Using the “F” Word

Sherri singing

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. :)


40 thoughts on “Using the “F” Word

  1. Debra Hall

    yes, everything WILL be fine :)

    oh, what a peace to read these words from you …. I can hear your heart smiling through them!

    This blog is confirmation of Dr. Bill’s teaching on Wednesday night :)

    I know you will have a wonderful weekend!

    Blessings, Debra :) (714) 749-3596

    >________________________________ > From: sherri…bennett…blog >To: >Sent: Friday, April 11, 2014 12:11 PM >Subject: [New post] Using the “F” Word > > > sherribennettblog posted: ” I sang at church two weeks ago, less than twenty-four hours after receiving the news that a second pathology review of my mammogram and biopsy determined that the abnormal mass in my body was not good after all. It needed to be removed. The sweet mono”

  2. Linda Crawford

    Tears in my eyes Sherri. This is one of the most honest, vulnerable, beautiful blog posts I’ve read in a long time. Sing it, sing it, sing it! Standing ovation from a friend sitting in your support section. I’ll be praying for you and singing those prayers along with the choir you have behind you! <3

  3. reginatherockstar

    YES! I needed to hear this today. I need the reminder that FINE is good enough sometimes– that not everything has to be prefect!
    A brilliant sponsor of mine used to take a sharpie everytime she saw me during graduate school and write in big, bold, black letters “D>P” and then she would send me off with the sweetest words of encouragment– “Done is better than perfect. Sometimes you just have to let yourself be done.”

    Thank you for sharing your heart. Praying for you in this crazy time. For peace, joy and grace for each moment!

  4. Anonymous

    Sherri girl, your words weren’t just fine, they were excellent and your message was awesome….I’m happy your learning to enjoy “fine” because I see you work so hard and put all you heart and soul into everything you do….your “fine” is a lot of peoples excellence. You know your wrapped up in my prayers always and your going to be “fine”, like I said your “find” is “AWESOME”… Love you Bestie……xoxox

  5. Linda Finkenbinder

    You did it again. I’m so proud of you. Clever! Wonderful! thought provoking! I love you.



  6. Jenelle. M

    Sherri, I just read this, freaked out, and ran to my computer! This morning, I was thinking about writing, life, all the pressures I, and others, have put on me since childhood and I went enough! Like you, I’m used to awesome. Being a National ranked swimmer from 6 years old to 20, I think that everything I do, I must be the best at. And you know what…I never ever wanted to be the best. At anything. I like to fly under the radar. But since I was good and had a God given talent, my parents and coach put that pressure on me. And then I put it on myself. That’s what I should do, right? But my heart wasn’t in it. One day at college practice, I walked out of the pool with my coach yelling to my back. And then I had to hear about ‘wasted talent’. I just want to be ‘fine’ with where I’m at. Content. Peaceful. Relaxed.

    In regards to writing, I don’t want to be the best (and I wouldn’t cause I know my limitations), I want to be my best, and put my whole heart into the craft. But that’s all. Whatever to all the rest, right? Owning that this morning added to my abundance of feeling free, and I thanked the Lord. Fine. It’s a great place to be :)

    This morning was huge and I journaled about this breakthrough. You and I, girl, let’s keep being honest and give ourselves permission to do many wonderful, awesome and non-awesome things. Thank you for sharing!!

    1. sherribennettblog

      My sista! Wow – it’s crazy how often we are on the same page! “I want to be MY best.” I love it. I so desperately want to remember that, and also give myself permission to not always be my own best, ha-ha. That’s a toughy that I’m going to continue to work on. I had no idea you were quite the swimmer! I can’t even begin to imagine the pressure that must have put on you. I wonder if you ever regretted walking away that day or what that process was like. We’ll have to “chat” about that sometime.

      Feeling beyond blessed to be doing life with you! 

      1. Jenelle. M

        Sherri, we must chat someday! I said the same thing about being on the same page to the Lord, haha. Yeah, swimming is in our blood. My younger brother went to Olympic trials twice. He was on t.v. pretty cool :) No, we don’t know Michael Phelps, hehe. Keep being brave!

  7. Donna Cramsie

    You glorious girl,,, wish you didn’t have this other 4 letter F word lingering (no doubt). I know your Fear! <3
    The next letter word truly does trump it,, indeed, Grace!
    <3 to you! Be Fine dear Friend

  8. πίστις

    Excellent! So many of us can identify with this, and I at least feel right there with you. Thank you for reminding us (me) that “fine” is a good place to be!

    Will be praying for you sister. God bless you Sherri

  9. Nina seidman

    Fine, then I shall tell you. I will pray. i was fine.. I had somethings to go through, but I am fine. Thanks for the prayers. I will give time for the same.

  10. Chris Monahan (@iceczar)

    1) Always love to read what’s in your heart and your life, so thank you for sharing this.
    2) Your ‘fine,’ especially when you sing, is AWESOME. Good for you for putting yourself (your voice) out there. It’s such a blessing to all us when we get to hear it and inspiring to see the passion flow from you.
    3) I have no doubt you will fly through all of this because a) God loves you so much and can’t be done using you and b) you won’t EVER forget how many of us out (down) here love you and will pray to REMIND God how special you are to us.
    Blessings sweet lady,

  11. Angela Velez Rosales

    Thank you for being honest and sharing what you are going through. Thank you for sharing your life with me and others. Love you and God bless you. You are in my prayers mama.

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