Have you ever been so overwhelmed by a life situation that, to avoid the pain you feel, you teach yourself to become a nonresponder… to become numb just to survive? You truly believe that if you don’t take this action, the situation will consume you. This has often been my strategy and was put into action as recently as two days ago.
My son, Ben, was home for a visit and his absence seizures (when he stares blankly away mid-conversation) had become longer and more frequent during the course of the day. We knew a grand mal seizure would soon follow. It was only a matter of time which came as he sat on the floor beside my chair that night. We were talking one second and the next second he was face down on the tile floor seizing with blood pouring from somewhere on his face. Eddy and I went into action as we have countless times before, securing a pillow to place under his head as it thrashed uncontrollably onto the tile floor hoping to prevent further harm, waiting for his body to come to rest as the seizure subsided.
Sleep follows these hard seizures in Ben’s case, and, after wiping all the blood away and assessing the sites of injury, we simply sat there watching him. My husband broke the silence and first evoked the word “numb.” Always my “rock,” this was his time to be transparent and speak his pain. He had long known of my survival mode of numbness for these moments, but this time he freely spoke of his, even if briefly.
When Ben awakened, we helped him to his bed. The crisis was over. I stepped out onto the patio, looked up at the star-filled sky and cried out to Jesus as I forced myself to speak scripture declaring His love for me, acknowledged He knew my pain in that moment, and gave myself permission to be sad despite this knowledge. I dove into His presence to battle the numbness because I have learned I must. For me, numbness means shutting down…on God, on people, on life, on joy, on peace. Feeling nothing, simply existing. Though piercing pain may be avoided, the cost is great, the choice is a lonely one. However, because of God that is something we never are…alone.
I say all this to encourage you to take the part of you that is isolated and numb and give it to Jesus. Do it now! Don’t say no to joy and life for as many years as I did, trying to navigate through autism and seizures in my numbness. This will call for warfare against Satan, and I find the weapon of choice in my battle is that of praise. Perhaps, you, too, have a life situation that is hard to reconcile with, but, at the same time you have a multitude of things for which to be thankful. And as you praise, you will find yourself in the presence of Almighty God who will cover you with His love and peace. Satan has no choice but to flee.
Choose life, even with the pain that often accompanies it, and look to Jesus in every situation. Cry out to Him. Be honest with your deepest feelings. He can handle it…your anger, your hurt, your pain. And remember the words of 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.” (Message) A promise and an “spot on” perspective all in one verse. Powerful! To God Be the glory!