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Thursday, 25 June 2015

A personal testimony.

Some time ago I discovered that, although I had enabled "Comments", none were showing up.  I decided that no-one wished to make a comment about any of my posts!!!   However, one of my brothers wondered why I had not allowed a comment that he had posted to be published!  It appears that I have simply not being advised of comments that may have been made.  If you have made a comment that has not appeared, please accept my apologies - I wasn't ignoring you, or refusing to publish - I was simply unaware of your comment!

Anyway, the comment from my brother is longer than most of my posts.  It is extremely personal, but reminds us that what we see on the surface is not always the whole story!  It also reminds us that Almighty God is interested in each one of us; but that we need to place our trust in Him, regardless of the outcome!

"Growing up with multiple seizures was no picnic. At the age of seventeen, it was 'tough' to say the least. While I had resigned myself to never being allowed to drive, when all my peers were learning and then began driving and talking about their cars, I felt SO isolated. It was just as hard when my friends  three or four years younger than me began learning to drive, and also years later, when my nephews / nieces were learning while I was still depending on public transport or my bicycle. I was a 2nd class citizen, I felt shunned by many of my peers, EVEN in the Church youth group, of which I assisted in leading.

It was at a time like this that I almost ended it all.

I was working at a dead end menial job, listening to my peers talk about their careers and big wages. I was in my mid twenties, still single, living with my parents, many of my peers were dating - well they had their cars, they could find people from different churches; who was going to be interested in someone who had to rely on public transport all the time?.

To try to counteract being side stepped when my peers were talking about their cars or careers, I busied myself with preparing the coffee and tea we served and cleaning up afterwards. I then went out to the church hall to find a chair at one of the tables I had previously set up

On one evening I had come out and sat at a table, only to be told by a peer that someone else was going to be sitting there. Moving to another seat, another person asked me why I was sitting in their seat. This happened a third time, and I got the message; and walked out. Fortunately, the other assistant leader noticed  me and followed enquiring what had happened. I explained everything that had occurred. He persuaded me to return back but that he was going to speak to the group prior to me going in. All concerned did apologise profusely.

The evening I am alluding to, I am not sure if something similar had happened at the church youth group or even whether it was that same night, but I, who normally slept very soundly, was having a struggle getting to sleep. I was tossing and turning reflecting on my existence and various instances that had occurred.  It was so bad that, knowing my mother had sleeping pills that were readily available, I contemplated going downstairs, getting the pills and downing them all. 'Everyone would be better off not having to worry about me', or so I thought.

THEN I heard that "still small voice" saying to me "What will your father think when he comes in, in the morning, to get you up for work?" "What will your mum think when she realises it was her sleeping tablets that you used to end it all? She will blame herself for having them readily available and they will blame themselves for not realising anything was wrong. Their lives may be cut shorter than would naturally be, due to the stress of losing a child" Now I loved both my parents and just couldn't put them through that pain, so I decided not to pursue the matter.

For someone whose mind was in such turmoil less than an hour beforehand, I was able to turn over and fell into a deep sleep. Only HE could make THAT happen.

The second encounter was much different and occurred about 6 years later and just twenty one months after I had been married. I had been offered the chance of neurosurgery. HIS timing, not mine. I contemplated the pros and cons of having the surgery and thought "what if?"

What if I DONT go for it.? I would still be taking over 6,000mg of medication per day, I would still be having, on average one seizure every two weeks, I would still be working in my dead end job and still relying on public transport. THEN, in about five years time, I would be thinking "what if?" - what if I HAD gone for it. So, I started to think "what if?"

What if I DO go for it.  There were seven things that could have occurred.

1- As in all major surgeries, I COULD die

2- At the other end of the spectrum, I COULD come out 100% healed

3- I COULD end up paralysed on one side while still having the seizures. (they had to see if they could shut down my brain and restart it again. - had it not restarted I would have had the same effects as someone who had a 'stroke')

4- I COULD end up in a vegetative state.

5- I COULD end up with a vast reduction in the number of seizures

6- I COULD end up with memory loss.

7- Hmmmmmm I can't seem to remember what the last one was. :D

Friends and family, - even strangers to me, were praying about it, and I went in for initial tests to see if I was a suitable candidate, after all, if I wasn't, at least I tried and no harm in seeing the outcome It was while I was in for the tests, that my daily Bible reading was Judges 6, where Gideon feared that he was going to die because he had looked on the face of an angel. I came upon verse 23, and felt that God was speaking directly to me. This verse says "And the Lord said, My peace I give unto you, do not fear, you will not die"

In the hospital ward, I just put my Bible on my lap, and with tears in my eyes, looked Heavenward and said "Thank you Lord"

I started looking at the passage closer and the first thing I noticed was WHO was speaking; It wasn't my dad, it wasn't my neurologist, it wasn't even my surgeon, It WAS however the HIGHEST authority you could get, The LORD, "El Shaddai".

I then started to look at what HE was saying to me and there were three things:

'My peace I give unto you' and when God gives His peace, it's the peace that passes ALL understanding  Phil,4 v 7  "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

From that moment I could feel calmness about the whole ordeal, just as I had felt years earlier when I didn't go for my mums pills and fell into a deep sleep.

The next thing He said was "do not fear"

Well, if I wasn't to fear, then I presumed that I was NOT going to come out of the surgery any worse than I had gone in, SO, 3,4, and 6 (above) were not options to be considered.

Since Phil 1 v 21 reads  "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." I had three possible positive outcomes.  However, I then read the four words "you will not die" - number 1 was out of the running, leaving 2 positive outcomes.  I could end up with a vast reduction in the number of seizures or, I could come out 100% healed.

I was informed that I was a suitable candidate by my neurologist, was sent home until they were ready for me. I was actually looking forward to having it performed. A few weeks later, I was called back to the hospital.  I was at such a peace, that on the morning of the surgery, when the orderlies were bringing the breakfast around for the fellow ward buddies, I started joking with them, acting out a parched man in a desert "water, water" They couldn't understand how I could be so upbeat minutes before going under the scalpel.

Ten hours later I came out of surgery, was transferred back to my ward, then released from hospital 11 days later - which just happened to be 'Mother's Day'.

Now, 24+ years later, not on any meds, driving and in a career I love, - being able to help people, some of whom have seizures, have had strokes or acquired brain injuries. I love my work but all this would have been missed if I hadn't had that initial 'still small voice' experience and had ended it all, or if I hadn't gone in for the tests and received the assurance from El Shaddai."


Jjp said...

Very good. I have an 'aquired penatrative'brain injury. I had to give up my Drivers licence. It's like losing apart of your self. I had an operation which did not go well I was put on some medication which led to seizures which led to the brain injury. After the seizures it felt like I was some kind of alien. Although I'm sure no one thought any less of me I was sure they did. I began not going out so much. After the brain injury when I finally got out of hospital I had to learn how to do some things again. I couldn't remember who some people were so I avoided most not wanting to be embarrassed or to offend any one by saying who are you. Which I was convinced had happened. To be honest most of the people in the small village were fantastic. Some of the most hurtful experiences came from some church people I knew. Not our local church. I was told I must be hiding a horrible sin, I was possessed, I enjoyed being ill amd a few others besides. But the real encouragement did not come from people but while read the bible that still small voice some how personalised what I was reading. Well thanks for posting this.

Colin Ross said...

So despite others around you NOT giving you the love / encouragement you so desperately desired, HE, El Shaddai, DID give it to you. HE DOES know when we NEED that little bit of encouragement and gives it.