This blog post is part of a series that I began for telling our story. You can read the first post here.
A big part of our story is learning WAY too much about the brain. Our daughter’s brain was infected. My brother-in-law had some specific problems with his brain (which have been taken care of through the wonders of medicine, praise God). My maternal grandmother died from Alzheimer’s. And my husband struggles with mental illness. Each of these are different, specific things that affect the brain in different ways.
Now, through this whole thing, we could have become neuro-science experts. Or at least as close as you can get without going to medical school or spending thousands of hours in the library combing through every piece of research. Even without that, we still ended up learning far more about the way the brain functions than I ever expected. But here’s the thing – even the greatest brain expert in the world only knows a tiny sliver of how this complex organ functions. We know this because they learn new things about the brain all the time. Research keeps coming out about fascinating things like the gut-brain connection, and the idea of trauma being written into our DNA (so it can actually be passed down to other generations).
Instead of becoming brain experts, however, we’ve become more thankful for the God who created us, making us in such a way that we cannot even begin to understand our own makeup. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. This brain we each have serves us in wonderful ways, from the most basic functions of life to the most complex thought processes each of us can do. Some folks have better memories than others. Other people can debate and talk at lightning speed. Still others might not be able to share everything going on in their brains verbally, but can still work through mathematical problems and find the solution.
My first foray into praising God for the wonders of our brains came the day we saw our daughter’s final MRI. It was a horrible sight. Her brain had been destroyed by infection. It seemed like there was nothing left but fluid in her head! But at the base was the brain stem, untouched by infection. I don’t know how it was shielded from the microscopic attacks of the bacteria, but it was. And that brain stem had taken over all of the functions of life for her. From the day we looked at that MRI, she lived six additional weeks, twice as long as it took for the infection to destroy the rest of her brain. It was incredible.
God continues to amaze me with all of the ways He heals and restores. This six weeks was another gift of healing. We had time together at home, as a family, something MY brain and heart desperately needed. It gave me hope when I thought all hope was lost. It brought me joy and peace. We were able to love our daughter and surround her with family and friends.
Thank you Jesus for our brains and how you’ve made them.
Next post coming tomorrow.