When The Light Goes Out: Part 3

Posted: March 2, 2020 in Meditations


man in black shirt and gray denim pants sitting on gray padded bench

Photo by Inzmam Khan on Pexels.com

Rochester, Minnesota, home of Mayo Clinic: I arrived, finally. I needed help, a different approach. The years of prescription drugs drove me mad. The neurologists in Wisconsin conducted more sleep studies and found that the drug plan offered no relief to my sleep deprivation. They switched me to a drug called sodium oxibate twice a night, the infamous date rape drug in a salt solution. Every month, a 900 dollar bottle came to my door. Each night passed the same way, I remembered nothing. I faded out and faded in, but I remained exhausted. The sleep study at Mayo confirmed suspicions. The drug anesthetized me, had an amnesia effect, but it did not put my brain to sleep. I barely drifted into twilight sleep. The team of doctors were stunned at the record of drugs I ingested for years under the care of neurologists. “Do you want to stop the drug treatments?” I answered, “Please. The cure is worse than the curse.” From that moment on, I went off of drugs including the antidepressants.

I no longer dealt with seizures, I experienced no psychotic breaks, no more panic attacks. I always dealt with headaches, they were my new normal. Now the headaches intensified. Months passed, the exhaustion slowed me, the naps increased along with heart palpitations. It took great effort to cook a meal. I felt like a wind-up watch that had turned all but the last cogs of the stem. I sensed I was dying. Christmas of 2011 brought the kids home. During the holidays I told my family, “I don’t think I’m going to live much longer. My body is shutting down.” I didn’t realize I just ruined Christmas. I thought I was gently warning them, preparing them for my passing. Oh well, I’m still here.

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.”  Psalm 40:1-3  I never feared death. Six and a half years refined a divided heart, a heart that lusted after life rather than a full devotion to a divinely purposed life. My battered health drove me to God. The “why me Lord” flamed out years before. I clung to hope in God to remain relevant to a world I struggled to engage. Three fundamental statements revealed themselves in the crucible of hardship. One, as long as I have breath, I have purpose. Two, my God majors in the reweaving of lives. And three, no matter how I am compromised in the eyes of man, I am never compromised in the eyes of God. My confession came from the lyrics of a Ray Hildebrand song, “Whether I live or die, my only cry will be, Jesus in me, praise the Lord.”  I was ready to go home, but was God done with me yet on earth?

My wife packed for meetings at Harvard University, an exciting opportunity to commiserate with like minds. A Harvard professor insisted Lynn stay with her family on the coast. Who could turn that down? I kissed her and watched the car roll out of the driveway and disappear down the street. I had no idea what was about to happen. Her business trip was would change my life for the better. God has his special way of doing the miraculous and I was about to experience his favor. I went back into the house, turned the fireplace on, sat down and drifted into twilight sleep.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen”  Ephesians 3:17-21





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