One thing that transpired during my hiatus from this blog, was a rare opportunity to publicly share my summary of this whole ‘concussion adventure’ with my church family. It was a relief to be able to explain myself to those who have watched me go through this… yet maybe not really understand what was happening as I slowly drifted away from church services, Bible classes, social gatherings, volunteering opportunities, etc. Hey! I didn’t really know what was happening either… so how could they know?!
In addition, it was a privilege to be able to share God’s goodness in the midst of one of life’s trials. Below, you can read the testimony I gave or watch it read on YouTube….
6 ½ years ago, pretty much everything about my core being changed, except my Salvation in Christ.
On our tiny, local, ski hill …one wrong turn, no helmet, and my own lack of good vision – found me in the ER with a subdural hematoma, otherwise known as concussion or TBI or traumatic brain injury. If it weren’t for that gift of salvation being the rock in which I stand on and the fortress which shelters me from the storm… this story may have been very faith-less and much shorter. But I stand before the Lord today and proclaim this journey, as a continuous walk of faith…
Many of you knew me before I survived this concussion. Many of you knew me as a very different person pre-February 2011… I did too. This injury has taken me on a 180 degree turn in my life as I knew it for 44 years prior. At first, and often still, I don’t really know how to act as the ‘new-me.’ In fact, I am constantly reverting to the person I was before… but God has had other plans. The most prevalent thread I have noticed along this journey… is His call to “be still and know that HE is GOD.”
Psalm 46:10 arrived in my life shortly after the accident …since then it has been proving to me over and over again, just how faithful God is. This stillness stared me in the face as I walked into this injury a very typical woman of our era…
The old-me wanted to excel at my career and possibly invent the next, best reading intervention to save kids from illiteracy. As deacon-at-large, I wanted to help our church be the best in any area I was called to. I wanted to be a mom that didn’t have to go through the terrible twos or the terror of the teen years… because she had it all prayed thru and all figured out. I wanted to be the wife who didn’t grow old, or weathered with injuries or broken down with sadness. I wanted to be the adult daughter who never needed her parents… but they instead would need me.
The new-me… hasn’t invented anything; has served our church just like anyone else; has been a mom who already has scars from both the twos and the teen years and we are only at ages 19 and 15. The new me has been the wife who NEEDS her husband more than He needs her- has more often lost her beauty and has aged twice as fast as normal (a typical TBI symptom); and … I have been the adult daughter who has needed her parents more than ever before.
As caring friends and family have watched this enormous transition in my life… they will kindly say to me:
~I am praying for your healing.
~We trust in the Lord’s healing for you.
~I still believe that you can be healed from this crazy concussion.
Since about year two into this injury… I began to think…
…what if I am healed… but I just don’t recognize it?
…what if His answer …to what healing looks like ….is very different than mine?
…what if I am healed & instead of waiting for the blessing… I am missing it?
Now, please know that I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior, my Redeemer and my Healer. He CAN DO the impossible… …but what if… just what if… my current condition is a healing from my old condition… the regular old-me??
What if the Lord could see all…? 🙂 and know all…? 🙂 and He could see that my way of life as an injured, concussed-brain person; disabled employee; a more sedentary wife; a calmer mom; a quieter daughter; a backseat volunteer… were all a better option for HIS GLORY than the old, un-injured me?
What if one day… when I’m in Heaven… He sits me down and says: “Lisa, Your traumatic brain injury was a gift. I tried to help you see the blessings that could surround it… yet you spent so much time trying to get rid of it… that you missed my blessings within it.”
“THIS IS the DAY that the LORD has made… let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Doesn’t Psalm 118 say that HE MADE TODAY….??? NO MATTER what it looks like… HE MADE it! He even made it with ME in mind …and content in it!! So before the sun rose, on this very day … He knew about this injury and all the struggles that have come with it… And… me, as a sinner in this world who is saved ….by GRACE ALONE…. He knew that If I were to keep my eyes on HIM & lean not on my own understanding… He would make my paths straight… and then this day… today… 6 years post-concussion today… would get the ‘okay’ stamp of approval from HIM … for ME ….for today!
WOW! So if I wallow in my condition & suffer all its losses… I just might miss His gift for me today.
1 Corinthians 7:17 is constantly reminding me… “only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.”
What if… just what if… He has called the new-me, brain injury to boot… to no longer do the things that for 44 years before the injury… were me?
- What if He doesn’t want me to be ambitious about teaching kids & their teachers how to grow in literacy skills?
- What if He doesn’t want me to attend my daughter’s volleyball games….? Maybe He is opening up a door for my husband to be the primary attendee?
- What if He prefers our family’s lifestyle working around my husband’s career rather than mine… and that’s why the doctors forced me to quit my job?
- What if He wants me to need my aging parents … rather than them needing me, as I would prefer?
- What if He wants me to have time to invest in friendships that had been going un-nourished due to being too busy with my career?
- What if He wants me to be home and be present for my family rather than working 50+ hours a week; or giving and volunteering elsewhere?
Now… as I list this out… you… just like me.. might be thinking… but those all seem like fairly positive things. In fact, all those ways are ways I want to be and I worked hard to be and I felt blessed to be….
Maybe this new-me…. is a new season in life and the time for that old-me is not what is needed right now? It doesn’t mean that those things were horrible or that they were strictly self-gratifying. Many of the old-me ways did glorify Him.
But what if… the Lord saw… planned… created a NEW way for me to live? Hey… mid-40’s… most people go thru some sort of mid-life crisis and for sure a career change. So maybe this is the Lord’s plan for my next ‘career’… being a ‘new-me’… trying to live life 180 degrees in the opposite direction from the old-me?!?!?
Now… just because I have GREAT hope in how the Lord is healing me… doesn’t mean that tomorrow won’t find me in bed… with nausea, sadness & the walls spinning. By no means have I escaped an injury that prevents me from being overwhelmed by echoing noises, multiple conversations, bright lights or repetitive motions…. hiding behind sunglasses, a hat and ear plugs… or just plain avoidance therapy by staying home!?!? Neither does this HOPE in healing mean that my life is my own and that I can joyfully attend a work gathering or a wedding by my husband’s side. Nor does it mean that I will like it when my daughter comes home upset – needing to talk & I am doing everything I can to compassionately listen to her all the while my brain is in “ping-pong” mode. Nor does it mean I will be able to be there for a friend or my parents as they attend a funeral of a lost loved one.
And this HOPE in HIS answer to my healing… doesn’t even mean I will be grateful for it all the time!
However, I do have FAITH that God knows the plans he has for me – “plans for welfare and not for evil, to give me a future and a hope.” I have FAITH that He has created me… and allowed me to be ‘in this Traumatic Brain Injury condition’ in hopes of glorifying Him.
One of my favorite verses comes from Philippians 4… Paul reminds us “do not be anxious about today… rather with prayer and supplication and ….with THANKSGIVING let Him know my requests.” I firmly believe this verse is reminding ME to pour out my heart to HIM… not wondering IF HE will heal my brain injury… rather praying in FAITH … in fact with so much FAITH …that I can already start giving THANKS to Him for HEALING my brain injury… before I can even comprehend HIS ANSWER!
So, I move forward in FAITH that God will bless me, my family, and others BECAUSE of this injury/healing. And I THANK HIM for all He has done and will do with this injury to glorify Him.
I move forward in FAITH that I am healed just the way HE wants me to be healed for now… because He says: “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made PERFECT in weakness.”
If all of my words were a blur… please just listen to this song… Be Still. Take in its words and enjoy my journey of faith… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWN9xIogFPI