Monday, May 9, 2016
Annie's Mother's Day Talk
Annie was asked to speak in church on Mother's Day. Luckily, she had a two week notice and a topic she is very familiar with. I am so proud of her. We worked on writing this talk together. She wrote a very good outline of what she wanted to say and I helped her put it into sentences that still sounded like her. She practiced saying this talk out loud at least twenty times until she practically had it memorized. I admire her dedication and determination to constantly work with the skills she has.
She is wonderful and an inspiration to me.
Annie Michaela Brown:
A talk about faith
We believe that the first principle and ordinance of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.” Faith is the foundation of the gospel. It begins with knowing that Jesus is our Savior and we must have faith in Him, His gospel, and His teachings as we live our lives here on earth. At eleven years old my faith got tested and I have had to practice living with faith every day since.
When I was 9 years old I used to be a gymnast, soccer player, play the clarinet, and I loved to read books. I never went anywhere with out a book. But, on the night of August 13, 2009 my life changed forever. I was at tumbling practice and I was so excited because I finally did my first back hand spring. After practice I got this wave-like feeling in my stomach and started sweating. I had no clue what was happening. When I got home, I rested on the couch and I remember blinking my eyes only twice then everything went black. That next morning, I woke up in the hospital with My mom telling me that night I seized for 14 hrs. We thought at the time I would recover and be fine, but it happened again a month later, and again a month after that. Eventually they diagnosed me with epilepsy and I became sick all the time.
Over the next 2 years from 2009 I kept having severe seizures that sent me to the hospital multiple times, I had to take at least 8 pills a day, and I had to quit tumbling and all my other favorite activities. My faith was being tested. I had anger in me, depression and fear. There were days where I didn't go to school and it made me angry to be in so much pain, and I was afraid to be by myself in case something happened.
In just last months conference Elder Donald L. Hallstrom stated "when difficult things occur in our lives, what is the immediate response? Is it confusion or doubt or spiritual withdrawal? Is it a blow to our faith? Do we blame God or circumstances? Close quote. I didn’t blame God, but it was a blow to my faith because there were so many activities I couldn’t enjoy anymore.
On October 15, 2012 I was submitted to a Pediatric Epilepsy Monitoring Unit known as PEMU. I would lower off my medication to see where my seizures were happening in my brain. I spent 5 days in the hospital that week which I called a week of pure misery or other wise the word that is opposite of heaven. The results showed I had a lesion in my brain which made me a candidate for brain surgery. Then, I had even more fear of having person cut through my head.
In Proverbs 3:5-6 it talks about trusting in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding." I was at a point in my life at only 11 years old, almost 12, where I had to trust the Lord, because the doctors told us that if they could remove the lesion, my seizures might go away.
The morning of November 15th, I was still having fear and worries about surgery. At 8:00 am, the doctor came in and said the nurses will take you up to the OR after they get your blood drawn. When I left the room I held strong to my faith and trusted in the Lord with my extreme fear and kept saying "I'm not gonna die, I'm not gonna die, everything's gonna be alright."
I woke up later with one eye shut, gauze wrapped around my head and having a cold rag on my face. Each day I stayed in the hospital, there were more effects than we thought. My brain could not handle loudness, music, and crowds. For 2 months I even had double vision, from the way they opened up my head. I forgot completely who my uncle was, and how people were related. And I couldn't even repeat a five word sentence back to the doctor. Therapy was my next step.
When I started therapy it was the most hardest thing in the world, but the best thing to help rebuild my brain and find new ways on how to use it. I did therapy for 2 years, but It didn't mean I would be back to how I would use to be before. Some people think losing pieces from your brain is nothing and you recover in just 6 weeks! But no. My brain is not how it was. I'm not a straight A student anymore and getting a 100% on a math or writing tests. I still can't sing and I get tired fast of loudness and crowds. I became almost the exact opposite of how I was before. And sometimes the days are really hard.
However, what I’ve learned from having faith in Jesus Christ is that when I trust in his plan for me, and get rid of the fear and worries, I am happier. He has a unique plan for me and I have absolute faith in it. It is what it is. I decided to follow his path, it was hard from the beginning and it still is, but some things I’ve discovered that are different after surgery is my happiness. I am happy to be who I am now and happy to be seizure free. I am thankful for all of the love I have gotten from my friends and family.
I was glad I was asked to talk about faith in Jesus Christ on Mother's Day because my mom set many examples to me. I read on pinterest that "Life doesn’t come with a manual it comes with a mother." I’m grateful my mother was with me on this journey and was able to survive my tears of pain, and I’m glad she was able to let me practice my own faith and not have her do it for me.
So today, my assignment was to talk about having faith in Jesus Christ and I decided to share with you an experience I have had practicing it and I hope that was helpful. You’ll never go wrong trusting in the Lord and livin one day at a time.