Is Jesus Enough?

All I want to do is sleep till my world is normal again. I can’t sleep though, my brain is going a million miles an hour.

I’m stuck between overwhelmingly laughing at God’s grace and brokenly screaming at the depth of my depravity.

I had another hard episode today that started messing with my sight. I tell people these awkward episodes are starting to make me blind because there’s no other way to explain it. Technically, I can still see out of what limited peripheral I have. But though my eyes can see, my brain can’t process what I’m seeing, so I feel as if I’m looking at nothing. During these episodes, I rely almost entirely on memory and sounds.

It’s the worst feeling in the world to not know what you’re looking at. It’s even worse when you force yourself to keep a conversation going simply to make your brain track something, but you have no idea if what you’re saying is making sense. Whether it was all an epileptic seizure or several things erupting in one body, it lasted for over two hours.

Nausea is a good thing in the world of epilepsy. I knew I was coming out of the seizure when sipping water and rubbing my aching head wasn’t enough anymore. But I just kept chanting a motto to mysef:

You only have half a brain, you can’t have a grand maul.
You only have half a brain, you can’t have a grand maul.

When the episode ended, I quietly heard God sigh and whisper, You used to scream my name through the episodes that took away your control. ‘Jesus’ used to be the first word off your lips. What happened? Why was I merely an implied presence rather than actually called upon?

I trembled as I took Advil to end the pain. I knew God was right. I knew somehow I was more afraid of what God would take away rather than confident of how He could hold me through a storm and comfort my loved ones that had to watch me get worse.

I was more interested in threatening God with scientific “proof” than I was in reminding my heart that even blindness or death would be magnificent if it meant God’s testimony was magnified.

I was more interested in being comforted back into easiness than I was in being stretched into His likeness.

Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus used to be the name my storm screamed. Somehow, I lost that reminder temporarily. Somehow, the science became stronger than the God that created and oversees that science. Somehow scientific logic became more important than holding His hand through my unknowns and smiling because He is always known.

Jesus. The Lord of my Epilepsy, the Yahweh of my transformation and the Father of Truth. Jesus.

Unhindered Freedom

My hands have helped heal hearts; those same hands are incapable of cutting up a steak for dinner.

My eyes have conveyed kindness and relayed love in the midst of a storm. Those same eyes are often times blind to the same affection sent in my direction.

I can rely on my legs and feet to help me stand up in the midst of conflict and, by the grace of God, not move away from what I know is Truth. Those same legs and feet often times give way and crumble away to nothing when I need them most.

I often times dissolve into tears over the desire to be hindered less. Just as quickly, however, those tears turn joyful as I realize those hinderances make me need Jesus. Because of that, they are the greatest gift I own.

As I shared with someone last night one of the pettiest hinderances I live with, I fought back tears. It’s just not fair to be a 20-something and have to see myself as weak and needy over something most 8 year olds can do on their own. It’s just not right.

It didn’t matter that my need didn’t inconvenience the man I was leaning on. It inconvenienced my self-perceived strength. That hurt more than a scalpel pulling at damaged skin. I don’t want to be weak. Dang it.

As laughter refilled the conversation, I shook off my frustration and acted as if nothing was wrong. But my smile became real when I heard God chuckle and remind me:

Its an oxymoron to call a Christian with a disability “hindered.” Those hinderances waltz me into the arms of my Maker– if I let them.

Perspective Shift

Someone once said that the most disabled and unfortunate disabled person is a person who isn’t stubborn. I giggled at that because I’ve never lived a day where my rebellious, stubborn, don’t-ever-tell-me-I-can’t attitude comes out.

Stubbornness is a blessing brought in from being given limitations I don’t want to accept. There are things I’ve resigned myself to accepting I can’t do- but that’s not until I’ve fought tooth and nail to prove that I really can’t. Even then, I’ll let myself daydream about the ability to climb, swim or ride a bike. Cuz someday… even if I’m 85, I will.

That’s stubbornness. It’s a blessing from God because, most likely, that’s the only characteristic that got me through the worst spiritually, emotionally and physically.

It is not, however, independence. Somehow, I forgot that fact.

I’ve learned to be really flippant about my limitations. All of them, whether epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy or Tzeitze Syndrome, are met with a sardonic laugh, an eye roll mixed in with a little fearful prayer. But all most of the world sees is my flippancy. All they hear are my jokes.

Few understand that I hide in my flippant laughter about terrifying instances because I sincerely don’t want to lean on my loved ones when my heart is breaking from fear and my body is temporarily throwing in the towel.

I call it stubbornness to get a chuckle out of my frustrated loved ones. I don’t think that’s what God calls it. Is it possible my “to-heck-with-it-all” independence is seen as sin?

When all else fades, I had to learn this week that my flippant, one-line answers and pathetic jokes were simply an attempt to make sure I didn’t have to depend on anyone who says they love me. Oh the arrogance. Oh… the fear. Gosh darn it, oh the audacity to think I am the only one that doesn’t get to experience Godly community.

Stubbornness got me this far. Independence may kill me. Trying to rip independence from a person with noticeable limitations is hard. But as I pondered that fact, I heard God chuckle:

Since when was independence Biblical? Since when did your limitations make idolizing your pride okay? Why do you keep thinking I put you in relationship to break you? Could you even dare to believe I’m teaching you to lean on others to teach you about Myself?