Why Did I Have A Seizure If I’m A Christian?
If you don’t know me the first thing you will probably need to know about me is that I am relatively cynical. (It’s kinda my shtick/ God is working on that.) The second is that I was diagnosed with epilepsy and had my first seizure at 17 years old when I passed out in a 7-11 one mid summers day. The third thing is that at that time, I was an atheist. A catholic school going, pot smoking atheist. All in all, it seems to have been a different lifetime way back when I used to fantasize to the lyrics of John Lennon’s Imagine (which seems to be our new Declaration of Independence) and wander the halls of high school wondering why I was a loner, yet never attempting to develop lasting relationships.
Soon after I was diagnosed, the question that seemed to keep coming up in my unbelieving brain was simple. Why me? Why did this keep happening to me? Epilepsy is stupid! I don’t want to let this daily pill control the rest of my life! The ironic part is that as I processed this immature thesis/tantrum, I had a blunt in my hand and a forty in my other (yes a forty, hahah). Talk about lack of control.
During one of my cherished latino family parties where grandma is getting passed around on the phone (well, face time) she told me something profound…
“Angel, with this one pill you can live your life without any limitations. Be sure not to let your pride control you. Take your pill so you can live your life well.”
Damnnn Dannielll, Nona was right!! It wasn’t some deranged force of the universe stopping me from living out my life! It was my pride. It was my own selfish need to not admit defeat. Childishness! I didn’t want to drop the 40oz so I villianized the only thing that was helping me…my medication.
But why did I get these darn seizure things in the first place? What possible reason could there be for some higher power to inflict pain and cause me to “miss my adolescent years!”
Well, my epilepsy is totally different than most, I can only have a seizure in my sleep. It’s caused by stress, alcohol, drugs, caffeine and lack of sleep; and in order to preserve my health I must eat healthy. All things which I was doing the opposite of. So if nothing else. If I didn’t want to believe in a God, I at the very least was forced to believe that the universe FORCED me into rehab.
But then there was the Gospel.
Poetry of the human spirit. As I listened to the preacher speak words of unbelievable life I started to second guess everything I knew about Jesus. “They never taught me this in Catholic school.” I thought. Jesus was a person I never thought He could be. Honest, yet powerful and meek. Not some flimsy hippie I grew up hearing about. The words He spoke and the words the preacher spoke about Him were things I always wanted to be true about God but no one ever addressed.
Before I left the church that night I knew there was a reason for my epilepsy. I knew that even though God didn’t cause it, He would use it for His good. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows after that. The chronic still made my mouth water after Sunday service…but I didn’t find a religion. I discovered the Gospel was real. That dictated my life from there on out.