Oh Emily!

December 28, 2015
“May integrity and uprightness protect me because my hope is in you,” Psalm 25:21
Several years ago, my little family was in danger–relationally, spiritually, physically, every way. Our fear was real to the point of having the police here twice that I remember, hiding weapons around the house, and prayer walking the property line by day and prayer walking inside the house in jammies by night. We were hacked and vandalized and everything was upside down. One morning, trusting in the promises of the Bible, I scoured the Word for verses about protection and wrote those verses on slips of paper and hid them over every exterior door and window in the house. I never expected that a piece of paper could hold back evil and harm, but I had full confidence that the Word of God written, spoken, cried, shouted, prayed, or moaned could do just that.
Those slips of paper are still there all these years later. Sometimes a breeze blows through the house and one will fall off its perch. I pick it up and put it back. No big deal. Yesterday before church, Paul found one on the kitchen floor and he left it for me to put it back. For some reason, I took a picture of the verse. I’ve never done that before and I don’t know why I did it yesterday. I remember feeling like God was telling me something by prompting me to take the pic, but in the rush to get to church, I failed to stop long enough to ask God what it was. Off to church and Oh Emily sat beside me listening about angels and shepherds and a baby. I leaned down and reminded Emily that the angels flock around her when she has her seizures. They protect her because she has Jesus in her heart and the angels are charged with protecting Jesus. Then last night before bedtime, Emily called out for me because she saw something very strange and unexplainable happen upstairs. It made me nervous and I started praying protection over my family. I wasn’t asking for protection; I was claiming protection.
So angels, seizures, and protection were heavy in the air yesterday and I don’t think it was a coincidence. Paul and I were awake early today watching the news and drinking our coffee. Emily came downstairs and fell asleep on the leather chair a few feet away from us. She looked so sweet, then she snorted, as if she was going to start snoring. “SHE’S HAVING A SEIZURE!” This was the first time Paul and I witnessed a seizure all the way from start to finish; we usually only catch the tail end. Eyes rolled back, face twitching, unresponsive, drooling, longest 3 minutes of our lives. Then it was over and she seemed like maybe she was awake for about 10 seconds, but she really wasn’t. She slept hard after that and woke up with a headache and just wanted to snuggle and nap more.
Sometimes it feels like “Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice” and he appears. Did I think about seizures and angels and protection too many times? I know in my head that I can’t make Emily have a seizure by thinking that she will. Good grief, if I could do that, I would turn it around and make her NOT have seizures by thinking that she won’t. In my heart I know God was preparing me. “Remember Sandie, I protected your family before and my angels have been with every seizure in the past. Think on these things.” Stop focusing on what little bit of control I like to think I have and have trust in my God. Hope in my God. The kind of hope that shows up. Period. Hope shows up. Hope shows up without making any sense because fear seems like it ought to fit better in this situation. Hope shows up out of place when control is the logical choice. Hope shows up uninvited when despair feels more comfortable.
So Oh Emily is here asleep in my arms once again. She says she thinks she has had other seizures in her bed when we haven’t been with her, but the last time we saw a seizure was a year and a half ago, so chances are even if I say “Seizure Seizure Seizure,” we most likely won’t be wiping spit off Emily’s face again for a long time. And these will end by the time she is 15 or 16. And no matter how long they last, our hope is in our God.

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