We had just come out of the sanctuary at church and there she was, across the foyer lying on the floor at the doorway to the pastor’s office, by all appearances taking a little nap. My first feeling was that of embarrassment…again. My daughter, the impulsive one. When the urge took her to do something, anything at all, she would do it. At four years, granted, most children are not very aware of what is appropriate social behavior and what is not. However, most parents I knew did not have a child who would impulsively lie down in a doorway in the busy foyer of a public place like church to take her nap, risking getting stepped on or tripping people up. I sighed as I made my way across the busy foyer, watching people carefully stepping over her, peering curiously at her or shaking their heads indulgently. You see, everyone in that small congregation knew Amanda by now, our hyperactive and impulsive but incredibly loving and loveable little girl. Nobody rebuked her or bothered to disturb her little nap as they inconveniently stepped over her prone form.
By now, I had reached her and stooped over my daughter, with the intention of waking her and taking her out to the car…a more appropriate place for her to get her beauty rest. However, as I bent over her, I noticed something seemed a bit off. She seemed to be shaking ever so slightly. Then I smelled it. She had lost control of her bladder and bowels. By now, I was beginning to panic. Something was definitely wrong. Our pastor, who had just stepped over her to enter his office, also noticed something amiss, and he lifted her and carried her into his office for more privacy. Sure enough, that was when we noticed her eyes had rolled back in her head. Amanda had just had a major seizure. I was devastated. I had already had traumatic seizure incidents with Sam, our 2nd born. Now, here was our daughter having them too. I simply didn’t know how I could go through all this again.
Amanda had a seizure disorder that would plague us over the years until she was about 19, after which God apparently healed her and we were able to gradually wean her off of medications. We are very thankful that she remains seizure free to this day (she is now 32). But in remembering this incident and everyone’s assumptions that Amanda was just being Amanda…impulsive and rash, made me think about how many times we operate by assumptions. Don’t get me wrong, I realize that one cannot question every single thing that happens in life. Life is made up of many assumptions. I don’t question whether the sun will rise on any given day. I don’t generally go to bed wondering if I will wake up the next morning. I don’t worry every time I eat that the food might give me food poisoning. Life would be one big worry if we never operated on assumptions.
However, there are also many times in life where we assume things we should never assume…such things as whether my way is always the right way; or my culture is obviously superior to any other; or he is doing this because he doesn’t care; or “well, that’s just Amanda – always impulsive or just trying to get attention. Just ignore her”! It is a wise person indeed who is able to discern which assumptions to work with and which really should be examined, and then to have the courage to investigate the validity of such assumptions. That kind of wisdom comes from God. But many of us would not be willing to examine our assumptions even if God were to hit us over the head with a sledgehammer to get our attention! My prayer is that I could become sufficiently sensitive to God’s whisperings of wisdom, that I wouldn’t need the sledgehammer, and to be brave enough to question my own firmly held assumptions (which can also be read prejudices, by the way). Lord give me this wisdom; grant me this kind of courage, that I not continue to just brush everything and everyone off with “Oh, that’s just Amanda”!