I may have just experienced one of the most bizarre moments in my life, the onset of something called Transient Global Amnesia. I am told it is an unexplained catch-all for a stroke like moment that leaves no physical challenges other than a black hole of memory, lasting less than 24 hours, now being reconstructed from feedback from those nearby at the onset. As intriguing as that may sound, that is not what this posting is about and is absolutely not about sympathy. Rather, the opportunity to encourage and to share what I believe to have been a bizarre spiritual moment that happens to fit the definition of the medical terminology referenced as TGA.
Peter mentioned something similar in I Peter 4:12-13, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
Perhaps such was the case for this Christ follower? If so, let’s call this post simply my rejoicing, and the transparency more about helping others than protecting my image, for I am told that some find it difficult to “walk out of the woods” that occur post episode.
The bizarre thing to me has been the nature of my prayers these past few months, that is, that the Lord would somehow rewire my brain. Yes, physically removing the collective damage that comes from the blows of a fully engaged life. Let’s move on.
For context, I must reference a message delivered recently by a guest minister at my church. During his talk, the speaker referenced terms I had used as chapter headings in a recent draft for a book which I felt best described my life journey. The words were Winning, Warring and Wounding; his lecture expanded the alliteration to include “wiring.” Implied is the long term toil on one’s life as he or she matures. It should be fairly obvious, at least to adults, the reality that life has its times when wins come easy, yet there are equal times when in order to win, there seems a need for more significant energy output; physically, mentally and yes at times, spiritually.
Those familiar with the spiritual sometimes categorize these laborious moments as spiritual warfare. A text is often cited among Christians from Matthew 11:12, “the violent take it by force.” Yes, there have been moments when the only way through seems to be forceful prayer, even utterances and groanings not understandable even to the prayer…praying in the Spirit.
Such has been the case many times in my life; so, upon hearing the aforementioned teaching, I began to pray that God would re-wire my mind, removing the impairments that could offend others or lessen the impact of my future life as an elder. Is this possible? Why not, given that Lazarus was dead for four days, his cerebral matter perhaps liquid by then? Yet, we read of his conversation at a gathering shortly after his resurrection; and shall I mention the Lord’s more brutal passing and miraculous recovery? I thought I might be foolish, not to pray toward that end.
Thus my prayers began some weeks back, of necessity at times, given the full life I seem to be leading, and on top of that, preparing for my first grandchild later this month. Friday, following a couple coaching conversations, I returned from my office with some apparent symptoms that caused my daughter pause, such as asking the same questions repeatedly. Though I don’t recall it, I apparently recommended that she take me to the fine hospital now located so close to our home in Clemmons, and from there, a rushed trip by ambulance to Forsyth Hospital, during which, I vaguely recall counting the bridges as we hurriedly moved up I-40 toward the emergency room. Fortunately, I was not the stroke victim previously diagnosed, and I a grateful to God. After preparing to leave the hospital, I stepped into the restroom for a quite moment apart from family. I asked the Lord, “What does this mean?” I know I heard a soft whisper, “I’ve been listening to you pray.”
Slowing down might be in order and that too will be good given the approaching birth of John Luther; and, I am rejoicing and trusting that those around me, who have long noticed my blind spots, will see constructive change. I’m looking forward to a bright future, given that physicians have assured me through MRI’s, EKG’s, neurological interviews and the like, that no damage was evident and TGA seldom occurs twice. Yes, I have even ordered a new license plate, an excuse to replace the long overdue, MAY-R. It will read, REWIRED.