The struggle continues. My soul is still in need of healing. Most importantly, my soul is in need of hope.
Thinking back to the days of Katie’s brain surgeries, I can remember her struggling. There were good days and bad days. Her first surgery by far was the worst. The surgeon had inserted 9 pipecleaner-like sticks into each section of her brain for testing. The epilepsy team needed to do something like an internal EEG to see what was going on in her brain. When they surgically placed the sticks in, they wrapped her head in cloth so she wouldn’t accidentally touch them. Katie complained of her jaw hurting, her head aching, and pain in her ears. We knew the testing could take up to 3 weeks for the doctors to collect all the data, but the team was hopeful it would only be a week because they suspected her seizures were happening all the time.
Each day was increasingly difficult. Some nights we had to keep her up all night, to incite the seizures to come. Pete would play cards and games with Katie to keep her up. It was the longest stay in the hospital that we have experienced to date.
What got us through it?
Hope that Katie would be healed from her seizures that had wreaked havoc on her body for 13 years. Hope that Katie would be able to use her brain to its fullest potential. Hope that we could possibly eliminate seizure medications that had done little to help her seizures and so much to cause her learning disabilities.
I see this hope in my struggles today. The fear of the unknown has wreaked havoc on my daily life, just like seizures wreaked havoc on Katie’s brain. I feel this loss of control that is debilitating at times. I feel this great sorrow that this world is changing into something I don’t want to belong to. I feel like I take two steps backward every single day.
Through all this, there is still hope. Hope that I will see the beauty in the struggle. Hope that I will find peace in prayer. Hope that I will grow and become stronger because of what I have experienced. Hope is how I see the blessing in this struggle.
I witnessed the beauty of hope with Katie. After her last surgery in November, her reading level has increased by 2 grade levels. She has made remarkable progress academically. We haven’t seen a seizure since January of this year. It just took time. Two long years of surgeries and 14 years of seizures. Yet, each and every day throughout the healing progress, the hope began to shine through more and more vividly.
I chose to see the hope, and not the despair of the situation. That was a blessing. That’s the thing with struggles; we can see hope or we can choose despair. It is a personal choice. Finding God in the valley of life can be hard, but He is always there, offering us a ladder of hope.
I truly believe, hope is beginning to shine through this struggle too. It will take time. It may hurt a little. It certainly will make us all uncomfortable. I guarantee though, hope is there. Just like the sun rising on a new day; hope is shining through more and more. Hope is molding each and every one of us into a better Christian. Hope is preparing us for what is to come.