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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Battle Weary, God Strengthened

Thud! My daughter’s head hit the wall. The seizure came so fast that I couldn’t catch her. Again. “Oh, God, please help us,” I ground the words out as I rocked Anna. I’ve been praying those words for years. I’m tired of praying that prayer. It drains me. I have no peace, no answers, no results.

At age three, Anna was diagnosed with PDD, a form of autism. When she was seven, she began having seizures. At twelve, we discovered she has von Willebrand’s disease, a clotting disorder. In her late teens, we learned Anna’s seizure activity had a name; Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, a rare and uncontrollable seizure disorder. There are no warnings, no pre-seizure auras. As a result, she often falls, many times hitting her head.

We participated in a yearlong diet study through Johns Hopkins Hospital, tried various anti-seizure meds, and even a vitamin therapy. All with little success.

In 2005, Anna had a Vagal Nerve Stimulator implanted. The VNS is like a pacemaker, but for the brain. It took two years to show a decrease in seizure activity. It wasn’t much, but we were thankful for the slight relief the VNS offered.

I have prayed, begged, pleaded, bargained, and even threatened God for her healing. But Anna continues to have seizures.

I’ve been so discouraged with God that I stopped praying. I stopped reading my Bible. I stopped asking people to pray. Spiritual fatigue swept over me, and I gave into it.

I could relate to Elijah in I Kings:

“But he (Elijah) himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.” He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and lay down again. The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.” (1 Kings 19:4-7 NRSV)

The Lord told me I should not give up praying for Anna. I need to trust what He has decreed for her life. These secret things belong to God. The battle is His. I can rest in Him as He ministers to my weary soul.

I am still tired. I still pray and weep for Anna’s healing as I hold her through seizure after seizure. I battle for my precious daughter and am weary of the fight. But I am strengthened by the Word as I read and study. The pain and tension in my body ease as I take time to rest. I often meet God walking on our long country roads. It’s not easy by any stretch, but it keeps me going. Anna, even at age 30, can do nothing for herself. So, I must stay strong to care for her.

Are you weary? Do you fight battles day after day? Rest in the LORD. Fill your mind with His Word. Don’t give up on prayer. It’s not a waste of time to rest. Yes, the battle rages on; Jesus said we would have trouble in this world. But take heart, gather strength. He has overcome the world (John 16:33, author’s paraphrase).

Scripture is quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. 

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