Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Laryngitis of the Soul - 3rd in a Series

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
We are headed into deep water, so be prepared? If you think the toddler swimmie you grabbed from the local drug store last summer to keep your youngest afloat will do the job in the days ahead, rethink things now. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

This series is about a writer who contracted laryngitis of the soul and lost her voice. I told you that. I told you professional bloggers with much Google-fu advised me to lose the fraidy cat and rebrand.

I want you to know I admire, respect, and appreciate their advice. Given their understanding of analytics, SEO, and branding, they make a valid point. If I embrace my inner fraidy cat, brands who wander by here may tend to shy away.

In embracing who I am, I diminish my validity and marketability. I may as well have a big ole ‘L’ for loser right across my unprofessional forehead – especially if I miss a comma or two here and there at three in the morning. I get that. I do.
Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative 

So, when I left the shores of Captiva behind, wheelbarrow loads of conference speak buried me neck deep. Those words mixed and mingled with where I was in life until I lost my confidence, my courage, and my belief in myself.

I became overwhelmed with the need to do more, better, faster and to master everything at once. The urgency of it all became more than I could bear. I burned out before I really got started.

I mourned privately and lurked on my professional blogging groups. I pinned blog minutia and supported the shiny, spit polished platforms others were creating. 

I thought, “One day, I’ll need this and get back to it. Oh, who am I kidding? At the rate technology changes, by the time I get back to it, this info will be obsolete.”

I had to have weekly immunizations for envy and jealousy as my blogger friends met and exceeded goal after goal while I tried to think of one I could set.

Before I knew it, six months had elapsed while I tried to pretend I was not a writer and that I’d never had a blog to begin with. I don’t mind telling you, it was pure agony.
Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative

And, in those months of quiet, my private life became even more chaotic. A hard fought for marriage kept slipping more and more out of reach no matter what I prayed, what I did, or who the counselor was this time.

I think I realized how close the end was the first time I heard Christina Aguilera and Great Big World sing, “Say Something”. I can’t remember the last time I cried til that moment.

I don’t think I even cried in the fifty-six numb days between life and death when my courageous, conscious, fully lucid mom lingered on a ventilator.

But that song, that song, reduced me to sobs that would not stop for hours on end. It was as if all the tears I had not cried in almost twenty-five years found their voice on the wings of that song and would no longer be silenced.

And, this my friend is where my story stops being one only writers can identify with and becomes one for any fraidy cat who has had laryngitis of the soul. 

If you know me, you know I am a person of hard fought for, down in the dirt wrestling, sweaty-ugly faith. If you are just meeting me – I’m not one to sugar coat things about my faith. I hope that won’t set you back too much?  

I know there is a God who cares, and I don’t think he is the one that sits on Bette Midler’s ‘distant shore’ watching me with cold indifference.

I do understand the irony when I turn around and say I am not always sure where he is showing up in my story. Shoot, a lot of the time I wonder if he is aware of my story at all. There. I admitted it.

I was having one of those nights of arm wrestling with God. The house was quiet enough to imply my two insomniacs had finally drifted off for good.

The debris of the day was scattered around me like a World War I mine field. Mocking me. Reminding me I had bills to pay, boxes to pack, school to plan, cabinets to paint, one-hundred other things that one person simply could not do alone, and a marriage in the last gasps of death.

The soulful strains of “Say Something” gripped me by the heart, and floods of tears drenched the computer keyboard. I don’t know why I wasn’t electrocuted.

Yes, I know it’s a secular song, but as that song filled the room, I cried out to God. “Look at this mess. Do you see me? DO YOU SEE ME? It’s humanly impossible. Do you see?”

And into that forsaken misery it seemed a whisper filled my heart:

Yes. I see you. I know your circumstances are untrustworthy and have been for as long as you can remember now. I know you cannot depend upon the earthly one who promised to be the most dependable to you in the entire world. I get that. I do. 
Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Now I have a question for you. In the midst of everything that is untrustworthy, do you trust me with your untrustworthy circumstances? Do you?”  

Well, I told you this journey was not for the faint of heart and that drug store swim wings were not going to be sufficient. I told you this is a story for anyone who had ever suffered from voice stealing laryngitis of the soul. Believe me now?

I see you, fraidy cat. If you are longing to come in from the cold, you are welcome here. You don’t have to explain a thing. I get you. I do. Love you long and strong. See you soon?

Isaiah 33:2 (ERV)
Lord, be kind to us. We have waited for your help. Give us strength every morning. Save us when we are in trouble.

Click below to follow the series: 
 Part 1 and Part 2   


  1. Please keep doing what you are doing. I love reading your stuff. This was exactly what I needed today. Also feeling so unneeded and invisible at the moment. I know it is just the Accuser pointing fingers, but it takes so much work to work through this stuff. God bless you always.

    1. Melissa, so odd that the more connected we are by technology, the more isolated and alienated we feel, isn't it? Thank you for your encouragement and kind words. You are valuable. You are worthy. You are loved. And, you are right. This is arduous work. I pray that you will feel empowered today and that you will be capable of far more than you ever imagined. <3