I’ve read Aaron Armstrong’s blog, Blogging Theologically, for some time. Yesterday was the first time I could remember his wife, Emily, blogging.
Her first sentence was powerful and immediately drew me in:
I was diagnosed with epilepsy on Friday.
Her post is a picture of a person receiving the new diagnosis that she will carry the rest of her life. Obviously there was something wrong or she wouldn’t have been meeting with doctors. But the day the diagnosis comes is different than other days.
And unlike my own experience with my son, she received the blow by clinging to truth. After quoting from a section of the Bible that is very precious to me, Psalm 139:15-16, she wrote this:
I was intricately woven. All the days of my life have been planned. Every moment.
While this brings comfort, it also hurts. It is a strange mix of pain and awe to know that an infinitely wise God has crafted my brain just so.
Since my son also deals with seizures (none since early summer; praise God for medicine and prayer!), I’ve learned things like: 200,000 people will be diagnosed each year, and over a lifetime nearly 10% of Americans will experience a seizure. These very large numbers can overwhelm us – what can we do?
Emily Armstrong demonstrated one thing we can do – we can prepare ourselves and our families for what God has for us, no matter what it is. She didn’t cling to Psalm 139 in those moments after diagnosis because she accidentally opened her Bible and found it. It was already a precious and well-known truth.
And we also don’t need to put on a false front. It really hurts, and God is good. Let’s be ready by lingering in God’s word, both to receive the blow and to walk, with tears of grief as well as confidence in God, with those who have received such news.