of what Christ did for me -  has been timely.

Those words make us sound smart and humble when we say them - but it's much harder to live them.  Trust me.  Having refreshers on these life-lessons, is so important.

In the first couple of weeks - I shed a lot of tears.  I panicked about being "pink slipped" from the team, about being replaced, about not being valuable.  I required affirmation - encouragement.  Now -  I am living my value, I am listening more, I am holding on to the silence more.  I am confident in this journey.  

I don't know what the future holds for me,  but I can honestly say that I'm not worried.  I will keep praying and believing for complete healing and will keep asking for increased opportunities.  But I know my role, I know where God has called me to be -- and I will wait patiently as best as I can.

Besides,  I'm actually getting used to being quiet ... 

Ask my brother.  That - in itself - is a miracle.

Have a great one! xx

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