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New Beginnings

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This is My Story

I’ve written a lot. I adore writing. ¬†I’ve written about practically anything and everything. However, I dislike I talking about myself. ¬†It is the one topic I avoid ¬†at all costs. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve filled journal on top of journal filled with life. But wait, sharing this knowledge? That’s a totally different story. God has been convicting me of something lately (as He always is); God turns our messy lives into messages. ¬†I can make Him famous by sharing my story.¬†We all have stories. They started the day we took our very first breath. ¬†Our lives are a book written by God. Each day is a page. Every decade a chapter. ¬†We were created to be read. We were written to put God on the Bestseller list!

¬†God formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive–a living soul!

Genesis 2: 7

If that’s not crazy, astonishing and thrilling, I don’t know what is.

Apparently, I am really good at putting on a poker face. ¬†I don’t try¬†to look like I have it all together. In fact, oftentimes I feel like screaming “I’m not strong, but He is! Every waking minute Jesus is holding me!” It is because of His strength that I am capable of being strong in my weaknesses.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the LIFE of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

2 Corinthians 4: 7-10

Before I begin sharing my story, I want to exhort you to share yours. Your story may not sound exciting to you, but you never know whose life you can touch without sharing it! If it means anything, your story matters to me.¬†¬†If God, the one who created us to be full of purpose, shouldn’t we have faith that He is using it for something epic?

I’m going to share with you mine .¬†I would start with day one, but I’m 6,791 days old.

Eleven years ago, at the age of seven. I had my first epileptic seizure. I conked out on the floor of the Olive Garden Restaurant on 196th St. in Lynnwood, WA. Here’s the catch: I was perfectly healthy, and nobody knew it was a seizure. We didn’t even call an ambulance.¬†¬†I took a sip of water and finished eating dinner with my family. I felt fine after gracefully smashing my head on their then-brick floor. (OK, I make that sound much more exciting than it actually was). Nothing showed up on my post-fall MRI. Not even a minor concussion! Clearly, angels do exist.

My mom scheduled an emergency appointment of course. She figured the whole thing was just a fluke. It wasn’t. You may be thinking “wow, that is unfortunate.”¬†Well, you are wrong. That day changed my life forever. OK, now you’re thinking “well duh.” It was a good life changing experience. I’m still not sure exactly how it has changed my life for the better, but everything takes some figuring out. Can I get an amen?

In the beginning I saw three different doctors. These three doctors proposed three different diagnoses:

– Most likely Vasodepressor Syncope

-Colloid on 3rd ventricle

-Small chance the episode was a seizure

I went through so many tests it’s CRAZY. EEG’s, MRI’s, blood tests, the tilt-table test, cat scans. The whole bit. I even wore a heart monitor for about one month. God was there. Holding my hand. He was upside down with me when I was strapped on that table.

My mom, being the awesome woman that as she is, finally pull out her handy dandy Taber’s Medical Dictionary from the bookshelf, performed her own research and she basically said, “Let’s take the focus off the heart and look at what is going on in her brain.”

Since my diagnosis of absence seizures has been confirmed, life has been a whirlwind. I’ve been tossed hither and thither. Since that time I’ve tried two alternative treatments to medication: 1) The Modified Atkins Diet and 2) a Vegas Nerve Stimulator. Concerning the MAD, let me just say this. After six months of eating fifteen and 10 carbohydrates per day, I obtained a whole new appreciation for bread and an extreme dislike for milk and peanuts which I practically thrived off of.

The Vegas Nerve Stimulator brings me to where I am today!¬†Contrary to popular belief, the Vegas Nerve Stimulator is NOT brain surgery. Think of it more as a pacemaker for the brain. Well, I remember the day of my implant. I was supposed to have a history exam that day and all I could remember was that April 9th. The date of my surgery was ironically a date in history I needed to memorize. What a strange coincidence! Fast forward to today, 9/13/ 2013. Today I am recovering from the surgery ¬†I underwent yesterday ¬†to have the device removed. Why, you ask? I was given two choices: 1) replace the battery or 2) remove the battery. As of today I am fifty-one days seizure free! It’s these little victories we must embrace.

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VNS Implant. April 9th, 2009. This is my non-poker-face. ¬†Seattle Children’s Hospital.

A few days ago I received my OUTPATIENT NOTE in the mail. One sentence written by my physician stuck out to me: “She has been approximately 40 days seizure free. It is not clear to us the reason for the increased efficacy…” ¬†To doctors, these instances are just medical mysteries. I read this and thought to myself, Clearly,¬†Jesus is at work in my life right now. I realize that while he is¬†always¬†at work in my life, I tend to only recognize this truth when I am having either a really bad day or an extraordinarily good day. Something about that needs to change. Whether or not I’m having a particular high or low day, I need to ¬†start off each day saying these words:

This is the day which the Lord has made;Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118: 24 (NASB)

God is consistent. That being said, I shouldn’t “shelve” God. I ALWAYS need Him. I should never take Him down when I think I need Him and marginalize Him when I am under the impression that I can do things myself. So how is your storybook going to look? On the cover of my current journal, I wrote “The story of how Jesus wrecked my life and put me back together again.” He knows exactly what is wrong in our lives and puts us back together the way he sees fit! So why do we worry? We’re still human. God recognizes that. We are extremely blessed because He looks at us the way He looks at His Son. Incredible!

Your story matters.  How will you use it to change the world?

Kayla

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Blog Series

S is for Seattleite, Sleet, Snow, Sunshine, Spring Break, and Other Such Things

Snow and Sunshine

Kaylab Photography

When I first rolled out of bed at 8:00 am this morning, snow was ¬†falling. Washington’s seasons seemed to have been mixed up. ¬†I wasn’t all that surprised. the past few days we’ve had everything from sun to sleet. Once I drank my morning mocha and ate my Nutella toast, I tried not to let the weather get the best of me. How could one possible be upset with such a well-balanced meal?!

Snow and all, the beginning of a bluebird day was on the horizon.

Right now my feelings regarding this type of weather is neutral  Not one day of school was cancelled during the winter quarter. Now that I have a nice long spring break, it is 38 degrees outside with a chance of snow, rain and thunderstorms. Funny how that works

This picture was taken around 8:30 am or 9:00 am and now-pushing 3:00 in the afternoon- everything is exactly as it was yesterday.  Wet and Cold. This combination seems to be the perfect excuse to not be productive. However if every seattleite chose that easy way out it would not be a pretty picture.

 You Know You Are A Seattleite When:

  • It’s February and fifty degrees outside and everyone orders their beverage of choice at the coffee shop iced.¬†
  • In March your Facebook news feed is filled with instagram pictures, phone pictures, tweets, and statuses complaining about classes not cancelled, pictures ¬†of snow either present in your yard or absent, and road-trippers on their way to Disneyland or some other warm sunny place.
  • Residents wear flip-flops beginning in February at the first glance of sun.
  • Within the same day of snowfall,the phrases “spray tan” and “yay it’s snowing are used interchangeably.
  • You take Zertec and Vick’s because your allergies are awful and you think you might be coming down with a cold as well.
  • Your vitamin D level is thirty, which would be normal if you lived anywhere BUT Seattle. The “new norm” is fifty. (Not even joking, my doctor put me on a daily supplement.)
  • Breaking of the “normal” weather cycle is actually normal.
  • On a near daily basis you comment to your friend,
  • “Aw¬†man, it’s raining outside.” They reply, “What’s new?”
  • If you live in the suburbs, umbrellas are reserved for tourists and foreigners only, except on rare occasions.
  • Groundhog’s Day means nothing to most people. It merely remains a great excuse to watch the movie.
  • Being snowed in on spring break is very easily a potential problem.
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