By Sarah Brown
Two years ago, I asked God what my word of the year should be. I was waiting for some word I could “work” with. The word acceptance popped up one day and it stayed with me. I now know why God laid that word upon my heart.
Just as I thought I had things figured out, those things started to change. Later that year, I started having seizures. I met with a neurologist and she said the words “You have epilepsy.” In an instant, I was devastated. I was filled with a fear that at any moment epilepsy could take its toll. With no clear reason for the occurrences, I was stuck in a depression I couldn’t get out of it for quite some time. Being real is hard. But being real when you’re going through things you can’t physically hide is even harder. Dark days of depression, a heavy load of loss, and an overwhelming sense of being out of control.
As a result of the seizures, I focused on what I had lost instead of what I had, people who loved me and wanted to help. I had tried to juggle everything all by myself and now I had to rely on others.
I always thought I had control over my life. God chose to show me I was wrong and ultimately reminded me he was the one in charge. I was left with questions. I learned from Naomi in the book of Ruth. Naomi was bitter because of her circumstances. When pain happens, we struggle to find joy. It’s ok to grieve and hurt. However, it’s not ok to be bitter. It’s tough to see through bitterness and see what God can do through the circumstances in our life. I wrestled with so much anger towards God and how he could make me go through something like this.
Romans 5 says pain has a purpose. I don’t know why this happened to me. And I may never find out why. And I am ok with that now. It took many hard months of processing the changes. All the frustration, anger, and misunderstanding I had been feeling is now replaced with a sense of peace. Jesus said trials would come. These trials pointed me to greater joy in God than I could ever find in myself. We can never rely on our circumstances for contentment and joy. In Jesus, we have a hope we can stand on. Assured all things will work out. God is beyond all details of life. Purpose for our good and His glory. We can trust Him, especially on days when things make no sense.
Many times, I found myself wishing I was the author of my own story. But then I started to thank God for the things I had been going through. With life always changing, one thing remained constant: God. Challenges gave me the opportunity to change and see more of who He is. We aren’t called to be comfortable. To get through things, I now cling to the fact that God says with Him anything is possible. I am not what has happened to me. I am who He calls me to be. In order to accept something, you have to think differently. I’ve learned glorifying God through the things I do and how I react is a bigger priority than having a structured life. I am surrendering to him and not my circumstances. I had to learn what it meant by “in His time and in His way.”