Broken, yet intricately woven

brain scan

Photo by Miranda Knox

I was diagnosed with epilepsy on Friday.

My first thought was, “This is very inconvenient.”

I asked the doctor how it happened, but there is no apparent cause. It just is.

I didn’t do anything to cause epilepsy, nor is anyone else responsible for it. I find this frustrating, not because I want to lay blame, but because I’m the kind of person who wants to know why things happen.

As I sat waiting, first for the medical intern, then for the doctor, and later while waiting for blood work, I was reading and rereading Psalm 139:

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:15-16)

I was intricately woven. All the days of my life have been planned. Every moment.

While this brings comfort, it also hurts. It is a strange mix of pain and awe to know that an infinitely wise God has crafted my brain just so.

To have seizures.

To be broken.

It is a difficult truth that God had planned that day. I was told that I have epilepsy. I will have to be on medication indefinitely. I may someday need brain surgery.

My husband was watching our children, so there was no one to share the news with. It would be three hours before I could meet up with my family.

Yet, I will say that I did not feel alone:

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. (Psalm 139:7-10)

My Lord Jesus walked with me in those hours. As He does now. He loves me and knows my grief. He will use my brokenness to point others to Himself.

I have epilepsy. To God be the glory.

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  • http://writingandliving.net Staci Eastin

    Thanks for sharing Emily, and for pointing us to our ultimate hope and peace.

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  • David Murray

    Very, very sorry to read this, Emily. I’ll be praying for you and Aaron and your kids. May you be enabled to continue to show such beautiful submission and hope.

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  • Mary Roberts-Payne

    Beautifully expressed.

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  • Butterfly

    I was also diagnosed with seizures in the past year 2011.
    I have a passion in children’s ministry, when seizures began 3yrs ago things started changing in my life. The Doctor didn’t know what was wrong with me, I was told I had to give up some of my activities and destress. Then months later after having another few seizures I was sent to physcologists to destress. Giving up the things I love broke me down alone with the more frequent seizures. Everyday I prayed and prayed I spent so much time with God as I felt a battle of people accuing me of not trusting God, I am sick because I haven’t delt with sin in my life.
    I am actually in shock at the moment as to the diagnoses and peoples reactions to my seizures.
    God has truely humbled me! Now as I recover I wait to see the plans God has for me and how I can use my surcumstances for God’s glory.

    • EmilyStrongarm

      Thanks for commenting Butterfly! Many people are still ignorant about what epilepsy is, and for some reason think it’s “helpful” to point out to the person with epilepsy that they may have unaddressed sin. You can remind those people that EVERYONE has some unaddressed sin: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8 and God will use you for His Glory.

  • crece

    Thanks for sharing… my daughter start having seizures at 4mo… and she’s 14now and not control…