Perspective is a word that is often used and sought after. I’ve seen that perspective, though useful and powerful, is rarely attained easily. Sometimes it takes difficulty encroaching upon our lives to bring it about.
This is the case with our latest entry into the Finding Who We Are series. One of my best friends, Ryan Chambers, was gracious enough to share his story with us. As with every story we post, we hope that you find encouragement and hope through it.
Something I have never known. Something I have always longed for. Ever since my childhood, I’ve dealt with this part of me. It was something that I was that I felt had a hold on me.
A seizure disorder that hindered me from doing certain things, or required me to do others; such as take pills every day, make sure I get enough sleep, etc. Even though I tried my best to display happiness and be “normal”, I always felt different from everyone else. I would always be embarrassed when I would go on church trips, or spend the night at a friends house and have to explain why I’m taking these pills and what would happen if I didn’t. Seeing their reaction was sometimes the worst because they were my friends.
Into the latter part of my teenage years, around sixteen or seventeen, another thing just piled on top.
A brain tumor.
I can’t explain the thoughts that go through your mind, but one thing I can explain is how God works. The doctors wanted to do brain surgery right away, but my family and I got a second opinion from Duke University. That’s when we were told it was a benign tumor, meaning it wasn’t cancerous, so even up until this day I walk around with a brain tumor. In it’s current state, it is not affecting me, but if the other doctors would have done surgery, there was a good chance I would have lost my short term memory forever.
That’s not the only time I’ve seen God work personally in my life either. I’ve had two occasions where they believe I might have had a seizure while I was driving. My first attack came when I was extremely tired from a trip back home. I passed out for a couple seconds, ran a stop sign, but praise God he was looking out for me and there was no traffic on this normally busy road. The other attack came one morning on my way to work and I had made a stop to meet with someone. After meeting with them, they said I stayed in their driveway for about 5 minutes (I don’t remember that at all, *shocker*). I then left and went to work. It was raining this particular morning, and I went around a turn, lost control, hydroplaned, and flipped the vehicle I was driving.
Totaled it, but not a single scratch on me.
God obviously isn’t done with me because I should be in the ground by now and my soul with Him. So I saw myself and how broken I was, but I always knew some are more broken than others. It’s the way we use our brokenness that makes us who we are.
I began to realize that it’s not about me and my story, it’s all about God and how He is working through me to further his glory. Yes, many people can’t say they that have epilepsy and a brain tumor, but many people also can’t say they’ve been to 5 different continents, spreading the gospel and learning more about his people.
God uses all of our situations for His glory not ours.
Thank you, Ryan, for opening your heart and sharing it. As your friend, and brother, I am proud of you, and the man that you’re becoming. You’re awesome!
I hope you all know that you are not alone. This marks the twentieth entry into the series. That means that there have been twenty stories of unique individuals all expressing one thing: No matter where you are, you’re not the only one.
We hope that you find peace in that.
Finding Who We Are is showing no signs of slowing down. I’ve now booked the next two months full of individuals who have a story to share. If you would like to share your story, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to see the next three months full!
I would love to meet you and hear your story. Feel free to comment down below! Subscribe at the top of the page if you loved what you read.
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