Thursday, August 14, 2014

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Summer!

I know it's not the day my daughter, Summer Rain, was born; her 16th birthday is about three weeks away. But today marks the birth of a new life. A life marked by God's grace. A miracle. A year today, Summer had her right temporal lobe completely removed. Today also marks a year free of seizures.

In God's amazing plan for our lives, He created Summer in a very special way. He kept the right temporal lobe of her brain from developing completely during my pregnancy.  Though Summer appeared to be a normal infant, there were signs that something could be wrong, but then again, they were so subtle that they were always diagnosed as something else by her pediatricians. For years she began to have seizures that were not recognized as seizures, but rather her doctors assured us they were night terrors and she would outgrow them. Then, when she was about 12 years old, she began to have "Deja-vu" once in a while. This happened only once in a while, but when it did, Summer had a sense of nausea, which we dismissed as an overreaction to Deja-vu; after all, we've all had Deja-vu and we didn't feel this way. But, over the next couple of years, the Deja-vu sensation became more frequent and stronger with other body movements. We also discovered that during these Deja-vu moments Summer was blacking out, even for just a few seconds. After many doctor visits, lab work, and several exams like EEG's and MRI's, and different anti-seizure medication, doctors and specialists could not figure out why her seizures could not be controlled. They finally referred Summer to Cook Children's Hospital in Ft. Worth, Texas, where they have a unit that specializes in Epilepsy with the most modern and state of the art technology. When Summer was 14 years old, they discovered this very special way that God created her, and she had brain surgery to remove this underdeveloped and damaged area.

The day before her surgery, we had her Pre-op appointment, and let me tell you what! It is much different from the neurosurgeons point of view! The neurosurgeon explained what he will do and what he hopes to accomplish, but the pre-op appointment is where you read about everything that can go wrong.  We essentially had to do what we already knew but were hoping we didn’t have to; pray for the best and prepare for the worst. Everything from a blood transfusion to a mental disability to the unusual event of death, very unusual, but at the time, a very real possibility. But God never left us. Not for one nanosecond.

This is where I began to understand that this was all part of God's plan for Summer and our family. This was God's plan for our close friends and family; for those who cared to listen, not just hear the story, but listen with their hearts how His hand would be on our story-line. He turned this terrible and sad story of uncontrollable seizures and an uncertain future into a story of beautiful grace and redemption.  He turned all of our unbelieving hearts into humble followers. He turned shaking faith into unshakable testimonies. He took our undernourished souls and gave them a hunger for Him. He took our pain through a dark moment, only a fraction of our lives, and turned it into everlasting light and knowledge of Who. He. Is!

And today, we celebrate the birth of our family to a new life. And like babies, our eyes began to open and we began to see Him in everything, like when He reminded us that we could do anything through Christ, Jesus, when He placed us in room P413 and like when He appointed a believer in Him as Summer's neurosurgeon. We thank God for our new lives, our new sight, and our new hearts. We thank Him, that while we were sinning against Him, He was only pulling us closer to Him to reveal that inscription He carved into the very depths of our DNA when He created us; that we have been chosen and created by Him and for Him.

And so, today we celebrate life, in thanksgiving to the Creator. And we give all praise, glory, and honor to the One who has given it all to us, including His life. And through Jesus Christ, our Father God will be glorified. GLORY BE TO GOD!