6 Ladies En Route To Amsterdam: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Early Friday afternoon and we are maybe 3.5 hours in on our 5+ hour drive to Amsterdam.
The unfortunate thing is, as I was hammering down the Autobahn at maybe 143kms per hour, I said something really stupid.
I mean, I was the one driving, right? And the last thing you want to do is make the passengers feel uncomfortable by telling them what I had just said.
I’ll admit. My only regret is not being availed the luxury of seeing their faces as the truth sunk in… and they realised that they’ve put themselves in to my care :).
I can’t actually recall WHICH story I was telling. Was it about being airlifted by helicopter out of France? Or was it about the fact that I shouldn’t have had any children, medically speaking?
It doesn’t matter, I suppose.
I told them that I have epilepsy.
And I understand the gasp that almost caused a vacuum to build as the air was sucked in.
I said: I realise this may not be great timing!
And I thought we should change the topic… maybe divert conversation to someone else riding with?
It was actually on a different road trip almost 24 years ago where I discovered that I have epilepsy, actually.
We were on the way to our wee cottage on a fjord up from Bergen, Norway. And no, I was thankfully not driving at the time.
I was sitting in the back of the car, my sister next to me and boy, did I feel weird.
I was having some very strange convulsions that seemed to be focal to my left upper body and my eyes had rolled back and were flickering. I couldn’t see.
That turned out to be a rather typical seizure for me: left upper body going bananas and „blindness“ for lack of control over my eyes. I also had a twitching face often, curling my lips up.
I could hear everything, though. And I could speak. I didn’t like to speak. Probably because I was worried about my lack of facial/head control and fear I’d bit me tongue. So I usually did not talk while in seizure mode.
Anyway, that road trip brought on epilepsy and a lot of restriction in the next decade and a half. I was almost 24 at the time.
Over the years, and especially looking back now, I see providence written over many of the situations I would earlier have classified as set backs or plain old bad luck.
Epilepsy kept me from flying home that first winter with my husband to celebrate Christmas with my family.
Epilepsy kept me from driving a car for about 10 years.
Epilepsy kept me from pursuing a lot of neat things for fear of a seizure coming and ruining my life. Or the life of someone else.
It had the power to crush me and keep my life small and miserable.
Thing is, though, I had already determined at the age of 13 that I am an amazing person. And that I live life to the fullest.
At 13 I had become curious to know more about who I am, where I come from. You see, I was adopted at a very early age, so early that I don’t remember even being told that I was the adopted one. It was simply always a known fact.
And at 13 I wanted to know who was my birth mother? How old was she when she conceived me? How have the last 13 years been treating her since we departed ways?
And there weren’t many answers coming.
I learned that she was 15 when she fell pregnant, 16 when I was born. And I learned some minor details about her family’s health (my maternal grandmother had passed from cancer).
But that’s about it.
And I determined not to get hooked on the lack of information.
Instead I flipped that to meet my own needs.
My birth mother became my hero. She knew in her own strength and wisdom that she could not provide for me, so she did me the greatest service ever. She placed me into the system in complete trust that I would be given the chance of a lifetime.
That’s when I realised that I come from amazing stock.
And that means I, too, am amazing.
I firmly believe this. :)
Aside: I also firmly believe this for you, and you’ve not even got to be adopted or have epilepsy to join me in believing in your amazingness. Yes. That is a word.
So, back to epilepsy:
The diagnosis took me a good while to fully grasp. After a boatload of tests and continued seizures, I started the drugs in attempts to live seizure-free.
Allergies are fun and so are the reactions to medications.
But eventually we had everything relatively under control.
And I began to explore safe ways to live an amazing life which included week long hiking in the woods, travel through Europe and even giving birth to six kids (which my neurologist strongly advised against and which put each pregnancy on „high risk“).
I’ll go on the record to say that epilepsy has driven home the fact that we have an immeasurably powerful God and he rejoices in our acts of obedience.
How can someone as AMAZING as me even entertain something as archaic as „obedience to God“?
I’m not sure I can explain HOW.
But I am here to let you know, there’s nothing sweeter than leaving your own life to follow Christ.
And there is nothing more difficult and EASY than to trust the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.
In proverbs we read:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
So the real deal comes when you lean into Trust.
It baffles me how hard some people have with this thing called trust.
I mean, in all honesty, you know how far you will come with your own trust. Trust your logic, your gut, your knowledge and wisdom… and well, how’t that working out for you?
Let me cut you some slack, ok?
My own trust issues were so blooming huge that God literally had to stop me with seizures to get my attention and teach me how to trust.
Maybe you have your own form of „epilepsy“ or circumstance which is destined to be the factor that drives you close to God and has the potential to teach you how to trust?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
Get intimate with his word. Unlock the secrets plainly available in scripture and behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us! That WE (you and me) should be called the sons of God!
Lean on this God!
Abandon your own understanding – or at least bring your own understanding into alignment with scripture.
Surrender all to him. By doing so, you pick up your noble gowns and step into your own amazing life. For God’s sake. And for yours. And, dear reader, for the sake of all those who come across your path.
All I can say is thank God I leaned on him. The journey has been full so far and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Speaking about trust.
And 143 kms/hr on the Autobahn.
I had an incredible weekend in Amsterdam and had the privilege to share the journey with some of the most amazing ladies who happened to be sitting in my car.
And I’m thankful for the trust they brought me.
And I’m sorry for dropping the epilepsy bomb on your on our way up… :)
Will you forgive me?