A New Path
Today our family begins a new chapter in our story. It’s an unexpected chapter, one we never saw in the Table of Contents, one we didn’t choose or wish for.
Today, Sophia, our middle child, was diagnosed with epilepsy. She had a seizure on Monday morning, three months to the day since her first and up to now only episode. It has been a long week, but now we have some answers. And yet, at the same time we have even more questions. I’d like to say that this post has some great point, but frankly at this point I am just processing.
Epilepsy? Really? Isn’t that when you have convulsions frequently? My mind is running with stories of people I know with epilepsy. Interestingly, Christina told me that she learned from the doctor that Epilepsy is kind of an automatic diagnosis when there is no other known cause of seizures. Epilepsy is not a one-faceted disease. It is varied and encompasses numerous and diverse symptoms and reactions.
So, we’ve begun a medical regimen that will last at least two years. Two years! That’s half of the life she has lived so far! Hard to fathom.
But I’m glad we have an idea of what’s going on. I’m thankful for all the love and support our family has received just the past few days. The texts, the calls, the visits, the offers of help. They mean a lot. Frankly, we’re tired. Christina and I are at just drained. Trying to understand this as best we can, while raising three kids and all while in the midst of the busiest week of the year for me (Holy Week). It’s an adventure that I don’t recall having signed up for.
But that’s the way it goes. Life is a continual unfolding of God’s story for us. He’s not freaked out by this. He knew what He was doing when He formed Sophia. He knew this would happen before time began, and somehow He will be glorified in all of this.
Sophia obviously doesn’t have a grasp of what is going on. But she’s brave. So many kids her age are scared of doctors and hospitals. But not Sophie. Oh, she’s not the biggest fan of them, but she has been a real trooper this week.
By the way, I’m not going to call Sophia an epileptic. She will not be defined by this. This doesn’t change who she is, it just affects her. She is defined by God’s love for her. She’s defined by her piercing blue eyes, her love of animals, her love of families, and her love of all things purple.
It’s only fitting that the color of Epilepsy Awareness is Purple… It’s her favorite.
Each of my kids have taught me so much. May Sophia teach me to be brave. And to trust God more each and every day.
This past Sunday at Mount Hermon Church we finished the series “Twisted” where we looked at the most some of the most commonly misunderstood Bible passages.
You can listen to Sunday’s message here: Twisted: Root of All Evil.
One of the key thoughts I shared was this: When we think “What I really need is more money,” we’re deceived. Money is not the answer to our deepest needs. JESUS IS! We don’t need more money, we need more Jesus.
So as you go through the week, and maybe think, “I need more money. More money would make my life easier right now.” Remember, Jesus is the answer to your greatest needs. Money isn’t bad. But loving it is more dangerous than you can imagine.
So let’s pursue Jesus instead of money. He’s the real answer to our problems, the real source of our joy, the genuine provider of security and forgiveness.
Hey, are you a pastor, church leader, or Bible study facilitator? You need to check out Open.Church! They are a group of several churches who give away everything they do for free! From sermon outlines, to teaching videos, to church graphics, to original worship music. Open.Church has saved me countless hours of detail work. For this series, Twisted, I was able to use graphics and other media to give the message some extra oomph. I was able to take the outline for this series, and customize it to make it my own. Again, you need to check them out.
So what do we do? Here’s 5 STEPS to deal with lies and the lying liars who lie.
1. Recognize This Isn’t Personal, But Spiritual.
2. If There is a Specific Accusation or Attack, Refute It Once And Move On.
3. If You Have a Personal Relationship with Them, Reach Out.
4. Keep Going.
5. Bless Them.
I used to write a lot in my “younger” days. Mostly sappy stuff to impress girls with how sensitive I was. Yeah, I burned most of that stuff.
But writing is often how I process things. I’m a visual guy, so while I may be a speaker by profession, I often manuscript out my talks, speeches, and thoughts before hand.
But I’m learning that writing may also be one of those ways that I draw closer to Christ. Today as I was cleaning up around the house, in the peaceful quiet of a fall afternoon, some thoughts just came to me:
Jesus is so much! He’s my King. He’s my Redeemer or forgiver. And He’s also one who cares. He’s my Master, Savior, and Friend.
Proverbs 18:24 (ESV) says, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Emphasis mine) Jesus is that friend. And for some reason lately, that particular attribute of Christ has meant so much more to me than it has for a long time.
So to took out a word doc and typed what just came to mind and then edited it for clarity’s sake. Maybe this blesses you. Maybe it inspires you. Or maybe it does nothing for you. Either way, here ya go:
There’s a name that I call
When I’m just about to fall
There’s king who left heaven for me
There is One who won’t delay
He’ll guide each step of the way
He’s my master, my savior, my friend
So I cry Jesus, lead me
Jesus, forgive me
Jesus, come lead me home
I will love you
I will obey you
I will always draw from you.
You’re my master, my Savior, my friend
You lead me from empty cisterns
That no water can hold
You bring me to fountains with water untold
You renew, You restore
You’re the Way, You’re the Door
You’re My Master, My Savior, My Friend
There are days I am afraid
That I’ll lose my way
But You come and lead me towards home.
You bring light, You bring life
You lead us on through the night
You’re Our Master, Our Savior, Our Friend
So We cry, Jesus Lead us
Jesus forgive us
Jesus, come lead us home.
We will always love you
Help us to draw from you.
You’re Our Master, Our Savior, Our Friend.
No matter what we go through
The same old same old or brand new
You will center us in your will
So be our Master, lead us onward
Be our Savior, forgive us forward
Be our brother, our closest friend