By E.J. Norris
I begin telling this tale by saying that we serve an incredible God; he who the mountains obey and he who parts seas is very much alive in all of us. Every day I praise him for all he has done for me.
When I was about ten years old, happy and carefree, my family and I were startled by the symptoms of a rare medical condition. On the night of the occurrence I was playing happily when suddenly my mouth filled with blood. Terrified and frantic, I rushed to the bathroom and spat into the sink, staining the pearl white red. But more blood gushed out faster than I could spit. My sister ran for my mother who was a trained nurse and managed to hurriedly stifle the bleeding. After she had calmed me she and my father got me into the car and we drove off into the night. I recall that we sang all the way to the emergency room,
Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice,
Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice,
Rejoice! Rejoice! Again I say rejoice,
Rejoice! Rejoice! Again I say rejoice!
Once surrounded by the white walls of the doctor’s office I was examined by the doctor on call at the time. We explained to him the stunning events of the evening and he was just as puzzled.
“I can see she bled.” he said. Indeed it was obvious because of the stains left on my shirt. “But I can’t see anything wrong.”
There was no reason to keep me there so we returned home and I, in my child-like mind, was content to forget it. But my mother was not. After all, one doesn’t begin bleeding profusely just because. In our family, God is at the head and she prayed. She received a single, clear answer, “Call the dentist.”
She called my dentist and he said,
“If it happens again, bring her in. We’ll leave the office open for you.”
Sure enough, what I was content to forget happened yet again. It was a winter evening, as the first incident had been, and I was eating dinner when that same ominous taste came. The second bleed was not as dramatic as the first, but just as troubling. We dropped everything and off to the dentist we went. I expected to sit and wait for awhile like we had in the emergency room, but we were ushered in immediately. X-rays were taken and the dentist looked, observing a shadowed area beneath my molars on the lower right side. Praise God that he realized that this mysterious ailment was beyond his expertise! He put up his hands and said,
“I’m not touching her. I’m sending you to an oral surgeon.”
I was listening, uncomprehending. Oral Surgeon? What’s that?
It was another waiting room, another office, and another doctor to try and decipher the strange problem. But I know God brought us there because when he examined my case he was stunned and exclaimed that he had just finished a book on this subject that very day! Then, for the first time, the ailment had a name: Arterial Venous Malformation. For treatment he sent us to the expert, the author of the book, in Boston, Massachusetts. That began a cycle of treatment during which I leaned on the Lord as I continued going through school and coping.
Then came the summer of 2011, the summer before my junior year of high school, I began seeking what the good Lord meant for me to do. I wasn’t sure. Others around me were planning for college and prosperous careers. At that point my greatest love was writing. It was such fun to invent worlds and people and that summer I wondered what would happen if I let God take hold of my pen. What if I prayed for the words? So, I prayed saying,
“Lord, the pen is yours. What do you want me to do?”
When God leads amazing things happen and within just a few days a Christian based plot came to mind with a fire unlike any story that came before it. After two or three tries at a beginning it came to life on the pages of a large, black journal and it flowed as easily as water. Nothing slowed its progress and it was encouragement and help in my healing as the condition continued. While recovering from a surgery, rather than being
swallowed by my circumstances I waited in anticipation for the anesthesia induced fog in my head to clear. Every morning I would say to myself,
“I wonder if I’ll be able to write today.”
Now, as of April 1rst 2014, that story, The Mirror and The Sword is officially a published novel. How it has grown amazes me! I am nineteen years old and an author! The story continues, for The Mirror and The Sword is just the beginning.
In sharing this with the world around me it’s my hope that God uses it to touch the lives of all who travel through its pages and if any doubts come to my mind about the future I will try to have faith like a mustard seed and keep in mind my favorite verse.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
God bless you all and keep a smile on.
E.J. Norris was born on July 16, 1994 in Blue Hill, Maine. While hop-skipping between home school, Calvary Chapel Christian School, and Bangor High School, writing evolved from a mere hobby to an obsession. It was inspired by personal beliefs and a struggle through complex medical problems. Through its publication, the author hopes that the adventures of Tenny and Anna will encourage others through difficult times. E.J. currently resides in Orrington, Maine.
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