Steadfast Guest — Children are on loan from God by Holly Scheer

epilepsy-ribbonOn December 31, 2008, my husband and I spent our anniversary in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) of a children’s hospital in Minneapolis, Mn.  The day before I had gone to the bigger city in the next county from our home to run errands and attend a meeting. I took our second daughter with me, a sweet 19 month old companion. While at my meeting she unexpectedly had a seizure. She had had small seizures before when sick, so I stayed calm and she was quickly ok.

Until she wasn’t. She had another seizure soon after and when it didn’t stop at three minutes we called 911. It hadn’t stopped by the time the paramedics arrived. Despite the increasingly large doses of medication the paramedics administered in the ambulance, it didn’t stop before we arrived at the hospital. The doctors were ready for us and gave her more medications until the seizure finally stopped after more then forty five minutes in hospital continually seizing.

Meanwhile I had called my husband to come and he called all the circuit pastors. They arrived soon after he and our older daughter did at the hospital.  The circuit had a great level of support for each other, and it was evident right there in the emergency room.

At the time we lived rurally. The county we lived in didn’t have paramedics. It didn’t have a large hospital. God that day looked out for us and our quick access to medical care truly was in His hands.

The doctors performed blood work, a spinal tap, and a CT scan. Our tiny little girl remained unconscious and unresponsive through all of it. The doctors couldn’t find an infection but they did see “something” in her brain that wasn’t quite right. They made the decision to airlift her to the Twin Cities to a children’s hospital with pediatric neurologists.

In good weather it is only a 4 hour car trip. Northern Minnesota is not known for good weather in the end if December and there was a blizzard outside. You may not know this- I didn’t at the time- but parents are generally not able to ride on helicopter life flights. There isn’t room. You pack up your tiny beloved child and send them off and then have to slowly make the trek by car.

The weather was so bad helicopters were grounded. They were able to secure a small fixed wing plane out of Fargo to fly her to the hospital to take care of her and by God’s grace there was an extra seat for me on the plane. She was still unconscious but I was able to be with her.  Before boarding the plane the circuit prayed for our little daughter. At the request of the doctors they went through the commendation of the dying. That morning she had been fine. Now we were preparing to have her die and desperately clinging to God’s promises to us.   After a brief ambulance ride to the airport, my daughter and I were on our way to the children’s hospital.  We didn’t know if she would be alive when we got there.

My husband drove through the night (and blizzard) and was able to drop our older daughter with relatives to meet us there.  In the days that followed we came closer as a family then we had ever been before. We clung to God and His word, our daughter’s baptism and to Jesus and his grace.   We sang hymns and held her close despite all of the cords and wires and tubes.  We prayed.

It is a fearful thing to see your desperately loved child unable to breathe on their own, unmoving, and so broken. We learned that the ct scan at the small hospital didn’t show cancer after a MRI was clear. When she woke up finally she could no longer sit, stand, and could barely talk.

There is the temptation when things are seemingly hopeless to feel like God has abandoned you. “Thy will be done” is not soothing when you remember that God’s will is not always ours and see that unfolding in a disastrous way.  But still His Word holds true in spite of all that your eyes, ears, reason, senses are telling you…

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Not a cliche, but the Word of the Lord.  Not meant to make everything alright in this life, but meant to be believed by faith.  The same God who does these things (allows or sends) is the one who is Jesus.

Today, my daughter is a delight and our precious child.  Her medication helps maintain a mostly seizure-free life.  She is a well adjusted little first grader learning at home.  More than that she is God’s own child and I have faith that at the end of all things she will be healed by our Great Physician.



Steadfast Guest — Children are on loan from God by Holly Scheer — 4 Comments

  1. Thank you, Holly. By the grace of God, our children are not *our* children, but His. When I was a pre-teen or early teenager, I stumbled upon my mom’s baby book for my brother whom I’ve never met. Mark was my parents’ first-born, who died of a rare heart condition just before his 2nd birthday. I came along 4 1/2 years later. In that baby book, I remember seeing the regular stuff, and then his funeral bulletin and things like that. But the thing that stuck in my head was a comment my mom wrote in–essentially the title of your post here.

    As someone who has also been affected by epilepsy, (my son’s nearly fiancé died from complications 3 years ago) I heartily thank God that your daughter is doing well.

    As to your last comment–thank you! God’s answer for healing for a beloved child of His is *always* “Yes.” My brother no longer suffers from his heart disease, Mandy no longer suffers from her epilepsy, and on That Day, that “Yes!” will be *seen* to be so.

    “It is a pow’rless form, howe’er it rage and storm!”

  2. I started having grand-mal epilepsy at 9yrs. No one in family had it. Went on to a Missouri Synod school, later to a Norwegian, and later a Dr. Martin Luther college and was planning to become a lutheran grade school teacher. Our pharm. wouldn’t all Depakote into this country despite it being used in Europe for yrs with success. Met with all kinds of trials and tribulations.
    Last year I lost my husband of 27 years, have no job, always cared for all the parents…no pay.
    Bills and tears seem to be my constant companion.
    So glad I have a WELS church that is there for me….pray I get a job, I feel depressed, and lonely although as Christians we are not to feel this way.
    Pray things turn around for me. I keep a saying in my Bible, “When God puts you through troubled waters, its not to drown you but to cleanse you.”
    It’s just hard to do when you have no companion anymore.

  3. @Roxanne #2
    So glad I have a WELS church that is there for me….pray I get a job, I feel depressed, and lonely although as Christians we are not to feel this way.
    Pray things turn around for me.

    I am glad that your church is “there for you”! Losing your husband is especially difficult for the long time stay at home care-giving woman; depression does happen to Christians and to feel lonely is normal in your situation.
    Certainly we should all pray that “things turn around for you”!

    [I hope your doctors have your seizure disorder under control; I’m told there are new drugs available now. (My daughter is a pharmacist.)]

  4. Roxanne :
    I feel depressed, and lonely although as Christians we are not to feel this way.

    Actually, Roxanne, Christians do in fact grieve without sinning — we grieve with hope: “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (I Thessalonians 4:13-18)

    (For added reassurance, see John 11:35.)

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