Each year I remember.
Each day I recall why I so often forget.
Last month I visited Orlando – the wonderful city where the not-so-wonderful illness of encephalitis almost caused my life to end. I spoke about my time in the hospital and the long term results of that illness. I talked and remembered. I invited the audience to visit my past with me as my new journey of life-with-epilepsy started.
What did I remember? Faces. Voices. Conversations. Efforts to remember when all I could do was forget. Medications. Side-effects of medications. Resistance and reluctance. Denial and anger. MRIs. Nurses and doctors. Questions and more questions. I remember forgetting.
And I still forget.
But I remember good during the bad, love during the pain, peace during the storm, hope during the disease and disability.
How are you damaged? What pains do you deny?
Is there someone you can talk to? Are you willing to tell your story?
The therapy of confession, of journaling, of accepting ourselves, of praying, of refusing to give up can be a part of our healing process.
Let’s not miss it. Even if we miss former parts of previous lives, let’s not miss the treatments nearby.
For more of Chris Maxwell’s story about his illness, purchase the eBook version of his book Changing My Mind:
I too, have an important “milestone” date in just a few days. March 9, 2013 is the first day of my sobriety. It is hard to visit that place at time. But if I gain the right perspective when looking at the date then I overwhelmed with joy and thanks for the place in which God has rescued me from. It is importance to have “rememberence stones” placed throughout our lives.
I agree with having someone to talk to and just talking or writing about that painful memory can make you feel better and remember all the pain you went through but also remember all the good things that have happened since then and who was there for you when it all happened.
Reading this blog was very encouraging, Recently I have been experiencing the freedom and relief that comes with opening up and sharing with others about the physical limitations we have. We are all damaged in one way or the other, but one of the greatest things about believing in eternal life is not only knowing that we get an eternal party with Jesus in Heaven, but that our bodies will be fully restored, and we will be made perfect. The forgetful will remember, the anxious will be calm, the trembling will be still, the hurting will be reformed. Sometimes I have to remind myself to thank God for my pain because He will use it for an eternal purpose and one day heal me from the inside out.
I’ve learned to give thanks in my weaknesses because they always point towards the Creator. My weaknesses make me rely on Him and edify my King. If we weren’t damaged then we would never have to rely on Him. So therefore, we would never have a relationship and be able to fall in love. To be able to be a bride and let Him love us, giving us life. So i am thankful for my weaknesses because He is my strength.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick…” Proverbs 13:12. That’s where my pain lies. Unfulfilled hope has been my past. Hope, which was built on what I thought was trustworthy foundation and yet has been revealed as empty words and unfulfilled expectations. But it isn’t about myself with which the pain is from. It is for the one whom the empty words and unfulfilled promises come from. The one whose zeal leads their way but their direction is in shambles. This person runs after their desire, yet they run blind, never quite reaching their destination. As this person trips up, the rest of us, including myself, ends up tripping as well. My pain goes out to this one person. It hurts to see them fall over and over again. It really hurts.
This blog reminds me of a great song by United Pursuit Band. It’s called “Running in Circles,” and some of the lyrics are “I’m so forgetful, but you always remind me. You’re the only one who brings me peace. You’re the only one who brings me peace.” I too forget many things, especially when it comes to God’s goodness. I seem to be so quick to forget the times where his hand in my life was obvious and so quick to remember the times of struggle. Talking with close family and friends helps me remember, but most of all, talking with God and looking at a picture or token commemorating that time triggers my memory best.
This whole year for me has been a spiritual healing. After spending my whole life thinking a certain way about God and church, I was enlightened this year and my eyes were opened to what having a real relationship with Him is like. I look back at who I was in high school and realize that nothing I did really mattered because I did not consistently give God the glory.
We all have stories. And more than likely, we all have scars from those stories. Whether emotional or physical we all experience pain in this life. This semester has been a very challenging one filled with good times and bad, hurt and pain, but the most important things- victory and healing. Through this class and other important people in my life, I have been able to conquer the tough things in life. It hasn’t been easy, but getting to walk in freedom and victory is so sweet.
We all have a part in God’s story. It amazes me to hear your story and how, in some way, God allowed our paths to cross. The decisions that had to be made, the choices that determined my path, the mistakes that created my future, all lead me to where I am. What’s so incredible about that? The fact that one decision, choice, mistake, could have led me somewhere else. I’m so thankful that the speed bumps and detours in my life brought me to my current “street.” I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Great reminder and post Pastor Chris.
I have also experienced pain as we all have in different ways. Even it’s been along time there are still bruises on my brain from what took place. Sometimes events occur and a bruise gets pushed on in which the pain comes back. I don’t know if the bruises will every go away but even if they do the hurt will still be there.
I am blessed to say I have numerous people to talk to in the case that I needed someone by my side. I am also fortunate enough to say that nothing too drastic has happened in my life that I need remembering of or that I need to be joyful of that it is over but I do have multiple dates that bring back great memories that I can cherish and remember them like they were yesterday.
I also forget. Forgetting how blessed I am, forgetting how much God has pulled me through, forgetting to thank those who have been so instrumental in making me the person I have become. Unlike the mental illness that makes you unable to remember, I have the ability to choose daily to REMEMBER. It is a challenge to be picked up everyday and I am glad that in recognizing these things, I can become a better person for it.
It’s hard to accept the brokenness in life. No one wants to be broken. No one wants to know that they’re less than “perfect.” I know I don’t. However, I’ve learned that when I embrace my brokenness, I found God in a way that I didn’t know before. God is strong in my weakness.
There are places where I am damaged. They are places that I wish that I could forget about forever. However, if I was to forget about them forever, I would never be able to remember how it felt when The Lord stepped in and rescued me from those low places.
I am thankful for the Spiritual Leaders in my life who I can lean upon and trust when I feel damaged or broken. I have come a long way since my junior year in high school, and some days are harder than others, but God constantly reminds me through his word and people that I am a conqueror through Christ and will stand victorious in all that I do.
This blog really spoke to me because in a lot of ways i just picture i am a damaged piece of art. The art is still beautiful and is crafted by an amazing artist which is unique, unlike any other, but is still has some rough outer edges that can be fixed. The true beauty of this piece is still there but needs some fixing…
As i step into the next journey in life, i must be able to confess. In order to do that, i must first found accountability partners and people that i can entrust my life with. If i can do that, than i can draw closer to a perfect Creator.