Faith, Hope, parenting

Terror at Night

The sound of the phone startled me awake.

“Hello,” I managed, struggling to wake from a deep sleep.

“Something’s wrong with Cassie,” came the frightened voice on the other end of the phone.

I bolted from my bed and rushed to her room. There sat Cassie’s friend who was spending the night, terrified. And there in the middle of the floor lay my baby girl, her body convulsing from the seizure wracking her brain.

I ran back to the kitchen and grabbed her rescue meds. I began to fumble with the package, shaking from the surprise of being awakened suddenly and the shock of my baby having yet another seizure. As I attempted to gather the supplies so I could draw up the medicine and administer it, Cassie began to come around.

She was beginning to respond to my voice, to answer my questions. Her speech was heavy, slurred. Her pupils dilated. Her body weak, uncontrolled. But she was there. The seizure was losing its grip on my baby, and she was pulling out.

I made sure her friend was ok, wasn’t too overwhelmed. She had handled it like a champ! She had attempted to come to my room, but the dog had growled at her and scared her away. She had kept her cool, managed to unlock Cassie’s phone (with her ridiculously long passcode), and call me. And somehow, she was even able to lie down and go back to sleep.

Our world has been rocked. Despite being a neuro nurse, there’s something different about watching your own child in a full-blown grand mal seizure. No matter how much training you have, you can never be fully prepared.

So far, all of her seizures have been at night or the early morning hours. Just when we get comfortable and think we are clear, it happens again. The doctor continues to adjust her medications, trying to suppress the seizures, but so far it hasn’t happened.

And the terror strikes at the most unexpected moments.

Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Psalm 91:6

As I read these words over the weekend, the tears stung my eyes. My God was giving me—us—a special word, one just for us. He was reassuring us that we have nothing to fear, that we are safely tucked away in the shelter of His wings.

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. Psalm 91:1-2

I’m learning—yet again—to run to my Savior, to run to my refuge. I am learning—yet again—He alone is my safe place. I am learning—yet again—to trust Him. I am learning—yet again—to rest in Him.

It’s so easy to get distracted, to allow the trials of this life to get our eyes off the answer to all of life’s problems. It’s easy to become consumed with fear about the terrors stalking us, the diseases that strike our children at night. It’s so easy to forget we have nothing to fear when we have the God of the Universe on our side.

For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Psalm 91:3-4

Cassie and I were talking this morning about all the trials she is facing. The holidays are upon us, and she’s struggling with the loss of her father. She is fearful about her future with these seizures.

And God gave me words.

“Sweetheart,” I began, “when you are overcome with fear and negative thoughts, remember His faithful promises. Quote His words to you, the promises that His love conquers all fears. Remember He tells us not to fear the disease that strikes at night. Remember He has you in the palm of His hand and He is working to make you in His image. Remember He is your refuge.”

As we talked about God’s faithful promises, she began to relax and rest. I could see a change in her physical appearance. His faithful promises protect us from this world.

As Christians, we all want to see our children take our faith as their own. They can draw from our faith…until a point.

Unfortunately, the way to mature faith is right through the waters of trials (James 1). Our faith cannot be tried and purified without the struggles of this life.

And Cassie’s faith is being tried in extreme ways.

Cassie and I recently attended a Lauren Daigle concert. As we watched Lauren Daigle perform, I had a vision of my daughter on that stage. It was almost as if God was telling me her life would touch many, that she would be used in mighty ways in the kingdom of God.

I leaned over to my girl and just whispered, “I think I’m seeing your future, your God-given dream.”

Cassie’s dream is definitely to lead the world in worship to her Heavenly Father, to lead others into the presence of the Almighty. But I know the only way to be used mightily is to be taken to the depths, to be tested and tried.

And that’s where my baby is today.

No parent likes to see their baby hurt, struggling with illness, with an uncertain future. But at the same time, I find myself excited to see what God will do through this time of pain. I wonder how He will show Himself faithful in Cassie’s wilderness. I wonder what amazing work He will do in her, how He will draw her closer to Him. And mostly I wonder what mighty purpose He has for this beautiful young lady He has entrusted to my care.

We are living in difficult and uncertain times in our home, but we are choosing to trust in our Savior’s faithful promises. We are choosing to believe there’s no reason to fear the disease that strikes at night. We are choosing to rest in the safety of our Savior.

 

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14 thoughts on “Terror at Night”

  1. Dena,
    Thank you for sharing your heart in this message.
    It has increased the hope I have, and is a reminder to me this morning, that God holds true to His promises.
    Your family is in my prayers, and healing for your little worshipper☺

  2. The unfortunate part of this life and its troubles is we have to go through the wine press .Lifes struggles are hard but I’m sure glad I know “Jesus”
    You’s are always in my prayers being lifted up 🙏🏻

  3. Dena, I am glad you wrote about this. The Lord knew I needed to read this. Yesterday I gave up. Today I have a glimmer of hope. Yesterday I said to the Lord in regards to His love towards me in a health struggle that has no end in sight, “what does this all mean?.” This glimmer came from you, a blogger I have no idea how I found..
    I read about your life you share and it’s a little like my mine. Thank you~

  4. I will stand in agreement with you and your daughter in not fearing the diseases that strike at night.. I stand in agreement with you that ALL things work together for good & that God’s blessings make rich and add NO sorrow with it. Be encouraged.

  5. Praying for Cassie, for you and for the entire family.
    What a blessing you all are, to so many.
    May you feel the surrounding and hovering and shielding and filling of God’s Holy Spirit’s presence. We see Jesus in you. Surely He is.
    You are His and He is Yours.
    What a Saviour!
    My daughter is currently in an EMU, second day.
    He is ours forever.

  6. I’m praying too. I always enjoy reading your newsletters and your insights with how God is able, and is working in your life. You’re writings have been encouraging and I pray that we as the Body of Christ can be an encouragement to you. Somewhere in Proverbs it says, A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. And in Philemon 1:7 “Your love has given me great joy, encouragement and comfort my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people” This is saying that, Being refreshed comes by refreshing others and we’re to sow seeds of love in other lives. You certainly do that in mine and others as well, I’m sure.
    Blessings and prayers to you and your family, Mike Y.

  7. Thank you Deena for always turning us all…to God”s promises & faithfulness. You are amazing!! Praying for you & your wonderful family! Big Hug!

  8. I’m praying too for your daughter. I always enjoy reading your newsletters and your insights with how God is able, and is working in your life. You’re writings have been encouraging and I pray that we as the Body of Christ can be an encouragement to you. Somewhere in Proverbs it says, A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. And in Philemon 1:7 “Your love has given me great joy, encouragement and comfort my brother, (sister) for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people” This is saying that, being refreshed comes by refreshing others and we’re to sow seeds of love in other lives. You certainly do that in mine and others as well, I’m sure.
    Blessings and prayers to you and your family, Mike Y.

  9. Dena,
    Thanks for sharing your story! My 23 year old daughter started having grand mal seizures out of the blue when she turned 17 when I thought she was going to die in my arms & cried out to God to save her. We have traveled this same terrifying road & through these trials it has turned her life around & brought her to a deeper relationship with God who we know has an incredible plan for her life. We will always pray for complete healing & know that God is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask for or imagine! It’s all in His timing & His will. This isn’t the journey we ever imagined our life would take, but it is our journey & like you, I am honored that God chose me to be the mamma to my sweet girl. God has called her to work with Young Adults her age & I am watching as this unfolds and how God has given us confirmation after confirmation. She went a whole year seizure free after our women’s bible study prayed and annointed her for healing! We were filled with joy & then 2 weeks after we had a big celebration it happened again. Devastated & confused, we picked ourselves back up, decided to drive the 3 hours to Johns Hopkins Neurology center to be our new doctor & a year later she wanted to prayed over & annointed for healing by the elders of our Church. It was the most beautiful experience & the words & confirmations given will stick with me the rest of my life. We are excited and trust God every step of the way and pray to be able to celebrate in a year again! I will say a prayer for your girl Cassie for healing in His timing! God bless! Mary Jo

    1. Thank you, Mary Jo! My baby has suffered more pain and loss this year than any 12 year old should endure. And yet she keeps going. I keep reminding her that God is doing an amazing work in her so He can do a mighty work through her. I truly believe she is facing these trials so she can be a vessel. My background is that of a neurology RN, but it is so very different to watch your own child’s body convulse. All training goes out the window. We have recently switched her medication, and she has been SO much better! We continue to pray for complete healing. Our God, our Jehovah Rapha, is the Great Healer!

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