Lay it all down. That’s what it felt like. Like I was laying down my gift, my job, in a way.  who I am. “Don’t sing… at all.”  “Be careful teaching… try not to sing.” That was my diagnoses after I lost my voice.  I spent the month of May teaching a ton of lessons and struggling to protect my voice and sing very little the whole time.  Actually singing a song was pretty much out of the question.

I lost my voice on Easter Sunday no less.   I was singing a solo but not one that was particularly difficult.  In fact it was a song that I had sung many times.  However, in the weeks leading up, I was ignoring the signs of a faltering voice and I guess I just didn’t have much left to give that morning.  I noticed my voice being a little scratchy and some notes had been a little more difficult to sing, but I didn’t think much of it.  Rehearsals went fine but by the time I had rehearsed all the songs several times that morning and then sang through the service, I had nothing left.  In fact, at times during the service my voice was terrifyingly weak and “goat like”.

I was sad, shocked and scared.  The doctor confirmed later that week that I had acid reflux and calluses on my vocal cords.  I have been performing since I was a teenager. I just turned 49. I have never had issues with my voice.  I have to take medicine, elevate my bed, watch what and when I eat.  Most of all, I have to protect my voice better.  Teaching more than 40 lessons a week had taken its toll.

Though I tried to do all the things the doctor prescribed, I could not help but feel fear at possibly losing my voice or my career.  Vocal coaching is my profession. I teach full time and want to keep singing professionally. I know that singers can usually recover. I just was so shocked that it was happening to me, the vocal coach who teaches singers to protect their voice. I tried not to worry but not being able to use my voice even to speak clearly was terrifying.  Let’s not mention that the youngest kid is going to college and we’ve got some new expenses to cover.

The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want.  I will trust you Lord.  I know you see me.  Let me not be afraid.

Three months later, I am healing. I sang for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It’s fitting that the first song I should sing by myself since my injury was “Lay It All Down”.

The song held real meaning for me. It speaks to real pain and loss and fear. I certainly felt reminded to lay down my gifts, to lay down my worry for the future. I was very grateful to be able to sing those words. This voice problem has certainly been a challenge to trust in God.

I’ll be taking better care of my voice. Teaching a little less this fall. I am also looking forward to singing and challenging myself to grow as a singer. I feel grateful to be able to sing a bit and don’t want to take this gift for granted. The words to the song are below.

Whatever has got you worried, or sad or down right scared, I pray you can lay it at the feet of Jesus and trust that all he does and all he has for you is good.


Bring your worry, grief and pain
Every cause you have for shame
Lay it all down, lay it all down
When your cares have buried you
And there’s nothing left to do
Lay it all down lay it all down
At the feet of Jesus, at the feet of Jesus

Carried on but your heart was tired
Feared the worst and felt the fire
Lay it all down, lay it all down
Filled with all those anxious thoughts
All your doubts became your god
Lay it all down, lay it all down
At the feet of Jesus, at the feet of Jesus

Lay it all down
Lay it all down
Lay it all down
Lay it all down

At the feet of Jesus
At the feet of Jesus

When we’ve given up on better days
There are memories we can’t erase
Lay it all down, lay it all down
We’ve come to fear what we can’t explain
There’s nothing here that can ease the pain
Lay it all down, lay it all down
At the feet of Jesus, at the feet of Jesus

Written by Will Reagan, Freddy Washington
© 2017 United Pursuit Music (ASCAP), Capitol CMG Genesis (ASCAP) (admin by, FMan Publishing (ASCAP)

Marjorie Searcy

Marjorie Searcy brings unique experience to the field of vocal coaching. She is a graduate of Belmont University in Nashville where she studied commercial voice and music education. Having performed everything from classical to country, rock and jazz, her emphasis is on providing singers with the technique to effectually communicate the style they enjoy.

    1 Response to "Lay It All Down"

    • Beth Scott

      Marjorie, I had NO idea that you’ve been struggling through this! I am so thankful that you are healing! Praying for you. We really love and miss you all very much.
      I haven’t been able to sing much like I used to in quite a while. I too was diagnosed with reflux (but mine was mild) – but unlike you, I didn’t take medicine and watch what I ate. I thought losing weight would make it all go away but it didn’t. I need to take some lessons from you my friend and swallow my pride and do what I know to do!

      Thank you for sharing your difficult journey. Laying it all down is so hard but so worth it!

      Love you!

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