I sang at church two weeks ago, less than twenty-four hours after receiving some interesting news. I found out that a pathologist who reviewed my mammogram and biopsy determined that the abnormal mass in my body was no bueno after all. It needed to be removed. The sweet monotone voice on the other end of the phone told me I needed to see a surgeon for a consultation. That was on Friday. She made the appointment for Monday.
In between those two wonderful days, I was set to sing one of my all-time favorite worship songs at church that weekend; one I’d been dying to sing for months. And all I kept thinking was, Really? This weekend?
Everything in me wanted to cancel. I didn’t think I’d be able to make it through the song without bawling like a baby. I wanted it to be awesome. I wanted to sing my little heart out without my voice cracking and causing everybody to squirm in their seats, unable to focus on worship.
But as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t back out. It would have been the wrong thing to do. So, I sang my heart out anyway, fighting back tears each service, praying that the audience didn’t notice all of my “off” notes or worn-out vocals. Oh, there were some great vocal moments, but there were some not-so-great ones too.
Which is why it happened. That’s what finally did me in and prompted me to use the word. It was after Saturday night’s service when my husband asked me how it went, that the word came out of me with a surprising confidence and deep-felt conviction I didn’t realize had been growing inside of me over the past few years. I was so depleted, so tired, so worn out, so done trying to do and be all things to all people, in all ways . . .that I finally had had enough. And gave in. And said the four-letter “f” word: Fine.
It was glorious.
Instead of describing in detail, like I usually do, which note I hit, missed, where I did great or didn’t do so great, how I felt, what people said, what people didn’t say – I simply said to my wonderful man, It was fine. And smiled a big, fat smile. And ate my dinner.
I’d forgotten what a great word “fine” is. You see, I always strive for awesome. Excellent. Incredible. But that night, that weekend, something snapped. I no longer wanted to care if things were awesome or not. I just wanted to be able to live with “fine” and be really, really good with it.
How freeing! Instead of wallowing in anxiety about upcoming singing and speaking engagements, I have been preparing my best and then letting myself rest, knowing that the outcome will be good enough – no matter what that turns out to be. Yes. Do my best then let it rest. It will be just fine.
There is so much freedom in wrapping our efforts in the blanket of God’s grace. And self-grace.
I’ve noticed myself daring a bit more, saying “yes” to more engagements, and living a bit more courageously.
How about you? Where could you use a little more “fine”? Maybe you need to be fine with not being able to exercise as much as you want to right now, or fine with some relationship you’ve been waiting to turn into “awesome” someday.
For me, I’m going to start giving myself permission to use the “f” word a whole lot more often. You might want to start using it a little more too; allowing yourself to be exactly who you are without any apologies or unnecessary confessions.
Oh, and just to keep you up to speed, I saw the surgeon and will be having surgery sometime in May to remove this mass. I’ll keep you updated and would appreciate your prayers. I’m counting on everything being just fine. :)