That’s right, today Light’s Scribe is hosting a celebration, complete with prizes! Comment on today’s post by February 28, and you could win…
Well, you’ll have to read to find out.
But, why are we celebrating? Why is February 21 a date more important to me than my own birthday?
Because, four years ago on this date, God saved my life.
This is a day for celebrating the present and a future I almost didn’t have, not for complaining about the past. Still, in order to fully appreciate the miracle of the blessing, you’d have to understand what that blessing rescued me from.
Here’s a little background. I was born with a condition called septa-optic dysplasia, a fairly rare group of symptoms which includes underdeveloped optic nerves and a missing membrane in the middle of the brain. Among other things, the big three symptoms it left me were impaired vision, depleted stamina, and an absence of the sense of smell. No fun, right?
Reactions to my 20/400 visual acuity and label of legal blindness have ranged from exaggerated admiration over what I’ve accomplished to a stark belief that I wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything at all. The truth is somewhere in the middle. While dealing with all the aspects of impaired vision is certainly a challenge, compared with what came next, that was the easy part.
Imagine a water balloon. It is filled and filled. The rubber skin stretches so tight and so thin one touch is sure to pop it. But, it doesn’t burst. More water just keeps pouring in.
Now, imagine that water balloon is inside your skull, filling it, every crease and cranny. The pressure and pain build until your eyes feel three times the size they should be, your neck muscles scream at you and nearly go limp from trying to support your head’s weight. The tiny ticking of your watch, which you’ve buried in a bottom drawer to dull the sound, is like a hammer blow against the inside of your skull. The rattling of a plastic grocery bag is worse than nails on a chalkboard and feels like shattering glass in your head. And, we won’t even talk about light.
When you do have the strength to stand, you are often dizzy, or you misjudge distances and perhaps bump into the door facing. All that pressure over time begins to clog your short-term memory. And, if it’s unchecked, it could damage your vision or your brain. In the worst cases (usually in other causes of hydrocephalus, the pressure of too much cerebrospinal fluid around the brain) it could even kill you.
That’s pseudo-tumor cerebri.
Now, imagine tiny lightning bolts going off all over your head. These streaks of pain shoot through so fast your blood vessels swell and harden in their wake, and sometimes you can feel them jump with the pain. If these sharp pains lasted longer than a second, their severity would surely render you unconscious.
That’s neuralgia, but an odd form. It normally affects only one side of the head.
Mix these two together and hang onto them for anywhere from a few hours to eighteen months. And, no, you don’t get a break during sleep. Throw in harsh medication trials, weird side-effects, painful tests and procedures, and a few spinal taps. Add that to a body already low in energy, as I mentioned earlier, and you’ve got a recipe for one doozy of a life-altering curse.
I can’t say I lived with it all my life, but almost. It first struck when I was two, and again when I was eight. Just before my sixteenth birthday, it set up camp and decided to stay. After that, the longest respite I had between episodes lasted three-and-a-half months.
With God’s help, I graduated, finished college, obtained a master’s degree, and started teaching. Then, the curse moved in for eighteen months and ruined everything. No more strength, no more job, no more house of my own. No more quality of life.
I’ll sum all this up by saying, over the next eleven years, this thing tried three times to kill me, three times I’m certain of. I suspect I had more close calls and didn’t know it. Whether it was medication trying to do me in, or simply profound weakness of body after 21 consistent years of life-draining, chronic pain…
God had other ideas.
On February 21, 2008, after listening to a guest minister in a church service I hadn’t felt up to attending, I finally understood what I needed to do to receive the cure. I asked God to remake part of my body. The parts that were causing all this pain.
I was specific in my request. I described what doctors had explained about the structures of my brain which hadn’t formed correctly — how that caused spinal fluid to build up and nerve endings to fire too often.
I asked the Creator of the universe, the Creator of my body, to use the same power He’d wielded in making everything around us. I asked Him to remake those parts of me the way He originally intended them to function.
And, He did.
I was born on February 12 with a body primed for pain. On February 21, Jesus reversed the curse!
Sound like an easy fix? It was the result of a long, tumultuous journey. Check back tomorrow for the full story of how the miracle came about. Let’s keep the celebration going!
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