You know I think a lot of people live with fear. Fear of spiders, of snakes (which is a completely rational fear), fear of burglars, etc. But there is another kind of fear that I never knew about until this year and it resides deep inside a person.
When I had my first seizures on that day in April, I told the doctor that right before they happened my body had a sense of fear. And I couldn’t explain it. It is like my body knew what was about to come and was already afraid, although my mind was clueless as to what was going on. There was this sense of fear and impending doom right before the actual seizure came and my body tensed up.
As the summer progressed, the fear got worse. I learned different things that triggered my seizures and for me, those things were sounds and vibrations. I think it would be a little easier if they were triggered by flashing lights or something like that but it is really hard to control was you hear. For instance, during the summer, some friends and I went to see Finding Dory when it came out. There was a certain part of that movie that had a sound in it and that was the first time that I found something that actually brought on a seizure. I had never been so sure of anything before- but I knew that sound had caused that seizure. And I still haven’t re-watched that movie- because I’m afraid to. Here’s another example. I do a lot of laminating in the office during the summer and I actually like to laminate. One of my favorite things to do is wait for the laminator to heat up and then lay my arms and head down on it because it’s really warm and cozy. Did you know laminators also make a buzzing noise and they vibrate? It wasn’t a good combination and instantly I had a seizure.
It was terrible to suddenly have all these everyday things becoming things to be afraid of. Things like hearing motorcycles, watching firecrackers, or having someone bounce their leg on the same bench as me. One day, I got online to read about things that could cause seizures and just reading about them triggered one in me. Even writing this post I have had to stop several times. Slowly I slipped into living in fear. Fear of all the things that were causing me or could cause me to have seizures.
If you have never had a seizure, you can’t imagine what they feel like. And mine are very mild. I could have one while talking in a group and probably no one would notice. The build up to them is terrible. It feels like you have a knife hanging over your head. A feeling of dread and impending doom. That feeling might last an hour and the seizure may never even come or it might just be a few minutes. And then the seizure itself comes and all my muscles tense up as tight as they can for a moment or two and then relax. It almost hurts. It hurts my head. Usually I am so tired afterwards that I just want to sleep forever. At one point in time, I was having 10-15 of these a day.
Can you imagine that fear? During that time (I was able to read more again), the Psalms came alive to me in a way they never have before. David was afraid a lot. And I mean a lot. And he wasn’t ashamed of it; he recorded it at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He knew where to turn to when he felt fear and he encourages us to do the same.
I’m not going to copy all of Psalm 55 here (I do encourage you to read the whole thing!) but let me pull out parts of verses for you:
“Give ear to my prayer, oh God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy…I am restless…My heart is in anguish within me…Fear and trembling come upon me…”
These verses explain how David was feeling at this point in his life and they perfectly describe how I felt also. Then you get to David’s solution:
“But I call to God, and the Lord will save me…he hears my voice…He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage…Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you…”
This Psalm was such a comfort to me! To realize that even David felt anguish and fear but he knew where to fly for comfort. He knew that his comfort came from the assurance that God held his soul in his hand and I came to know that as well.
That in the end, no matter what happens to my body, my soul is safe.
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