This past weekend, Blake and I traveled to North Carolina to speak at Wingate Baptist Church. Wingate Baptist Church is only 20 minutes from where my parents live, so we were able to spend the weekend there. For the first time, I believe, we were able to spend time with every one of my family members, including Grandma and Grandpa! It was good being in a place where hugs are the currency of life and sarcasm the language. : )
Traveling there on Friday, while attempting to sing along in the car, I noticed that my voice was sounding a little raspy. I didn’t really think much of it. I’ve been struggling with sinus/allergy issues since I vacuumed our apartment two Thursdays ago. I always tried to tell my mother that I was allergic to cleaning. Anyways, for Blake’s sake, I quit trying to sing.
Saturday morning my voice was deep, but functional. By Saturday night, I was totally hoarse. I found myself in that high squeaky range, while trying to convince my nephews that they really did need to brush their teeth before going to bed. It’s no wonder they found it hard to take me seriously. I started to get worried. Blake and I were speaking Sunday morning during Sunday school and giving the sermon in church. I was sure he could handle doing both by himself, but we’d put a great deal of work into making the sermon a two-person sermon and it was going to be my first time behind a pulpit. When we talk to churches about our mission, we really like for both of us to do it. We’re a team, a duet, not a solo act. Not having a voice could definitely complicate things.
We googled home remedies, hoping for a magic cure. My sensitivity to honey knocked out that option so I gargled with salt water, drank two cups of hot tea and several glasses of water and started whispering. I found it funny that when I started whispering, no one would speak to me in anything but a whisper. Even my 7 year-old nephew whispered. I’d been praying to God for a miracle and as far as I could tell, the fact that my nephew whispered was the only miracle I saw sign of.
Before we went to sleep, Blake prayed that I’d have a voice and on the way out the door Mom said another quick one. I didn’t speak again until we got to the church Sunday morning. By then I’d already consumed two more cups of tea and lingered in a steamy shower. What first came out of my mouth was not even remotely understandable. People greeted us and were a little taken aback by how I sounded in response. Blake looked uncertain when he asked me if I thought I’d be able to speak well enough to give our presentation and sermon.
A miracle happened, though. The more I spoke, the better my voice sounded. I chugged two more cupfuls of water and, by the time the pre-Sunday school breakfast was over, I was audible! We tag-teamed the presentation and when my voice started going, Blake would chime in.
I still wasn’t sure about the service because the sermon wasn’t really written to be tag-teamed. We had worked together to write it, but made sure that our parts sounded like ourselves. Blake wasn’t going to tell an overly animated story, and I wasn’t going to talk about Greek. I drank water and mouthed my way through the hymns, hoping that when I got up to speak I’d have a voice to say it with. Thankfully, I was able to get through my part of the sermon fine.
Even if my voice hadn’t come back, I would still be able to count yesterdays visit with Wingate a pleasure. The people were so genuine, so welcoming. It’s funny how a place we’ve never been can feel like home.