And it happened about six hours before I was scheduled to preach to my writer colleagues at The Word Writers Getaway.
Sunday morning, I woke at at 3 am . While trying to clear a tickle in my throat, I noticed my voice was missing. I expected it would come right back.
As I'm lying in the dark waiting for my voice to return from its unapproved leave, God starts telling me what to say at the service. You get the idea - tear up your notes and start again. In this instance it was new thoughts saying, 'Move over ideas and make room. Let me in.'
'God, in case you haven't noticed, I've lost my voice.'
But God seemed unconcerned about my dilemma and continued to give me things He wanted shared.
5 am. I manage to dress without waking hubby and drive to the beach. Voice is still AWOL. The sun rises behind a bank of cloud and colours my world in golds, pinks and mauves. I sit on a rock ledge with the waves lapping at my feet and worship God silently. I wait for the miracle - for my voice to return with an apology for being absent.
5.45 am I preach to the seagulls in a whisper. Usually, when preparing to preach I pray, 'Lord please anoint me to preach your message.' Then I open my mouth and listen to see what God has to say.
That morning, neither I nor the seagulls could hear a thing! But I preached anyway. I am very stubborn when it comes to doing what I believe God has asked me to do.
6.30 am. I start to walk the beach, the deserted section so no one will think I'm crazy. And I worship God with all that is me. But there is no voice to lift up. So I offer a sacrifice of whisper to my King. By then I had activated my intercessors by text message and I knew they were fighting on my behalf. It was about 7 am before the worship turned to a crinkle and then a crackle. When I returned for breakfast at 7.30, I could converse a little with those I met.
My new friend Amanda led worship. It was wonderful. I couldn't sing but I could add a cackle of worship to the gathered voices.
I stood to speak. First word was silent. I cleared my voice giving me time to yell, 'God! HELP!'
On the way home that afternoon, I sat in the car with my husband and watched the ocean. I felt exhausted.
So I whispered the question. 'Is it worth the fight? Did my croaked words achieve anything? Or was I just a silenced gong and a croaking cymbal?'
And the Lord whispered, 'My Word shall not return to me void.'
So I'm content. God whispers too!