Have you seen the movie? I mean; the actual movie entitled Facing The Giants. It is very good. Excellent in fact. The Giants are a football team; but also each of the little things standing as Giants in the way of each person’s faith. At one point, the wife of the coach is asked if she will still love God even if she cannot get pregnant. Then, in one climactic scene; the she exits a Dr.s office after having a negative pregnancy test for the upteenth time — completely devasted.
This is her giant.
“Yes God,” she cries. “Yes God I will still love you…. Yes I will still love you” over and over. It is a highly moving scene impossible to describe in print; perhaps impossible to understand unless you have begged God for a pregnancy and watched the whole rest of the movie!
The movie also tells the story of David.
1 Samuel 17
0 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin,but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lordsaves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
A few weeks ago, it became very clear to me that my surgery in December had not permanently fixed anything. I had a cold; and suddenly I was once again struggling to breathe. I was alone with four children; and scared. I got over my cold; but as soon as help arrived; I went back in for my follow up cat scan. By the next day, my Dr. was once again on the phone.
“It doesn’t look good,” he said, “In fact, the report says it is worse then before.” Well if you haven’t read my previous blog — before was an 85% blockage in my trachia. I knew it wasn’t as bad as that; I was and am functioning at a much better level then back in December. As long as I don’t have a cold.
Over the next week before my follow up; I began to get more and more hoarse. At the follow up, Dr. Cummings had me walk up and down two flights of stairs. “Nope, it’s not as bad as before — you would never have made it before. But, we have to do something — you are at least at 75%.” I asked if that was what was making me hoarse and he confirmed. My diagnosis is an Ideopathic Subglottic Stenosis. Which basically means “There is something growing in your trachia below your vocal chords for no apparent reason, and we have no idea what it is; but it’s not cancer.”
Only about 200 people are diagnosed with Ideopathic Subglottic Stenosis per year in the US (roughly), and it is actually considered a disease in its own right. We know somethings about the disease. It effects women 95% of the time and most doctors agree that the men who have been diagnosed don’t really have ITS. It almost always happens right up against the vocal cords. It is not hereditary that we know of. It often is diagnosed after a hormonal shift such as puberty or pregnancy or menopause. It is autoimmune.
Driving home from church one day, it hit me. My voice may never return. My voice. My song. Always, I have had my voice. I sang in various musical leads and State and National choral groups all through high school , and completed a Music Performance degree with a full recital in college. After college, I sang in a semi-professional group in Ann Arbor MI. Most recently, I have not performed as often in the public eye, yet I have happily taught voice lessons for 3 years even though my voice was not what it used to be; sharing my faith with my skill as often as I could.
What will I do without my voice? It is such a part of me. It is such a part of my walk with the Lord. It is such a part of who I am.
This is my Giant. Will I still love God without my voice? Of course I will. Won’t I? Mustn’t I?
Yes God, I will still love you even if I never sing another lullaby. Yes God, I will still love you; even if I never raise my voice again in praise. Yes God, I will still love you even as my song stays only in my heart. Yes, God, I will still love you. I Will. I will still love you.
What Giant do you need to face?
The above essay was written several years ago during the early parts of my ongoing struggle with tracheal stenosis. You can read more about that struggle here.