©2020 Heather Cappadonia
“In these uncertain times…”
How many times have we seen that phrase in these past few weeks in print, or heard it blaring from our speakers? How many more times are we going to see and hear it? For how long?
Can I politely ask this question?
When have your times ever been certain?
When you were expanding your knowledge, your career, your stock portfolio? When you were learning your trade or serving your country? When you were building your house? Your ministry? When you were enjoying holiday get- togethers with your family? When you were taking your healthy kids to basketball and dance lessons, to parties? When you took vacations to Disney? Has any of this been an adequate foundation for your certainty? A pathway to your peace?
I hope not.
When many have been running around living their best lives, my husband, my youngest son Joshua, and I have been watching over thousands of my eldest son Nicky’s near-death experiences, in the form of intractable, brutal, seizure activity.
Thousands of them. Thousands and thousands.
If seizures were an Olympic sport, my son’s name would be Michael Phelps.
And those are only the ones that we can physically see. Many, many smaller seizures go undetected by my husband, Josh, and me, but not by Nicky. The diagnosis Nicky carries is Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and it is one of a handful of rare epileptic syndromes that are, by all definitions, relentless to the core. The most bitter part of this heartache is that Nicky was born perfectly normal, and he had acquired this as a secondary result of a viral encephalitis infection he suffered as an infant.
It’s been 12 agonizing years of uncertainty. Making sure Nicky is breathing is the first thing one of us subconsciously does when we wake up.
Lost childhood. Lost time. lost careers, lost opportunity. lost IQ points. Lost speech. Lost coordination. Lost health, lost sleep, lost wages, lost vacations, lost basketball games. Lost relationships. Lost memories.
Lots of medication, rehabilitation, hospitalization. An almost unbearable amount.
And a lot of this stuff hasn’t been working.
It’s been a long, sad, scary, confusing, and exquisitely lonely road for our family.
But this morning, as we awaken to another day of the uncertain realities of COVID-19, it is occurring to me that this seemingly “novel situation” actually feels a bit familiar. To me, at least.
It feels like… Tuesday.
Could it be that suddenly, after countless times of hearing “I can’t imagine what it’s been like for you”, that the world now understands what it has been like for our family? Could it be that the world finally “gets it?”
I do not rejoice that this world is writhing out of control with these contorted medical, political, and economic confusions. It sickens me. I cannot feel any sense of relief that humanity had been suddenly sucked down to the level of the rabbit hole where our family has resided for so long. How can I be smug about all of this suffering? In addition to the “normal” seizure activity, our family has to deal with this Corona virus crap, too!
We are all in this together, and there is something that I do rejoice in, and want to share with you, world.
Every SINGLE time Nicky’s brain and body were forced to play these contorted head-games of the enemy, he got up from it.
EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
HE GOT UP. HE GOT UP. HE GOT UP!
And we will too. world!
THIS. TOO. SHALL. PASS.
Jesus said, “in this world, we will have trouble. But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
This is the same Jesus that later went from being totally dead to being fully alive in only three days.
Sure, our mileage may vary, but so what?? DEAD to ALIVE? Isn’t that MUCH bigger and badder than seizure activity?
I has dawned to me that all this time I have been on the ground wrestling with, and an eyewitness to, an overcoming for the past 12 years. Overcomings can be slow, painful, exhausting, messy. But they do happen. They will happen. They MUST happen. Life requires this.
You must give your life-suffering to the Lord and let him retool it to be used to help produce life -saving encouragement for others. Period.
God’s Word also says that “we will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.”
What is our “testimony”?
It’s simply our story.
I just shared with you our story, at least a little bit of it. Everybody’s story is going to be a little different, but the basic underlying element to all of them is this is that “ALL things work out for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes.”
If there is anything the past 12 years has taught me, it is that God is fully involved with our crises, and is holding this world the same way we have cradled our son and held him when his eyes rolled to the back of his head, and kissed away his fear. So many thousands of times. God checks for blood, bumps and bruises. He doesn’t ignore this stuff. He will continue to watch over us and love us when we lay helpless, and motionless in our own brokenness and confusion. He loves us when we can’t do anything.
He will continue to, EVERY SINGLE. TIME.
And then God will guard us all while the tormented world sleeps off its seizure. He will smile on us again and will hold us by the hand when we get up.
TRUST ME. ONE DAY, WE DO GET UP.