It was considered a special day by many, a day of good luck because for the first time in one hundred years of Decembers, the month, date and year were all the same. I am not a believer in good luck or bad luck for that matter, however, this twelfth day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year of the twenty first century at approximately twelve minutes after twelve noon, I had what the world would call bad luck.
I thought I was done with this, that I had been healed, but God had other plans.
It had been around twenty five years since the last episode. I had stopped taking medication about fifteen years before 12/12/12 because the doctor had told me that the traces in my bloodstream were so low that there was no way the drug was having an impact.
Sitting in a booth at a local restaurant I checked my phone for messages as my friend used the restroom. When he returned, I put my phone away but not before glancing at the time, it was 12:10, in two minutes it would be 12/12/2 12:12.
We talked for about two minutes before I started to feel dizzy and my hearing and eyesight began to change. Everything was blurry and fading; his words seemed to be drowned out by the conversations at the other tables. I didn’t want him to think anything was wrong so I laughed and that is all I remember.
I woke up in a hospital corridor on a stretcher near the ambulance bay.
I had no idea how long I had been unconscious but I had a pretty good idea of what had happened. The medical staff reassured me that everything was okay but I knew that everything was about to change. Most of the next few minutes or hours or however long it took to be released are a blur but I do remember three things.
- As soon as I saw my wife I said with tears in my eyes, we’re going to have to sell our house. I can’t get to work without a licence; I knew after this I would be forced to give it up ( for more read Look Back to Look Forward)
- I asked the nurse if I had wet my pants. I may have had a major medical issue in a restaurant, in front of a crowd of people and I may be lying on a stretcher in a hospital not sure how bad things were, but the most important thing was not wetting my pants.
- They made me sign a form barring me from driving. I tried to read it but I was not able to see the print on the page. I signed it anyway thinking, “how can this be binding, I’m not even sure what it said or for that matter whose name I just signed.”
What happened to my miracle, why did this come back and why at that time?
My wife drove me home in a somewhat more lucid state. I was still slurring my words but I now realized that it was not a result of the lingering effect of the medical episode but instead I had bitten my tongue so hard that forming words around the swelling was nearly impossible.
I remember getting home and hanging up my pants, the ones that according to the nurse I had not wet, and climbing into bed to sleep off the rest of the effects of the medication. The truth was difficult to take, I had just had a generalized tonic-clonic seizure, not my first but it was the first time I had a family depending on me. I thought I was healed, I thought I would never have to take those mind numbing, concentration breaking meds again.
There are always miracles but they often go unnoticed because they don’t meet our definition of a miracle.
I don’t understand why God chose that day to allow my epilepsy to return. I am sure the amount of twelves had nothing to do with it. I will never understand why, knowing other life altering health issues were coming, God allowed one more. Still, there are miracles that can’t be ignored.
I didn’t wet my pants – that was the most important thing to me!
If I had had the seizure 15 – 20 minutes earlier I would have been driving.
One of the people in the restaurant was an off duty fireman.
They were able to move the table out of the way avoiding injury.
I didn’t bite the end of my tongue completely off, a good thing if you are a preacher.
I was able to live without the side effects of medication for fifteen plus years before this happened.
The new medications I now take have considerably less side effects than the ones I used to take.
The doctor cleared me to drive after six months seizure free.
All these little miracles but no happy ending.
I know we like stories that end with everyone living happily ever after. We want to be able to look back and see that God was using what seemed to be bad, for good. None of us want to go through anything without a reason that makes sense to us, without a happy ending that makes it all worthwhile but…
…we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)