Permit me to begin this with a major cliche…”You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”

Ever been there? I’m in one of those times right now…with my voice!

Three days ago I felt the California Valley allergies hitting me and my throat was burning with the fury of a million suns. Yep, that’s a lot. The next day, my singing voice was completely gone, but I had just enough low register to talk. (just imagine Barry White after 4 packs of cigarettes)

Now I’m on my second day of complete singing range loss. I never realized how much I sing during the day: At least 2 hours of music class, 1+ hours of music on my own, lately I’ve had another 1-2 hours of rehearsal or performances each night as well. Nearly 5 hours of singing per day. Wow. It’s tough to do that job without healthy vocal cords.

It’s given me sometime to notice things I didn’t before and to try some new things as well.

At worship practice, I completely lost it all after 1 song, so our supporting vocalists became lead vocalists. It was awesome to see our HS girl teach the adults the melody line to a song and hear her belt it out. I had an opportunity to sit back and listen to each instrumentalist as a part of the group: the little lines and additions they create within the song we offer to God. I’m usually so wrapped up in leading in the next part or the next verse/chorus or whatever. It was refreshing and I hope to do it more when I get my voice back!

The students have been very awesome too. Even a couple jrhigh boys have stopped me in the hall to see how I’m doing and if my voice had come back the next day. The younger kids are listening more and telling each other to be quiet, because “Mr. Gehrke has to talk softly!” Maybe I should pretend my voice is gone all the time… 🙂 Today the K,1,2 grades performed for a retirement home…I couldn’t lead them in or support them, so a couple 2nd grade girls stepped up and got them all going on each song. It was super cool! God provided leadership when I couldn’t from the most unexpected place (8 year olds!).

Now as I rest my voice at home on the couch with my beautiful wife, another thought crossed my mind: I love to sing. Em had country on when I came home (yes I’ve learned to really enjoy it) and she’s sitting next to me, singing along and working on her clients’ designs.

Singing can so easily become a job for me and therefore taken for granted. There are even times when I’m apathetic about singing or performing or leading…it just becomes “another thing.” Yet, this short reprieve from it and complete loss of that ability has shown me that I love to sing. I miss it so much and it’s only been 3 days!!

I pray that God heals my voice soon and allows me to do all the things He’s called me to do with passion, energy and joy!

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