Tonight, as I was going through the bedtime routine with kiddos, I considered my neurological limitations. It was the first time in a while that I called to memory a diagnosis that shook my world in the beginning of 2017.
About two years ago, I went through extensive neuropsych evaluation—six hours of testing—-in order to evaluate how my dysautonomia was affecting my cognitive skills and memory. The results were consistent with those of an individual with a traumatic brain injury, which, according to the neurologist, seems to be a trend with POTS patients. He said the likelihood of my brain functioning normally again was low. So, a TBI-brain in the absence of a TBI.
Two years later, the symptoms remain with overwhelming daily reminders: Short temper; Incredible sensitivity to overstimulation; terrible word recall; short-term memory and long-term memory is a constant struggle; difficulty with executive reasoning and common sense thinking.
BUT……in the past two years, I have read hundreds of books to my children, I teach my daughter daily how to read, I have continued to write for my blog and an additional writers forum regularly, and even published a devotional book with my husband. I have re-learned piano and picked up guitar for the first time; I have picked up my crochet game; preached and taught in our church, and so much more.
I’m not sharing this to say, “look at me! This is what a ton of hard work can do if you just put your mind to it!” Life isn’t about will-power and pep talks. In fact, I don’t feel like I have worked all that hard at “accomplishing things.” But I have sought to surrender entirely under the almighty and tender hand of my Sustainer. If I have learned anything, I have learned that life is so much more about surrender than hard work and will-power.
I may be limited in some ways. I may not be as cognitively sharp as I was five years ago. But God keeps calling me higher, deeper, and onward, continually blasting the stereotypes, expectations, and prognoses out of the water. And I am learning to lean all of my weight on my Savior and Sustainer.
I’m not defined by my diagnoses or neuropsych testing results. At the same time, I’m not defined by my achievements or accomplishments or places of external recognition. God defined me when He called me, named me, and chose me. I am forever beloved, no matter how my brain and the rest of my body function.
I praise God that He continues to pave the way for me to serve, love, and create according to His strength working through the gifts that He has given me. Whatever my capacity, I surrender my whole self to the power and leadership of the Spirit, and I expect God to continue to reveal His great strength through my greatest weaknesses.