Aaron had a seizure at 4:30 this morning. It was around two minutes long, shorter than some but always too long. No seizures at all is definitely preferred, but that doesn’t seem to be what God has planned for Aaron in his life. His nocturnal seizures are why Gary and I still sleep with a baby monitor on our nightstand. Aaron knows that I go into his room when I hear a seizure and that I’m there to help him as needed.
Aaron got out of bed around 7:00. I would need to look in his log book that he keeps to see the exact time.
OK, I just snuck in his room and took a peek. He wrote down his getting out of bed time as 7:02. Isn’t he funny and amazing?
He drank his three cups of coffee, as always…..and he bugged me about a fourth cup, as always. He said his head hurt, too, as always it does after a seizure. I can only imagine.
And as always after a seizure, he decided to go back to bed. He told me his plan, but he wasn’t forgetting about that fourth cup of coffee.
“Can I have a fourth cup when I get out of bed?” he hopefully asked. And I gave him some hope that he could. He has no idea what all I would gladly do for him on these seizure days. I try not to show my hurting heart generosity too much, either, because good old Aaron will jump on that like a tick on a dog. Forget the fourth cup of coffee! Let’s go for five or six!
After Aaron had the assurance that a fourth cup of coffee was a real possibility, he started to walk away. But he came back to the top of the stairs, one more request on his mind.
“Can you make sure I don’t have another seizure in bed?” he asked me.
Oh, if only I could! I might have to think about granting a fourth cup of coffee, but if I could grant that my son have no more seizures then I would do it in a flash.
I knew what Aaron meant. I try to get him to express himself more clearly, so I asked him how I was supposed to do that.
“Can you hear if I do?” he clarified.
“Yes, I’ll hear if you do,” I answered. I assured him that I had the baby monitor on right beside me and that I would be listening. He was satisfied with my answer and with the knowledge that Mom was keeping her ear open, so off he went to bed.
It’s sad to see that Aaron shows this fear of having a seizure. I don’t blame him one single bit. He doesn’t remember the seizures, but he’s seen friends at his day group have them and so now he knows what they look like. And he certainly knows what they feel like when he wakes up with a bad headache, sometimes a bitten tongue, losing his sense of taste, and other complications. It’s a very hard thing to see your child endure this. Harder still to see your usually unexpressive adult child begin to verbalize his fears.
Victory in the verbalization…..sadness in the expressed reality.
I am Aaron’s strength right now. I am his comfort and his hope. Me….and the baby monitor. Aaron is depending on us to be there for him and to help him if he has another scary seizure.
This morning I had planned to write about Nehemiah and the guarantee that he gave the children of Israel as they built the wall of Jerusalem. I didn’t know I would have this illustration from Aaron. I would rather not have it. I would rather use another example from some other scenario in my own life that doesn’t involve him. But this is where God has us. This is His sovereign plan, one that I trust even when it hurts.
The Jewish people were rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, but there were enemies who didn’t want them to succeed. These enemies used words of discouragement and ridicule, but when they saw that the Israelites were serious about rebuilding the wall they changed their tactic. The enemies became intimidating, threatening to kill not only the workers but their families as well.
The Jews became scared. The enemies’ threats were working. In Nehemiah 4:10, it was said that the worker’s strength was failing. That word, “failing,” meant to stumble or totter. The workers were literally tottering under not only the physical work they were doing, but especially they were stumbling emotionally and spiritually under the continued threats they were facing from their enemies.
They were scared. And in verse 14, Nehemiah said that when he saw their fear he spoke to them….to the nobles, the officials, and to all the people who were so afraid. Here’s what he said:
“Do not be afraid of them! Remember the Lord Who is great and awesome, and fight…..”
This verse has been on my mind for a couple weeks now. I’ve had some fears and concerns in my life. Health issues for Aaron, for Andrea, for Gary. Aaron’s behaviors that impact him and us so much. Andrew adjusting to a difficult new job. So many other things that jump around in my brain during the dark night hours when I’m unable to sleep…..
I could name fears that I know so many of our friends are experiencing. Life has changed in a moment for some. Then there’s the continuing impact of those changes. Strokes….dementia…..upcoming surgeries…..serious infections…..the diagnosis of a child with a potentially life changing syndrome…..ongoing multiple children with special needs….exhaustion…..job uncertainties…..
Our life stresses are like the enemies of the Jews in Nehemiah. They surround us, threatening us with their potential or certain life changes. We sometimes stumble under the burden of it all. Fear is very debilitating. Our mind goes places it shouldn’t but it’s so hard to keep from doing that.
This is why Nehemiah’s words have meant so much to me lately. I need to refocus my focus. I need to choose what I allow my mind to dwell upon. The answer is simple, but difficult, because the enemy wants me to stay glued to my fears and my worries…..both the known and the unknown.
Remember the Lord!!
The Lord Who is GREAT and Who is AWESOME!!
God’s got this….all of this. Whatever the enemy is throwing at us, whatever we see around us, whatever we hear in our head in the dark of the night….is NOT what we are to remember or to dwell upon.
Our God is great and He is awesome. The battle is His, not mine!
And so I fight, but I’m not the one fighting. I am allowing God to fight for me as I pray and give Him my battles and my fear and my worries. When I feel that familiar fear being thrown at me from the enemy outside the walls of trust, I remember and I remind myself that God is the One Who will fight for me.
The Lord Who is GREAT!
The Lord Who is AWESOME!
I’ll hear you and I’ll be there if you have another seizure, Aaron.
“Can you be sure?” he asked. “Yes. I’ll be sure,” I answer.
I’ll hear you and I’ll be there in your fears, God says to me.
“Can you be sure?” I ask. “Yes. I’ll be sure,” He answers.
“Our God will fight for us!” (Nehemiah 4:20)
Remember! The Lord!