Monday, April 25, 2011
Simply Ten Good Things:
1. A long night at work
2. Good company through that shift
3. A mom and dad who are waiting expectantly for details of that shift
4. Six hours sleep with no interruptions (not for another hour, though)
5. Banana-Peach yogurt smoothies
6. The mere fact that I can eat both peaches AND bananas
7. A sister and her man-friend who ply me with iced coffees to keep me going
8. A nice warm shower
9. Porridge for supper
10. Another interesting night ahead of me
Hope you can make up your own list of "ten simple things" that have made your day.
Moving forward with Joy
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Thanks for all the support you all have sent me following my rant about seizures and how they're portrayed in the Bible. It means a lot that not everyone is crazy and thinks folks with seizures are full of demons. Unfortunately, there are people I've come into contact with (some of them being former friends) who believe that my seizures are a result of past sin. Its stupid really but what can I say? I'm glad to have people around me who aren't narrow minded like that! Merci Bien!
I have some exciting news - I had a conversation with my boss earlier this evening... and she's given me the thumbs-up for a trip to Halifax this September! I can't tell you how excited I am!! I'm trying not to get lost in the thrill of it but its hard. I'm really looking forward to time with Jenny, Josh and the kids... seeing their new place, being a sneaky house-elf while she's putting the kids to bed, leaving little presents for everyone when they're asleep. I'm looking forward to it all! I miss them so much and I dearly look forward to another chance to experience the friendly atmosphere of the east coast!
We're still determining how long I'll be gone for and whether I'll be traveling alone or with one/both of my parents. But I know that there's lots of time to figure that out. September is still five months away! I know how fast the time flew when preparing for my last trip and this time will be no different. But more than anything, these trips of mine are bathed in prayer. Prayers for safety as I travel, for a seizure-free experience altogether, etc. When God's involved, anything is possible.
Joyfully moving forward, now more than ever.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
I went to church two weeks ago – to a lovely Presbyterian crowd over in Agassiz. I have some friends who go there and I often tag along. It’s a good group of people with wonderful contemporary worship and sermons that actually mean something (and aren’t a history lesson on some obscure passage in Ezekiel).
I was there two weeks ago when a fill-in pastor preached. Seems like a nice enough guy but I had a hard time swallowing the first scripture reading, from Matthew 17:14-20, which made swallowing his whole sermon difficult.
When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”
“You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.
Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Now, some of you know that I, like the boy, I have seizures. Big, ugly seizures. And most of you know that I don’t like a whole lot of fuss made over them. They’re embarrassing enough without people falling over themselves feeling sorry for me.
I understand that the dad in this scripture was not blessed to live in an age of anti-convulsant medications, Ketogenic diets, and other therapies and surgeries that could have helped his son. For this dad, the only hope for his son lay with a man of miracles who could heal the boy. I get that. Heaven knows my dad has been in his position... when the doctors even in our age of science don’t know how to help. And like the dad in the scripture, he ended up on his knees praying in faith that I’d be healed and made whole. But ya know, I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter how hard dad prayed, it isn’t all about conviction. ‘Cause if it were, then I’d be healed purely by my dad’s faith. And I don’t mean to put too fine a point on it, but I’m still having seizures eight years later.
So, when ministers and pastors everywhere stand up and preach about mustard seeds moving mountains and fathers having faith the Lord can heal their sick children, I get a little pissy. I know they’re trying to underscore an important lesson but I want to stand up and shout at them “It’s not just about faith, buddy!”
I think faith plays a part but the other side of that coin is God, in His power, has to know that the time is right for healing to take place before he’ll ever let it happen. I don’t want to sound negative but I’ve moved past the point of wanting God to heal me. Yes, it’d be nice to drive again, to go out and be social without having my anxiety overwhelm me that someone has a camera or someone is going to flick the lights in a room to get our attention. Ya, that’d be great. But I’m not going to pin my hopes on it happening. God knows I’d like to be rid of my medication, God knows I’d like to live without these seizures, God knows I’d like my family to not have to worry themselves sick about me when I go grocery shopping. But it isn’t all about faith – it’s also about God’s perfect timing.
And while I’m slaughtering sacred cows, enough of this ‘possessed by the devil’ hogwash! I don’t have any more demons in me than the average Joe. And to any pastor who might be reading this... please be careful with this passage. It’s damaging enough to the poor people with Epilepsy in the room who have to sit through you discussing their condition like they’re some Biblical tragedy! There’s also untold damage done to each person in the congregation who inevitably take away from this scripture that people who have seizures are afflicted with demons, and that we need to feel sorry that Jesus hasn’t healed them yet.
So folks, please realize that healing happens in two parts – first faith, followed by God’s perfect timing. And please educate yourselves about the conditions in the Bible that Jesus heals, not just seizures. Think about the paralyzed, the blind, the bleeding disorders, etc. I figure that God gave us science as a way of healing ourselves but at the end of the day God still wants us to talk to him... I just don’t think he wants us praying for stuff as if we’re still living 2000 years ago when there were few other explanations for things like seizures.
The real message people need to hear is that seizures are a normal part of life for 1% of the population of the world. We’re not crazy and we don’t have to deal with any more personal demons than anybody else out there. Epilepsy is just a disorder, scar tissue in the brain, nothing more.