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Phil Wickham Almost Lost Career After Vocal Cord Surgery: ‘It Took Me Out’

Photo from Phil Wickham’s Instagram

Phil Wickham Almost Lost Career After Vocal Cord Surgery: ‘It Took Me Out’

By Movieguide® Contributor

Christian artist Phil Wickham recently got to share how God “reshaped” him into a more spiritual person and songwriter after vocal cord surgery.

“I had a song called ‘This is Amazing Grace’… The same week that song went number one, I had to get surgery on my vocal cords because I had a polyp up on my vocal cord. I got it cut,” the singer shared with Ruslan KD in December.

“It took me out for about three months, but…the doctors are just being real, saying, ‘Hey, like, just be prepared for this to heal in whatever way it wants to heal, you know?’” he continued. “And so it was kind of like…There’s a chance that it would change my voice.”

Wickham almost lost his endurance as well. Without the ability to sign for long lengths of time, his potential to be a successful singer would decrease.

“It took me out. I had to cancel all this stuff…I really just was depressed and really down, and it took three months of processing to realize what really was the most depressed I’ve ever been in my life,” the singer shared. “It wasn’t because I had to be silent for three months.”

“It was because I was kind of face-to-face with the idea that, like, what I do in my voice and my songs—the thing that people applaud for—it’s what brings value to me, and like, without that, like I just realized how much I was relying on people telling me I was doing a good job. That was like the reward…That was [what] my heart was kind of like thriving on.”

God used those three months to show Wickham that his heart wasn’t in the right place.

“I was scheduled to play at this conference called Catalyst…I was excited about it because…it’s like 3,000 church leaders, and people [always] respond. It’s, you know, it’s all this worship in the room, [and] it’s going to be a beautiful night.”

“Anyways, I couldn’t do it. And so they said, ‘Hey, can you write out a little message? Let us know where you’re at and how we could pray for you. We’ll pray for you on stage,’” Wickham said.

When Wickham started to write the message, he suddenly felt God’s presence.

“It’s almost like the lights dimmed,” Wickham said. “It’s like, you know, those moments on movies where like it’s just like the atmosphere changes? And I was so aware of him, and it’s hard to talk about it without getting teary-eyed because it was such like a real, almost tangible experience of [being] so aware of the heaviness of God’s presence and his kindness and his glory, and I felt like I was in a holy place.”

“I remember I was on a chair, and I got low…I just acknowledged it in the moment, and I just had this such a sense in my heart, and my spirit almost echoed, almost audible echoing through me. It’s like, ‘Who am I?’…was this question,” he shared.

Wickham responded and told God, “You’re my father” and “I’m your child,” as images of God taking care of him went through his head.

“That was the beginning of…my music shifting from like being an artist who worships to like, I can’t wait to write songs for people to sing to,” Wickham shared.

The experience reshaped Wickham to become a more spiritual songwriter. Since then, he writes out of joy instead of pressure to give people what he thinks they want to hear. When he writes now, he thinks, “’What does my heart want to sing to God who saved me?’

Movieguide® previously shared some of Wickham’s intent behind his writing:

“There’s a service and thoughtfulness to the listener in worship music,” Wickham said, according to Billboard. “I’m not writing this to just share my story. I’m writing in a way that this is everybody’s story, and to give them a new prayer to sing back to God, this is something for us to do together.”

Wickham now, without fail, uses his music as a way to share God’s love and faithfulness.

He recently told the Washington Times’ Higher Ground,I wanted to shout it from the rooftops that I’m proud of Jesus. I want to boast in His work on the cross in the empty grave. There’s so much power in our testimony: ‘This is what Jesus did for me.”

This is why I can’t stop singing about him [be]cause I believe he did this and this and this’ … I try to write other songs, but I can’t like, I mean, I can, but I just don’t want to. I just want to write songs about how amazing Jesus is because He’s changed my life and He continues to,” he said.

The singer is currently on his “I Believe” tour, which is scheduled across the U.S. until the end of May.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.