“As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him.” – Psalm 103:15-17
A couple days ago I (Stacey) felt numbness on my right side and went to go call for Dave and had a hard time remembering his name. I tried to explain to him that something just wasn’t right in my mind but I just couldn’t express my thoughts. Eventually he figured out that there was something wrong when I used the wrong words for things or couldn’t express myself at all. As he was calling our doctor, I tried to comfort myself with the 23rd Psalm and couldn’t remember it. I then tried to comfort myself with any Scripture I had memorized and I couldn’t remember any of them. At that point I was starting to panic. I opened my Bible to read it…and I just could not absorb the words on the pages. It was as if they were new words to me, somewhat familiar but I just couldn’t understand them.
We went to the ER and were then admitted into the hospital overnight. I am so grateful to the Lord that the numbness went away and gradually my mind returned to me. For the next two days I had an EKG, EEG, MRI, CAT Scan, Chest X-Ray, Ultrasound of my heart, and they took half of my blood out of my body for testing. We just returned home yesterday afternoon and I am exhausted. The doctors said that they would let me know what the found in the tests – so far they have found nothing.
I share all of this because it is a good reminder to me and to all of us that we will die. If not today, then tomorrow. The Lord may give some of us 50 years of fruitful ministry and some of us will die “prematurely.” Truly, we are like grass. We are here one day, then the next we are gone, and soon we will be forgotten. But our Lord is outside of time and his love is set on me whether I am on this earth, or with him. The ceaseless direction of his love towards me was a constant comfort through my myriads of tests.
We told a nurse that we had just gotten back from Africa and are planning to return long term. And his response was a bit shocking to me. He said “don’t let this stop you from going back.” I would think that above all people a nurse would value access to good medicine the most, and I am not quite sure what he meant by that. Nevertheless, I feel like the Lord used his words and this entire experience to remind me that ministry cannot stop to preserve ones life, because life simply cannot be preserved. I am so incredibly grateful for the medical profession and all the kind doctors that took such good care of me – yet there is no cure for death no matter how careful I am. The only cure for death is Jesus. He defeated death and will raise to life all who believe in him. Just as he raised from the dead, so I too will be raised from the dead.
So, Christian, we have the cure. The doctors of this world may delay death, but only Jesus can cure death. I pray the Lord gives me and gives you many years so we can tell many people about how they can be cured from death forever through Jesus Christ.
I would ask for prayer that the Lord would preserve my mind. I want to learn 2 more languages and translate the Bible – I really need my intellect for such a task. Please pray that I won’t loose my thinking ability again. And please pray that my heart would be at peace as I have found myself wondering if and when my reasoning abilities will leave me again.
Thank you to our dear friends who visited us, brought us food, watched our kids, and prayed for us through this wild experience. We never felt alone, but always cared for. Thank you so much.
Update on 2/15/2010:
Just wanted to follow up and let you know that the tests and the doctors never found anything definitive that explains what happened to me. However, they are assuming it could be one of two things:
– A TIA (or a mini-stroke). They are having me take a low dose aspirin to thin my blood to prevent it from happening again.
– An abnormal migraine. There is a particular type of migraine that mimics a stroke and also causes dizziness. Recently one of my cousins told me that she too has experienced a stroke-like event (that even caused her to temporarily loose the ability to speak) and that her doctors attributed it to this kind of migraine. So it seems likely to me that her and I have experienced the same thing. I have opted to not take any preventative medication but if it happens again we may have to devote more energy to determine what triggars such a headache and if necessary go on preventative medication.