Sounds hurt. The sizzling of the eggs cooking in the pan. The ceiling fan gently spinning, unnoticed by anyone else. The sound of the dog’s claws on the floor. The car driving by. People talking above whispers.
The lights and movement hurt too, and made me nauseous. It felt like I was inside a Kaleidescape. If the curtains were open, it was blinding. Movement made me feel dizzy. My family learned to tiptoe around the house, speaking in whispers. I would watch movies with my hands covering my ears to muffle the sound or my eyes trained on the floor the avoid the scenes with movement. If it got to be too much, you’d find me with my head under my pillow, door and curtains closed, trying to block out the world. Cool, dark, and quiet, it would sometimes help relieve things.
There were some things we could do, however. For example, I slowly assembled this outfit:
Of course I got some interesting looks in the grocery store (when I could handle going in there), and I learned that crying while you have sunglasses on doesn’t go very well, but it made me able to function a bit better. 😉
The worst part was the lack of music. I used to listen to Christian music all the time. So much so, that when I finally did get to listen to music again, I started singing along, and unknown to me, my mom gathered the family to hear and started filming it. 🙂 It wasn’t just the listening to music that was hard, though. It was not being able to worship. That was harder than I could have ever imagined.
At the time, we were hosting a home church and also a girl’s Bible study in our home. When the time came for worship for each one of those events I would go upstairs, out onto a outdoor porch, and close the door. I could still barely hear the music and singing out there. Thankfully, I could handle that much at least. But I really, really wanted to be down in the living room with everyone else, praising my God. *Especially* because of the trials I was facing. Most of those times I would cry up there, whispering the words of the song, and desperately trying to surrender it all to God.
Have you been in the same place?
Eventually I learned something for myself, however, that I’d always heard. Worship is so much more than music and audible singing. I’d always known this, but now I really had to grasp it. We can worship God without music or singing. Worship is something that happens in our hearts. Worship is our soul crying out to our Maker, surrendering all to Him, and praising Him for who He is and what He has done. Maybe for you that happens while you go for a run. Or for someone else, maybe they praise God through their art. Or for me, I have written letters of a sort to God. Or it can be as simple as kneeling, pouring out our hearts of adoration silently to our King. He can hear our soul singing even when we can’t verbally sing.
He loves us. He knows where we are. If you or I can’t sing because of sensory troubles or other troubles, that’s okay! He sees and knows our hearts. Even if we were singing like we think worship is supposed to look like, that doesn’t guarantee that we’d truly be worshipping instead of thinking about lunch. It’s about our hearts.