Hello. Nice to meet you! I am so excited and honored to be blogging here at ChosenFamilies.org.
I’ve been thinking about my first post for quite some time now … how to introduce myself, how to describe my husband’s disability. And I’ve been thinking about how people generally respond when they hear my husband’s story for the first time. “Wow,” most people exclaim. “I don’t know how you handle that.”
I have spent the past month reading blog posts on this website and marveling at the stories of these brave women. I relate to so many things that are written here. And yet, sometimes I think “I cannot imagine what it would be like if it were my child who is struggling with some of the things that my husband struggles with.”
Our tendency as women is to hear someone’s story and put ourselves in her shoes. Empathy can be a good thing. But it often leads us to comparisons and to thinking, “I could never handle THAT.”
Yet God is sovereign and loving and kind. He doesn’t call us to compare ourselves or to imagine ourselves with someone else’s life. He just calls us to follow hard after Him in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.
Seven years ago, my husband Ben experienced 8 seizures in a few hours. His heart stopped and the doctors could not revive him with CPR or with paddles. It was only after they shot his heart with adrenaline that it started beating again (oh, how his chest hurt when he finally woke up!). My husband has continued to have ongoing seizures of a smaller nature. More profoundly, he lost his short-term memory. He struggles on a daily basis to remember simple information and memories of recent events are shadowy and distant.
Because of his compromised memory, Ben has problems with executive function. The best description I’ve read of executive function is “a set of mental processes that helps connect past experience with present action.” When Ben first read the expanded description of Executive Function on the National Center for Learning Disabilities website, he teared up and said, “Nancy, these are all things I used to be able to do easily.”
In spite of our losses, there is one thing we both know … God wants us to cling to him in the midst of difficulty, hardship and loss. I cannot compare my situation to anyone else’s. I need only remember that “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
On this blog, I hope to introduce you more to my remarkable husband and our three school-aged children. I hope to share with you some of our laughter and our tears. And I hope to educate, just a bit, into our world of seizures and brain injury. My prayer is that my focus remains on the wise and loving God who loves us and gave his Son for us so that we might not be beaten down by our circumstances. I am thankful for the ways the women writing on this website maintain strong faith in Christ without minimizing the difficulties of living with a family member who has a disability. May we encourage one another – without comparisons — to live for His glory!