Double VisionFebruary 2012
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Shana and Friend
Shana Ogren Lourey and Friend in Africa

The Mire

by Shana Ogren Lourey

How can a brain lose faith?  Is there a cranial lobe that guides our spirituality?

There must be.  And in an accident I lost it.

The seizure was bad.  The coma sucked.  The daily headaches broke me and required daily Vicodin.  But the worst result of getting a traumatic brain injury?

My brain has misplaced faith.  Of all my brain injury doctors, speech therapists, and neurologists, none of them were assigned to help correct or medicate my spirit. 

I lost my sense of smell as a result of the brain injury — not because my nose can't sniff, but because my brain can no longer receive and process smell.  But I don't understand how my sense of spirit connects to my head.  I'm not sure who does understand that.

Since receiving a severe brain injury, my spirit has become a critic.  I believe good things won't last or aren't really true.  I now instinctually conclude that bad things will happen if I am involved with them.  I question everything good.  My wonderful husband often has to try and convince me, "This isn't a dream.  We are really together."  It is somehow hard for my brain to believe.

Sometimes I don't blame the brain injury.  Instead I blame the location in which I received the brain injury — Malawi, Africa.  I blame the sight of the HIV and poverty, and the questions lacking any good answers that seeing them brought me.  Or I blame the cancer that stole one of my parents too early.

Either way, I always blame God.

But do I give God enough credit?  Do I put a fair amount of time and energy into appreciating the good that exists?  Perhaps I can at least split time evenly between thanking God and insulting God.  Perhaps that will guide my vision more clearly.

Psalm 69

Save me, God,
For the waters have reached my
I have sunk into the mire of the deep,
where there is no foothold.
I have gone down to the watery depths;
the flood overwhelms me.
I am weary with crying out;
my throat is parched.
My eyes have failed,
looking for my God.

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