Although the following article was written originally for someone else’s benefit- it resonates deeply with how I view this holiday in particular. Yes, I’m ecstatic about the family I love and how God has blessed me in different ways.. But Christmas is a challenge for me. In Christianity, we celebrate the Christ’s arrival during Christmas. Though I joyfully join in that celebration, Christmas reminds me of what it was like to actually behold my Savior when I was an epileptic.
Once upon a time, I was convinced my epilepsy would take me Home to my Savior. The few times I can remember touching Christ’s face during a seizure, hearing Him sing, or feeling Him rock me to sleep made Christmas mean something different. Those memories will always feel like they were just yesterday, but I long for the day where literally hearing Him sing over me is a reality again.
There are several different times I can think of God “holding” me. But there are a few that have never escaped the forefront of my mind. One of those times only lasted but a minute. The sensation was brought on by an epileptic outbreak and so many people believed that it wasn’t real. Regardless of whether my explanation of what I felt sounds logical, the peace I felt was not a hallucination. I was being held. I heard Him speak.
The seizure had been lasting hours. During every seizure, most epileptics are asked to state three things; their name, the date and their location. After almost two hours of kicking and screaming, I found myself in a place where I could form words- but that was it. I was cognizant enough to remember I needed to know my name- but I couldn’t.
I remember mentally “coming to” enough to realize I had somehow landed myself on all fours, hunched over my mother’s bed.
Hey! I thought You know this is a bed. What’s your name? Come on, What’s your name? Just say your name and you’ll be free. What’s… Your.. Name! The stress of the unknown threw me even deeper into the seizure. I was terrified.
Still drowning in the unknown dimension between my broken mind and reality, I screamed over and over, “Just tell me my name! Tell me my name! I need to know my name! What is my name?” My mother was a foot behind me, but couldn’t speak out of the fear that touching me would make the seizure worse. My question would go unanswered. A part of me felt as if I’d never know my name again.
The majority of epileptics I know speak of a mental “switch” of sorts where they’re just begging to get “turned off”. The pain is too great, they’re too scared, or the battle has been fought too long. Whatever the reason, they want to let go. I was at that point. Something had taken over my body, held me captive and then kept me alive to torture me. I wanted to die. I was so ready to go Home. But then.. I heard Him.
“I call you Child. You’re my Child. You don’t need a name. You’re mine. Listen to me, Beloved. You’re mine.”
Instantly, peace superseded the seizure. My body was still tense, but my breathing normalized. I felt arms around my shoulders, and I heard Him sing to me the only song I’ve ever truly understood. As I heard Him sing, I kept mumbling, “I am a Child of God. I am a Child of God. I am a child of God.”
He sang His song several times. After listening to Him sing, my memory returned just as quickly as it had left. My name? Cassie. My age? 14. But all the sudden, that didn’t seem to matter anymore. God had held me and calmed my fear before answering my question. His song still resonates in my mind:
I know your name
I know your every thought
I see each tear that falls
and I hear you when you call
Child, I hear you when you call
I don’t remember God singing to me again after that. But the reminder that my God loves me enough to hold me when no one else can is constantly being brought to mind. The truth that He knows me better than I know myself and sees me when I can’t function enough to see Him still humbles me. He knows me. He holds me. He sings to me. The Prince of Peace is mine.