Love Is Stronger
by Stephanie Sawyer
My secret was suddenly out, revealed to the entire church congregation. It was out of my control, beyond my grasp to manage and dictate how I let it out and to whom I revealed it. I could not choose my words or the manner in which they came out. Now, in the middle of the Good Friday service, I felt publicly humiliated.
That is where the Lord began to heal me. I could not have begun that epileptic seizure in a safer place. My church, Church of the Redeemer, Episcopal, Houston, TX, wrapped its arms around me and loved me, soothing me right through the ten or fifteen minute seizure. It didn't seem to bother or disturb them that it occurred in the middle of the scripture readings.
I could vaguely hear what was happening around me. I had called out the name of a dear sister when I knew I was destined for a seizure by the aura I noticed several minutes beforehand.
“Patti!!” I cried out in the midst of the congregation although I believe I was rather clinically muted at this point.
Patti, seated in the front of the choir, rushed to my side. I instantly fell into her bosom subsiding to the effects of the seizure. Moaning, groaning, drooling, I held onto her for dear life in the partial seizure in which I never lost consciousness. Thankfully, there was improvement given by the vagus nerve stimulator and Diazepam I had gulped down. The seizure was kept at partial status and never went into convulsive state. I only went into teeth chattering, but never thrashing of any sort.
“This is improvement!” I thought, my mind still alert even while seizing.
As humiliated as I felt by the blatant manifestation of this attention grabbing event in the middle of the most sacred and silent service of the year, I knew I was highly protected, well loved, and in a very safe environment. When I finally tried to arise by sitting up to look around me and check my strength, I found the priest sitting directly behind me praying for me with great compassion. He reached forward with his sacred oil and anointed me for healing. What the priest did not know at that point is that the Lord was giving me a deep sense of His Presence in the midst of this event.
As the choir sang “Nearer My God to Thee”, as the Gospel story of Christ crucified was focused on and reiterated, and as God's love was shared, I had a deep penetrating sense of Jesus carrying me in His arms as I lay limp from the seizure. I had and have a sense of His compassion and precious blood shed for me despite the frailties of my body.
My body is not perfect nor is anybody's. I have electrical storm occurrence from time to time due to scar tissue. Thank God, it is rare, and always with warning. So far, it is a hundred per cent of the time at night and in the evening.
I have had various occasions through the years of dismissal from church services or classes in various denominations. That memory haunts me and leaves me jumpy as to how I will be received in general in the public eye should I suddenly go into a seizure in public. The force of rejection over something beyond my control is a powerful sword into my heart.
Yet, it was my own home, Church of the Redeemer, Houston, TX, that presented Jesus' healing love and compassion into my aching and scarred heart. Jesus will win the battle over rejection's mighty force, for love is stronger than hate, or death.
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