The day my left hand went numb

handIt’s my anniversary.

Not of my birth or my wedding, but of my stroke. On April 15, 2016, I went to work like usual and as I was addressing an envelope at my desk I . . . fell out. You can read about that experience HERE.

In that post, I mentioned that having a stroke is the sort of life event that would continue to echo through my life for a long time. And it has. But not as expected (because what EVER happens the way you expect??).

At the time, I felt certain having a stroke would be some sort of watershed moment. There would be a definite before and after. Not so much. Basically, after my week-long recovery (translation: laying around letting friends and family spoil me), my life picked up where I left off on the 15th.

So how does having a stroke continue to resonate? Fear. Or rather the lack thereof.

Fifteen years ago I had a severe allergic reaction to a yellow jacket sting. It was the most terrifying thing to ever happen to me. And the fear held on afterwards. Tight.

Not so with the stroke. I was never afraid. Confused, uneasy about my numb hand, tired, troubled about medication–but mostly I felt safe and well cared for. Loved. At peace.

And that’s a Holy Spirit thing y’all.

Because He was the main difference between the two events. I was on my own with the bee sting, with the stroke I had the Spirit to comfort me.

The only lingering effect of my stroke is some numbness in the tip of my left index finger and the side of the middle finger closest to it. The neurologist said to give it a year and if the feeling didn’t return it probably wouldn’t. Hello new normal.

And I’m glad.

That funny, tight feeling and lack of fine sensation is a wonderful reminder that with God I have nothing to fear. I’m safe even when I’m not comfortable. And when scary things happen–a bee sting, the illness of someone I love, all sorts of loss–I can tap that numb index finger and whisper, “fear not, fear not, fear not.”

Because so long as I am His, fear is transient and love is eternal.

Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 

11 thoughts on “The day my left hand went numb

  1. Shelia Stovall

    My brother experience two mini strokes last Wednesday. He lost the use of his left arm for a while, but the use of it has returned. The doctors are still puzzled and can’t seem to discover the root cause of the problem. One doctor explained this event is a warning of the possibility of a major event. You’re post reminds me that God knows the issue, and He can heal him. Thank you for sharing this post.

    1. Luckily (I guess!) we know my issue. I have a-fib, which can throw the occasional clot. Blood thinners are supposed to be taking care of that now, but I’m with you–I’d rather trust the Great Physician!

  2. There is an assurance of comfort that is inexplicable. The new normal–a reminder how life is ever changing and adapting to those changes is so much easier with the Lord’s grace.

  3. Grammy

    Good articles in your blog. I will be looking to read more of them. God is the same: yesterday, today, forever. So thankful.

  4. I sure didn’t know you had a stroke. My goodness. I’m so thankful you are fine. My husband has some health problems that we discovered around Christmas. I’ve been in such a paranoid state. It’s the strangest thing. It’s not me at all. But I think I’ve just got so many things out of my control right now … and then you remember that you’ve never been in control. I’m easing into peace though. I guess I just want more and more years. Trying to hang onto something I just can’t hang on to. 🙂 Anyway, you’ve really encouraged me, Sarah.

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