I tried to keep my disease a secret from others—even God

I tried to keep my disease a secret from others—even God

by Madge Chroniger, Alfred Station, N.Y.


When I was 7 or 8, I was diagnosed with childhood absence epilepsy. This kind of epilepsy causes you to lose consciousness for 4 to 20 seconds.

At first I had no idea what to do. I remember thinking that everything was going to be harder—having to take pills every day and making sure my friends and teachers knew what was happening. (Most people think that the condition is not that bad. I know worse things could have happened but I know for me it was a very scary experience.)

Sometimes I wish I could go back to the time I was diagnosed so I could have asked God for help. Even then, I realized God was always with me and helped me through everything. Looking back, if I had put my trust in God I would have not been so worried. But I didn’t do that, and that was probably the worst mistake I could have made.

I thought I had to “be brave” and just carry on without God. Part of me thought He could have never really helped me. The more I thought about it I knew God had to be a part of everything, He could help in so many ways.

Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” I know now God will never leave me or forsake me. I could have just taken a breath and God would take care of all of my worries.

When I look back to that moment, I wonder why I didn’t trust Him. I had all my life, so why not then? When there is fear in our life we think the best thing to do is to shelter ourselves. Sometimes that means sheltering ourselves from God, acting like He isn’t going to help.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” I knew that if I trusted God with all my heart He would help me through this, so why didn’t I? Was it the fear that He wouldn’t help me? Was it the fact I was too concentrated on trying to forget everything? Or was I just trying to stay strong and prove I could go through this without any support?

Actually it was none of the above. I thought if I brought up the topic of my disease, I felt like I wouldn’t be loved and would lose everyone. I should have thought again and known that God would have been there and cared for me and loved me like always. In Jeremiah 31:3 it says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

When I think back to this battle I fought, I understand why God is always there for everyone. I know that God will always be by my side. I know if I ever go through something like this again I will have Him there.

I will always have someone to love me, care about me, and have everlasting love for me. Now that I understand God is always there, I have more confidence than ever.

I also know God will put me to the test again. He will always be there for me and anyone who is having a tough time. God keeps me strong every day and I hope He will help keep you strong, too.

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