There are times God answers prayers so quickly that we are left standing in awe. Then other times we beg for answers and feel like we are met with empty silence. One night recently I woke up unable to move my left arm. Figuring I slept on it wrong and there was just a lack of circulation I continued to try to move it with no success. I woke up my husband and informed him I couldn’t move it. He started moving it for me and massaging it trying to help get the circulation going again. After a few minutes, I was able to start moving it, however, it was very spastic and it took a ton of concentration. I had this weird sensation I just couldn’t shake so I decided to get up and walk around. I went to stand up only to realize I couldn’t move my left leg at all. Panic set in. Stroke was the first thing that went through my mind. Daniel is usually not the calm one in situations like this but thank God this time he was calm, cool, and collected. He knelt beside our bed and began to pray. “God, we’re scared and don’t know what to do or what’s happening. Please give us wisdom and comfort us. Bring Hope peace.” As he said, “amen”, peace engulfed me like a warm blanket on a cold night. It was comfort that broke the bonds of fear that had so completely gripped me only a few minutes earlier.
Long story a little shorter, he took me to the ER where they concluded that it was probably some form of a stroke and that I needed to be admitted for further testing. After MRI’s, blood work, and evaluations from multiple doctors, nurses, and specialists, I was released 36 hours later with a tentative diagnosis of TIA (mini-stroke). Before my follow-up with the neurologist, I had two more episodes, not nearly as bad as the first one but still disconcerting. When I met with the doctor, he stated that based on re-occurring events, and the fact that all my blood work looked amazing, he didn’t believe these were TIA’s but hemiplegic migraines. For those of you who aren’t neurologists, this type of migraine mimics stroke-type symptoms. It comes with other symptoms but to keep this from turning into a medical regurgitation of migraines r us, I’ll just state my experiences. Each one comes with some left side weakness. Sometimes it’s my arm, my leg, and sometimes my face likes to take a turn or any combination of these. Almost always there is an aura (visual disturbance, flashing lights, colored spots…), fatigue, brain fog, inability to concentrate, find words, and focus, which are all becoming frequent visitors. I’ve been started on two different meds to try to help evict these unwelcome guests. Unfortunately, it can take anywhere from weeks to months for the eviction process to be completed. This last week I had three hemiplegic migraines. How quickly I’ve gone from standing in awe of the peace that God sent me, to kneeling in the empty silence.
I heard a song this morning from Danny Gokey called “Stay Strong”. I highly recommend listening to it. In part of it, he says, “I know You’ll work it all for good but how long will it take? I’ve been asking for healing and I’m not gonna lie I’m ready for the miracle, God, let it be this time. But if I never see the promise on this side of the grave my hope might be shaken but my faith will not break.” As I stare at the empty darkness in front of me full of uncertainty, doubts, and fears. I call to my Savior and silence encompasses me. My hope is shaken.
When Mary went to Jesus’s tomb, she found it dark, empty, and silent. I can only imagine the confusion, the fear, and the doubts that must have gripped her at that moment. The tears fell and the loneliness settled in. All she wanted was to find His body so she could lay Him to rest. All the while Jesus was standing behind her. Patiently waiting for her to turn around and to see His plan. To stop looking at what was, to stop focusing on the loss, the uncertainty of the future. Suddenly the tomb was filled with the light of the angles, and she continued to weep unable to comprehend His plan. Hearing a voice behind her she turns but was so distraught that she didn’t recognize Him. Not until He called her name did she recognize Him. She began to realize that His plan was so much better than anything she could have hoped for.
As I kneel in the empty silence, I’m reminded that God is working. Not in my timing or according to my plans, but according to His perfect timing and plan. The tomb is empty because He has conquered death. He brought light and life to the tomb, He spoke into the darkness and it fled. He’s waiting for me and calling my name. He will take these questions and struggles and perform His plan for my life. So even “if I don’t see the promise on this side of the grave my hope might be shaken but my faith will not break because I know the day is coming when You’ll right all the wrongs, so I’ll praise You in the waiting and my faith will stay strong. Cause You bring beauty from my pain, it’s never wasted.” ~ Danny Gokey
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