For the past 30 years, I have been involved in Contemporary Christian Music Ministry as a soprano soloist. I wrote many of my own songs, produced an album and sang mainly in Ontario and once or twice Stateside. My life, my ministry or calling was music and singing. I simply did not know anything else; it was my identity, until I lost my voice.
Five years ago, it was discovered that I had a rather large tumor growing in my abdomen. While trying to take it out, the surgeons operating on me made a grave error and without going into too much gory detail, I ended up having emergency surgery to repair the damage, two hours after my original surgery. I was intubated and subsequently my vocal chords were injured. My operatic singing voice, as I knew it, was gone.
My life changed overnight. I was like a ship without a rudder - I had no sense of direction in my life at all. Where was God in all of this? Why take my voice after a 30-year ministry? It was too much to comprehend and I was depressed for months. I tried various exercises hoping to get back to where I once was, but my high soprano voice would not come back to me. My voice used to be so powerful that at times I was shocked by what was coming out of my mouth! The Lord’s gift of music to me was one that I will always cherish. Today however, I have no power or control over my voice. When I try to sing my voice cracks and squeals at the most inappropriate times. So for now, I just sing in the shower!
After I sought the Lord in prayer, I began to see the seeds of an idea for a story take shape in my mind. But I could only see the end of the story. For three months I ignored this impression (that was quickly becoming an obsession), because I believed I was not a writer. I argued with God and told Him that I read books I do not write them. But the urge to write overcame me, so that one day I sat at my computer and said, "Okay Lord. Not my will, but Yours be done. Use me as you will." I placed my hands on the keys and before I even realized what was happening a story poured through them. I saw the beginning, the middle and the end. For months, I was at my computer. Housework went by the wayside. After being depressed for so many months about losing my voice, I suddenly felt alive!
Finally, after several months the story was complete. I had written a novel! Not a short story - but a novel on the life of Christ as seen through the eyes of His mother. The relief in knowing that I had finished was sweet, until I realized that I wasn't finished. It took me another 3 years of editing and rewrites before I was completely done.
Sometimes people ask me why I won’t sing anymore, as if it is a choice that I am making. If my voice was restored to me, I have no doubt that I would start singing again. However, until that time comes (if it ever does), I will pour out the music that is in my soul through my fingertips onto paper.
I feel very strongly now that I am being led to write about biblical characters in the Bible. Why? In order to remind everyone that they were human beings with the same faults, dreams and ideals as we have today (well maybe not the same but I do know they didn't walk around with halos surrounding their heads!). So I believe my writing will begin in that type of genre. Where it leads from there is up to the Lord.
The book I wrote is called "Come to Me". You can purchase it here at the AuthorsDen or from the publisher Lulu.com. It is also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the Upper Room Bookstore and Creation Bookstore in London, Ontario.