4:08pm is when it started. Another seizure. We were upstairs reading stories in her room. We were clapping and singing (well, I was!) and then her face went red and she got very still, and it started.
This is nothing new. You’d think almost a year in I’d be a pro at handling each and every seizure – but I still have my days. Here’s the thing. She’s been doing well the last week or so. About 4-5 spasms in a 24 hour period, being awake a ton, looking a bit more alert – and even with having her first cold, her seizures have been pretty stable. But it’s like I’m worse when she is doing better. It’s difficult for me to enjoy these seizure decreased days. I try really hard – but it’s like I’m just waiting for it to get bad again.
I took her and put her in my lap like I always do. I started to pat her bum softly, rub my fingers through her hair and started speaking out Psalm 46. This is a psalm that I have always loved, and memorized a couple of years ago. My Grade 1/2 class I taught even memorized it for Bible class. Often when I’m in a difficult situation I will just recite it over and over again.
I had read through it about 2 times and her seizure was still going. I was starting to get a bit frustrated.
“God, don’t you hear me speaking words from Your Word?!”
I guess my understanding of God still needs work. It’s like I think He is going to do what I want because I am acting “holier” or something by reciting scripture. But I know it doesn’t work that way. Speaking those words wouldn’t be the magical remedy to stop her seizure, but they would be the words I needed to heal and strengthen my heart and mind.
So I kept repeating the psalm, and with each word my mind was taken off of what I saw right in front of me – a seizing baby – and turned to Who was in control and in the midst of that moment, and all moments – even though it was a moment I really didn’t like.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way; though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea; though it’s waters roar and foam, through the mountains tremble at its swelling.
Those words made me picture Hope and I in that moment, totally protected by a God who is in control over every raging sea. I pictured us in the midst of a crazy storm, being safe under a refuge – that being God.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God. The holy habitation of the most high. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved. God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter, He utters His voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress.
This same God that I cry out to each day, is so powerful that at the sound of His voice, things happen.
Come, behold the works of the Lord. How he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the chariots with fire.
I started to think about what He’s done for me, for us, for our family in the past. How he’s provided for us and taken care of us in the midst of uncertainty. My dad’s cancer, my various travels, Hope’s diagnosis. He may not have done things the way I have wanted, but He’s always been faithful – always provided, never left us to fend for ourselves.
Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Be still. My heart never feels still. My mind never feels still. But here is a loving command to stop my fearful unrest and choose to trust that He is God over everything – which means He knows the intricate details of my current situation in and out.
Her seizure ended, she fell asleep in my arms, and I sat there crying because a shift had been made in my heart. It wasn’t about asking Him to stop this particular seizure and getting frustrated when He didn’t at that exact moment, but instead it was about me resetting my heart and mind and reminding myself of who He is. Plain and simple.
When we discipline ourselves to focus on Him, instead of the situation before us (which is so hard, I am NOT very good at it at all!) our hearts and minds do make a shift. It’s like we hand over this situation that we have no control over, and say ‘ok God. I know you are powerful and there is purpose to everything – even in my pain – so I will trust you in the midst of it’.
And it’s like you are very slowly opening up your hands that you have clenched so tightly – because you are holding onto everything that is happening to you – and you say ‘here God, take it. I’m not strong enough to carry it – but You are’. The more we do it, the easier it will become to trust￼. Corrie Ten Boom said it perfectly:
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God”.
I hope we can all find rest in who He is today, even in the midst of our pain.