For you newcomers…a reposting of a post from Nov.23, 2008

Sometimes it helps to have a visual aid when trying to wrap one’s mind around something so unfamiliar to most of us.  That’s why I decided to re-post this entry from Nov. 23, 2008.  This is a picture of the bad boy that’s coming out tomorrow.  The opening salvos have been launched.  The enemy is weakened.  Tomorrow is V-AVM day (victory over AVM).

Thanks to modern technologies that my oldest son Luke knows how to use, he was able to download a copy of the best MRI image of my very own AVM. It’s amazing.

Doctors say it has been there since birth and likely stopped increasing in size when I turned 15 or 16…about the same time I started driving. I’m very happy that it stopped growing after reaching nearly the size of a peach. Much larger and there wouldn’t have been much room for anything else on that side. I’m considering trying to contact some of my former junior and senior high school teachers to see if they would be willing to reconsider some of the grades they imposed on me. I’m thinking I should have been spotted maybe 10 points on the ACT and perhaps 100 on the GRE. But that’s all behind me now. I shall be content to let the records stand.

Every cubic centimeter this thing takes up is completely wasted space in my brain. My ten year old Elisabeth offered tonight with a smile on her face that “if they take it out maybe you will get a lot smarter.” We could only hope.

Psalm 139:13-16 says “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.”

God made me and He made you just exactly the way He wanted us to be. By no means am I suggesting that babies born with correctable defects should not be corrected within reason. I am merely suggesting because of my understanding of texts like Psalm 139, that God made no mistakes when He made us. It’s not as if the Down Syndrome baby somehow escaped the eye of the Creator. Each one intricately woven in a mother’s womb. Each and every day written in God’s book before one of them came to be…for purposes that are mostly hidden from our minds and our eyes.

Like you and every other human being who has ever lived (except for Jesus Christ) I too was conceived in sin… only I was born with an impressive imperfection of which I had no clue until one month ago tomorrow. You may be wondering, “How (or why) could (would) a perfect God create a human being with such an imperfection?”

Well, there’s probably about six-and-a-half billion other folks in this world who would be interested in that answer as well. As I say on the home page of this blog it is my intention to demonstrate by my life and my words how the reality of Romans 8:28 “…God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose,” as much as I understand it, is realized in my own life through this frowning Providence.

The top of this picture is the back of my head. The thing in the left frontal lobe that doesn’t look like it belongs there…that’s it.



One thought on “For you newcomers…a reposting of a post from Nov.23, 2008”

  1. Mike and Karla,

    Our family is friends with Craig and Angie Wittenberg and have been praying for you since we found out about your AVM.

    We have a son, Isaiah, with spina bifida. He is an incredible delight and blessing to our family. Since his birth, the Scripture verses that you quoted from Psalm 139 have become my favorite.

    Two weeks ago Angie told me that you have probably had your AVM since birth. I went home and wrote you a long letter, sharing with you how much Psalm 139 meant to me and how much of a blessing Isaiah has been to our family. Though I can’t help but wish that he didn’t have medical issues to deal with, I also can’t help but give thanks to God for blessing us so mightily through the difficult times that have come with those issues. God’s will is mysterious, but is always good, even when it seems otherwise.

    After writing the letter, it laid around for a few days waiting for me to get your mailing address from Angie. Then I threw it away, figuring you needed my prayers, but probably not my feeble encouragement.

    Your post today confirmed my suspicions, and it made me smile. Thank you for sharing it. We continue to pray, “God’s will be done.” And we pray that yours and our eyes will continue to be opened to see the good in whatever that divine will may be.

    In Christ,
    Stacy Picard


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