Endings and Beginnings
Note: I wrote this when I was still living at home (years ago) and wanted to share it so people can be encouraged in Who God is and how He can and does work things out for good.
“My question to you is this: Does God really have a reason for when things go wrong?
My Mom has epilepsy. In other words, she has seizures. Watching my Mom have seizures was one of the worst things my siblings, Dad, and I ever had to go through. Because we normally do not have any idea when or where seizures will occur, many of my childhood days where filled with “What if?”
I remember being in a grocery store. My Dad and younger sister were on a “date”. Dad takes each of us kids out once a month to spend time together. Mom had my two other siblings and me with her. I was probably only five years old. I remember going down an aisle when a lady asked Mom if she would like some coupons. Mom thanked her, and they began to chat. One moment they were just having a normal conversation and the next Mom was on the floor, bleeding.
I remember sobbing as I hid behind the cart. They called the ambulance and then they took Mom away. I felt so helpless and alone, but there was nothing anyone could do to help. I still shudder when I go down that aisle.
Mom did have medicine but sometimes it did not work. One summer she had five seizure within two months, and that is very unusual. Every time she woke up, however, the first words out of her mouth were, “Thank You Jesus.” Inside I would think, Why, Why thank Him?
The last seizure Mom ever had was nothing compared to the previous ones. It was Mother’s Day, and we had family over. We had just sat down to eat when I looked over at Mom and realized that she was having a seizure. I yelled. Dad and my uncles jumped up to help her and then started to move her to a bed. I was in the living room just settling down to have a good cry when all of a sudden, Mom woke up. This was very unusual because of the type of seizures she normally had. Normally when Mom woke up, she would be very tired and unable to move.
After that, Mom decided to go to a different doctor. He gave her some new medicine, and she has not has a seizure since. We believe God healed her. Still, in the back of my mind, I always wondered, Why?
During the summer of 2006 I was given the opportunity to serve as a counselor in training at a small Christian camp in Bliss, New York. During the second week, a junior week for kids ages eight to eleven, I was asked to lead the nightly Bible study. My topic was how God protects us even at a young age, so He can use us later in life for His purposes. After the girls had somewhat settled down, I began to share with them this story about my Mother and me.
When I was a newborn baby my Mother would always make sure that Dad was in the same room when she gave me a bath. This was just in case she had a seizure. One day she decided to give me on while he was in bed napping. For some odd reason she changed her mind and decided that we would take a nap instead with Dad. She had a seizure while in bed. When she awoke, she realized what had happened. If she had given me a bath as planned, I would have drowned, But I did not drown because God had a purpose for me. He did not allow Mom to give me a bath as she had planned because He was saving me for something bigger.
As I was telling the story, one of my campers unexpectedly started to sob. The other counselor took her outside the cabin while I continued my Bible study. However, I could not get over the fact that she had begun to cry when I mentioned seizures. Just as I was wrapping up my devotional, they came back. We prayed and then I went over to her bunk. I can not convey the depth of emotion that went though me as I knelt by her bunk and talked to her. As she cried, I felt again the uncertainties, the terror, the hurt; except this time it was not me but another little girl who was hurting.
I found out later that her little sister had died because of a seizure by suffocation in her pillow.
I went out onto the porch after I had calmed and prayed with her. Then the tears began to flow, not because I was sad although that emotion was present, but because my question of Why had been answered. God know what that little girl needed. She needed not only sympathy but someone that could truly empathize with her because I had been there.
She need someone who knew.
To answer the question, “Does God really have a reason for when things go wrong?”
The answer is an emphatic yes.
Sometimes He allows us to experience something so that later on we can help another person going through the exact same thing. He has a purpose for every single thing that happens to each of us. We must trust Him to fulfill that purpose in His time.”
I wrote that article about two years ago. It seemed like closure at the time but, in the back of my mind, I always wondered what would happen the next time Mom had a seizure. I worried about how would I react? I wondered if I would be able to stay and help Dad with Mom OR if I would run away like I had every other time.
This last Friday I had a chance to answer those questions. This last Friday my Mom had her first seizure in seven years.
In all the years that Mom has had seizures I had never seen one in length. The reason? I had always run away...when Mom has seizures they are what are called Grand Mal Seizures(see link for information).
I was sitting at the table in our dining room catching up on some things on the computer and waiting for Mom and Danny so we could go shopping for Jen's surprise 16th birthday party which was happening the next day. Mom was on the phone with one of her friends in the kitchen. All the sudden I heard a terrible yell/scream. I looked up and saw Mom shaking uncontrollably. All the sudden she fell into the wall and then fell over, hitting her neck on the stove before collapsing onto the floor.
Dad came running and we got a pillow for under her neck and then waited for the 1st stage to end (the shaking uncontrollably/loss of consciousness).
I was sick inside and truth to be told-I just wanted to go and curl up in a corner like I was three years old again...BUT I couldn't.
It all came down to a choice once again:
A). Run and hide
B). Step up, trust God, and help my Dad (who was incredibly sick with the flu).
I almost ran away...I really did...BUT then the Lord gave me this burst of strength (it was not any of my doing) and instead I willed myself to go in the kitchen and help dad with Mom.
I ended up sitting with her and holding her hand while she woke back up. Because of the exertion that a seizure puts on my Mom's body when she is waking up she has temporary amnesia and is very confused. That I think was the hardest part for me personally...
Here was my best friend in the entire world, my confident, my MOTHER lying on the kitchen floor completely helpless.
I held her hand, stroked her hair and while choking back tears told her that I loved her and everything was going to be all right. I watched her struggling to regain consciousness not being able focus on anything or anyone. It was as though my Mom wasn't even there. She couldn't breathe very well and she didn't even know who I was (the temporary memory loss) even though she was staring straight at me. That was what killed me...and Jen and Dad (they were there by this time as well).
As I was kneeling on the floor ,choking tears back, it was as though I was transported back in time and I was the 5 year old hiding behind the grocery cart sobbing because my Mommy was bleeding on the floor and then being loaded up in an ambulance and taken away while we were left behind. I was the little girl sobbing in the parking lot because I couldn't bear to see my mom being hurt. I was the little girl that had no control over circumstances and was left alone so many times to wonder why this had to happen to US?
I was the little girl terrified out of my mind because my Mommy was hurt and I COULDN'T DO A THING ABOUT IT.
Time just seemed to stand still. After about 20-25 minutes Dad was able to get Mom into the bedroom so she could sleep (she was so weak which is another after effect called Todd's Paralysis which lasts about 48 hours after the seizure).
That is when I made my decision-I was no longer 11 years old (the age I was when she had her last seizure seven years ago). I needed to step up and be Mom's hands and feet, be strong for my Dad (he was so sick) and be an example to my siblings. I realized that I could not run away anymore...I needed to grow up...
The next few days were hard. Mom still wanted to have Jen's 16Th surprise birthday party so I just...shut down emotionally in a way. For the rest of Friday and the start of Saturday I just put up a wall and acted as though everything was fine. I was dying inside but I just did not know how to handle it any other way...
Then Saturday morning came...I was sooo stressed trying to get the house ready for the party which was at 12pm and I kept seeing/hearing Mom having her seizure in my mind. Around 9:30am I just completely fell apart. Then the NEATEST thing happened. I was sitting in the living room attempting to hide my tears and eat cereal and my younger brother Danny came over and without saying a word took my cereal bowl from my hands and then just hugged me while I sobbed against his chest. It was as though in a space of 10 seconds he went from a boy to a man...I can not express how much my family means to me...it was so neat to be comforted by my little brother! My dad heard me crying and came into and Danny passed me off to him after a few minutes and then he held me and cried/prayed with me. That was just...the most amazing healing experience ever. It was as if with every tear I cried the years of fear and pain just began to melt away...after 18 years healing had finally begun.
The rest of the day went better. I was still struggling with the images from the day before but having the kids come over to Jen's party was just such a blessing! We had some friends stay over the night and yesterday was absolutely wonderful for all of us. I hadn't really laughed Friday or Saturday and when I did it was not real...honestly it was either laugh or cry and because there were a ton of teenagers at our house I chose to laugh :) Anyhow, our friends stayed the night and God used my adopted younger brother (I can't say little because...he towers over my 5'3 frame) to De-stress me! God knew that I needed someone to make me laugh until my stomach hurt and then some! It was a total blessing! Him and so many others...on Friday (right after it happened) My adopted older brother was right there (via phone) to listen to me cry and then he prayed with me and then later on called just to see how I was going. One of my best friends came early to the party and there were so many times I just wanted to go and cry in my room (everything that happened with Mom) and she was just right there encouraging and taking charge and keeping me going...others that called/prayed for our entire family. Some came and helped clean the house! It was just overwhelming the support and prayers that we received from the body of Christ. It made me realize that we were not ALONE (something that terrified me when I was so little).
In the midst of everything...Jesus was right there! He was our strength! He was faithful through it all!
We believe that what caused Mom's seizure was not enough sleep and stress...she is still tired but is recovering well.
GOD IS FAITHFUL THROUGH IT ALL!
You know, these things that come along in life...they build and mold and shape you...if you let them...We serve a God that is there to carry us when we think that we can not go on. HE IS FAITHFUL! He IS IN CONTROL! Do we still wonder why sometimes? Yes! Do we still worry about Mom? Yes! Is God helping us to trust her into His care? YES! Is it a process? Yes!
So there it is...my question of how I would react if/when Mom ever had a seizure again has been answered. Jesus was/is my strength (and our whole families) and He gave me the strength TO NOT RUN AWAY!
I asked my Mom what would be one thing she would want to encourage you all with and she shared this verse:
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose".
Romans 8:28 (New King James Version)
If there is one thing I would love to leave in your hearts after reading this post it would be the fact that God works all things together FOR HIS GLORY! No matter what happens in our lives HE HAS A PURPOSE for it! Trials were made with the PURPOSE to strengthen our walk with our God and to make up more like HIM...One of the things that I admire most about my Mom is the fact that in spite of her epilepsy she ALWAYS praises and thanks God...she knows and believes that He has a reason! And even if it is to touch one person and make a difference in their life...she says that is enough for her...
SO this weekend was an ending and a beginning for me personally. An end to a chapter of my life that was plagued with fears. A beginning of a chapter that will include healing. God has done so much! I am in complete awe of Him! No matter what may come your way...turn to Him...He will CARRY YOU THROUGH! He is so faithful!