Most moments in our lives come and go without fanfare. Other moments change our lives forever. Some of these are happy, joyful moments (the moment you choose Christ as your Savior, the moment you become a parent, the moment you say, “I do”) and others change our lives in a way we weren’t expecting or desiring. These events happen in a split second or have been developing over time, unaware to us, but manifest in a moment’s time.
One such time in my life was when we learned that our daughter had a seizure disorder. She was the same child she had always been, but the course of our days, in one sentence, changed and in the end, changed us.
The first two days we had to wait to find out if a brain tumor was the cause of her disorder. It truly was an emotionally paralyzing time for me. I wasn’t able to function well at all. The everyday things of life took effort to complete. My life had been pretty happy and carefree, but I had many lessons to learn and God would use this to shape who I am today. We made good decisions and bad ones. I wish we could say that we were free from worry and content to trust that God had it under control – but not every moment was like that. There were lessons we had to learn. We had to learn to trust and rely on Him. We had to learn that He was in control – complete control – and the things we could do were limited – He and He alone, would decide the outcome.
I never did lack the faith that He could and would heal her, but knew also that I didn’t get to pick His timing. I knew that I might have to wait until Heaven for her to be restored. It was a process of trial and error for her neurologist. We were told in the beginning that they hoped to soon have it under control with medication and after two years of being seizure free they would wean her off. She ended up having a rare condition that took her ability to speak and her ability to process what she could hear completely away. It isn’t something I dwell on now and she won’t talk about at all, but just recalling those days makes me cry. It was a painful time. She was scared – my husband and I were scared – our families were scared. Anger was an emotion that people who loved her had to deal with. Her teachers and paras didn’t know how to communicate or what to do to help. We spent countless hours in meetings in order to figure our what we could to do reach her. Fortunately we had a few days (literally) head’s up before the disorder completely took over. We were able to teach her 15 basic signs, which she picked up on immediately and they would become our lifeline for many months. We learned how to communicate with pictures and more extensive sign language, which was a blessing. Her doctor began an aggressive treatment for her with a rare drug that he had to fight to be able to administer, because it hadn’t been proven that it would work for someone with her condition. It was a drug that was limited in supply and they (whoever “they” were) didn’t want to release it to be used for something they didn’t know would work. He was able to treat her the way he wanted and after about nine months she began to improve and her language problems ceased. Still other types of seizures continued. Her meds were changed and eventually a combination worked for her. She has now been seizure free for three years (Praise the Lord). The process lasted ten years, but my life had begun a drastic change in a moment’s time. I came out of the trial on the other side, a different person. It’s hard for me to describe all the changes, but I like me better. As I stated before, I didn’t always make the right choices, but God used even those, to make me a better person. My mom told me once, “You are such a realist.” My response was, “I have had no choice but to be…”
Another life changing moment for me was when my dad found out that he had three to six months to live. Walking into the living room of my sister’s home and seeing him, sitting on the couch is a memory that will be with me forever. It wasn’t the way I ever wanted to see him. The devastation was evident. My life changed in a moment. We had our time – just the four of us (my dad, my mom, my sister and I) of being together, sharing our sorrow and our love. My dad said at that time and many times in the few weeks that he lived, that he had no regrets. He’d lived, loved and serve the Lord with his whole heart and although he didn’t want to leave us, He knew it was time and He was ready to meet His Savior. He taught us a lot about dying in the days to follow. We had many more happy memories and he was inundated with letters, calls and visits from the people whose lives he had touched, which for our family, was an enormous blessing.
Many of you have had moments that have changed your lives. I have had friends that have lost their children in automobile accidents in a moment’s time. The loss they feel must be paralyzing. I can’t imagine. Others have suffered tragedy that we can’t comprehend. Our lives are changed by these events. Our lives are continually changing. There’s the old saying, “The only thing constant is change”. For our lives that is true.
HOWEVER, it isn’t true of the God I serve. Hebrews 13:8 tells us that, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Two of my favorite synonyms for the word “same” are unchanging and consistent. Throughout the course of the life-changing events in my life, God remained the same – He was consistent. One of my favorite sayings – I probably have shared it before – is one my mother often says. “Either I believe God is who He says He is or I don’t.” Whatever we face comes down to that. If we believe that He is the sovereign ruler of the universes, the One who set the earth motion, lit up the sky, placed the stars in the heavens, sent His son to die in our place so that we could have eternal life and will forever reign, then we must believe that He has a purpose for everything that happens. We aren’t always going to like it. There are times we will be angry and question what is happening. There are times we make the wrong decisions and turn our back on Him, but He never turns His back on us. He remains the same, unchanging, consistent Father who loves us, works on our behalf and has it all under control.
Footnote – I really didn’t intend to go into so much detail about the things that had changed my own life, but it’s what came out as I was typing. I trust that there is someone who reads this that needed to hear it. God bless!!!