Yesterday morning I was scrolling through Facebook on my phone while the kids were playing in the other room. It was a rare break for me on an early summer morning, and I was taking the opportunity to relax and do something that didn’t require much effort.
I scrolled past vacation pictures and recipes, makeup tutorial videos and memes and articles.
But it was a brilliant blue background and a woman standing in a bright red dress that caught my attention. It was a clip from America’s Got Talent, and I had no idea that what I was about to watch would literally bring me to my knees as deep sobs rose from my chest.
Like any other performance, the audition began with Mandy standing in the middle of the stage, holding her instrument and preparing to sing.
Simon asked her name, and Mandy replied. But then Simon asked Mandy to introduce the other woman standing to his left… That’s when Mandy introduced her interpreter.
Mandy isn’t just a singer. Mandy is deaf, and after she lost her hearing ten years ago, she retrained herself to sing using muscle memory and visual tuners. This lady is incredible.
With her shoes off, she began to strum an original song, Try, feeling the beat through the vibrations in the floor.
“I don’t feel the way I used to. The sky is gray much more than it is blue. But I know one day I’ll get through, and I’ll take my place again… If I would try.”
I found myself completely undone, sobbing as I watched.
Her voice was beautiful, her ability and determination to retrain herself to sing without the ability to hear was inspiring, and the judges’ responses (which you will have to watch for yourself) were everything I hoped they would be and everything that Mandy deserved.
In her performance, Mandy showed once again that there is nothing a deaf person can’t do except hear.
— America’s Got Talent (@AGT) June 7, 2017
I think that everyone who watched Mandy was impacted by the truth that we should never give up on our dreams. But as Mandy began to sing, and as she hit every beautiful note in perfect rhythm and pitch, I found myself personally connecting to her story.
Let me be clear that I am not deaf, and I do not know what it is like to be deaf. Mandy has been through things I will never personally understand. But there is an aspect of Mandy’s story that helped me understand what I didn’t even realize I had been feeling. As she sang, she gave my heart a voice.
For the last few months I have felt as if I was trying to figure out what God was saying to me without being able to hear Him as I have in other seasons of my life.
We announced a few months ago that the Lord was asking us to move to California, but despite our desire to be obedient, we don’t know what the next steps are yet. We keep trying to move forward, but everything seems strangely silent.
As I watched Mandy standing there with her shoe-less feet on the floor, it was as if I understood — it’s something I think many of us can relate to. I wonder if you, too, have ever been in a season where you desperately wanted to hear from God and couldn’t. I wonder if you know what it’s like to keep moving forward wondering if you’re in or out of sync with God’s rhythm for your life. I wonder if you see your own story in any part Mandy’s.
The truth is, Mandy taught us you don’t have to be able to hear the music to be able to feel it, to be able to trust that the Lord is leading us in new ways, to be confident of what we have learned in previous seasons.
It was as if she exposed all of our hearts with her beautiful song, proving with each note that we can all sing even if we can’t hear the music… if we just try.
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