I have a seizure disorder.
There are many types of seizures, but the one I have is Absence and Myoclonic seizures. When I have an absence seizure, my eyes flutter and roll back. When I have a myoclonic seizure, my upper body jolts as if someone had come from behind me and scared me. While both seizures are different, they both last only for a second and would only be noticeable if someone was looking at me. Sometimes when I am hungry, stressed, tired, or anxious, I can even have a cluster of seizures.Over the years, my seizure disorder has played a large part in my faith journey.
I grew up in a Christ-loving household, which helped me understand who Jesus is and all that He has done for me; however, as I was growing up, I always struggled with my identity. Before I put my faith in Jesus, I was a sheep without a shepherd. I kept trying to seek approval from others, and even when they would let me down or judge me, I stayed with them because I felt I had nowhere else to go.
My seizures made me feel so much different than everyone else. I would always compare myself to others, and did not understand why God gave me these seizures. Most of the time, I viewed my seizures as a curse instead of a blessing. Because I looked at it this way, it affected how I thought about myself. I saw myself as different, dumb, and incompetent.I remember when I was in elementary school I would tell people who noticed a seizure that I was cold, instead of letting them know I was having a seizure. I started to feel as if I had no independence because of the limitations that I had, such as not being able to drive.
Having always had to have tests done to monitor myself, such as MRIs and CTs, I would find myself praying night after night for healing, but after God did not answer my prayer, I stopped praying and a little part of me stopped believing.
I turned from God. I started relying on TV instead of relying on Him. I wouldn’t read my Bible, and when someone started talking about a book in the Bible, most of the time I had no idea what they were talking about.
During my sophomore year of high school, I found myself stressed out and filled with anxiety. I started to pray to God as secular music was playing and all of a sudden a worship song that I had never heard before turned on. In that moment, that song was describing exactly how I felt.I knew He was talking to me.
I started crying and fully surrendered to God on that day. A year later, I kept reading multiple verses in the Bible that had to do with being a part of a community, and then on one Sunday, the message that Pastor Aaron was giving was about community!
I knew God was telling me to be in community, so later that same day, I came to Hillside’s High School Ministry and prayed that God would be with me and help me make new friends. I look back now and realize that through community, God has introduced me to some amazing people. I met some of my closest friends by attending HSM, and I couldn’t be happier that they are in my life.God has helped me so much. He transformed me from believing the lies of this world to realizing what the truth is.
God loves all of us so much and knew you before you were even born! He gave His one and only son, Jesus, to pay the price of our sins. I know now that I can rely on God when I go through a trial because it means I can grow my faith in Him.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way consider it an opportunity for great joy.” James 1:2
My dad constantly reminds me of this verse when I am struggling with my faith, with others, or just in general. It helps to remind me that we have trials in our life for a reason. When we go through trials it can help us later on in our life. I still get anxious and frustrated, but I know who God calls me to be and my identity is in Him.
Before, I was comparing myself to worldly standards, and I now look at God’s standards and what He has planned for me.
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.
I now know that my seizures are a blessing from God because I can help others with the same issue. I want my faith and my testimony to encourage others.
By: Alexis Brewer
High School Ministry Senior, Class of 2023
Alexis Brewer is a graduating senior from Los Osos High School. Her plans after high school include going to Chaffey College to major in psychology to become a disability counselor. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family.