Wednesday, June 12, 2013

It's All In the Seed

There is power in our words.  The Bible says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. This passage in Proverbs is not referring to the life giving and judgment speaking mouth of God – it is actually referring to the “harvest” of human lips.  Proverbs actually says that the “tongue of the wise brings healing.”  I suppose I was always taught growing up that this was a spiritual thing and good for the soul alone, but Proverbs declares the truth that words actually affect the soul and the body.

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.  Proverbs 16:24

How I love the Word.  The living Word of God.  It is the Word I long to speak out – the promises that I seek to declare over the “situations” of my life! 


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  John 1:1

In the beginning the Word – Jesus – spoke into existence all that is.  This is enough to send me into wonder for long periods of time.  The vastness of this truth hits me at times and I am just speechless at the complexity of the mind of God.  One such time recently I was reading about Hyssop in a magazine.  The magazine was highlighting the different medicinal applications of the herb which is good for respiratory distress and “oh by the way” can be applied in a compress to wounds for its analgesic properties.  This little bit of information sent me into a moment of marveling at God!  Though we may have realized these details “by accident” not one detail was an accident!

This is what brings me to a truth shared with me recently by a Spiritual Mother and mentor about “The Seed.”  She recently taught on the completeness of the Word spoken.  When THE Word (Jesus) spoke, and he told the flower; “you’re a flower,” that's all it took.  That was it.  Everything it needed to be a flower was there – and it was all there in the seed.  Sure the seed may need some water and soil and sunlight – but everything it needs to be a flower – its DNA – it is all there.  She was teaching that the same is true about what God speaks over us – all we need to become what we are to become in Christ is already in us – because He spoke it.  Though I love her application, this teaching became meaningful to me in a different way this past week.  It became the truth that we needed to speak out over our situation.

On September 29, 2012 the Lord spoke.  He spoke, and my children were healed from a lifelong medical condition that all summed up amounted to a whole heap of trauma for my young little ones.  BUT GOD.  He spoke on September 29, 2012.  He said; “HEALED.”  Though PTSD may be the symptom – the diagnosis is HEALED.  Dr. Jesus – THE WORD – the same Word who spoke the universe into existence – SPOKE.  

September 29, 2012 - HEALED!  Eating in a restaurant for the first time ever!

 Last week I met with a play therapist who specializes in attachment and trauma.  The meeting went great.  I sensed the anointing of the Holy Spirit on this course of action.   Simultaneously the children were out of control.  The situation was getting worse, much worse.  Though I had peace most of the time – something was building.   It was not fear as much as it was the familiar pulse of dysfunction (medical dysfunction in this case).  I was getting right back into the swing of it – like we hadn’t even left it.  But we had, and I had already learned that “un-well” – “different” – does not equal special.  No matter how much that lie from Hell tried to grip me – I knew better. 

I had asked for prayer last Sunday evening at a special church service – my request focused on discernment for knowing if this problem was “real” or “attack.”  This Sunday I asked our small group to pray for the situation and for inner healing to go with the children’s physical healing.  There were a number of prayer requests spoken for that evening and the prayer time was powerful.  That evening after our guests left and the kids were ready for bed, LittleR asked if he could pick the Bible story.  He flipped through his book looking at the pictures and decided he wanted to read about the “stinky river.”  Having never read through this particular Bible story book before I had no idea what the story was about.  As I read I was astounded.  The story was that of the “important” man named Namaan.  He had leprosy and sought out the prophet Elisha to receive healing.  He was a sinfully proud man and initially refused to wash in the river Elisha told him too – he thought his healing should have more bells and whistles.  Eventually he did as Elisha said and he was healed of the leprosy.  The astounding thing about the story is the way it was told by the children’s Bible.  The focus was on God’s ability to heal the physical and the emotional/psychological need.  

"God knew that Namaan was even sicker on the inside than he was on the outside... Their hearts were broken.  But God can mend broken hearts." - The Jesus Storybook Bible

All I could do was smile, and declare - “it’s all in the seed.”

Monday was the best day we have had in many days.  It was not perfect.  LittleR was still “teetering” on melting down a couple of times, but didn’t.  Yesterday, Tuesday, was the first day we have had since March (when this all began) that was simply put – normal. Today has also been normal.  NORMAL.

Thank you Jesus for the healing.  Thank you that there is POWER in the name of Jesus.  Thank you that YOU are the Word. 

John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Thankfully We Realized We Were Wrong

PTSD…it was like a quiet gentle whisper in my heart – an answer to the strange behavior that LittleM began exhibiting shortly after her divine healing in September of 2012.  LittleM suddenly became ultra clingy and seemed to regress in her developmental desires (for lack of a better description).  All of a sudden the “big girl” who wanted to dress herself, feed herself, and do big-girl independent things suddenly didn’t want to do anything on her own.  Meal time and potty time were the worst.  At first we fought with her.  We thought the right thing to do was to make our 4 year old ACT like a 4 year old.  We fought with her for about an hour every night to get her to eat her dinner on her own – she wanted to be fed – but we thought it was RIGHT to make her feed herself.  Honestly we thought a lot of what was going on was about that typical next-step-control stuff that preschoolers go through.  

Thankfully we realized we were wrong.  

That whisper – PTSD – was both the beginning of our realizing our major error and a peaceful sigh of relief.  Around the same time, my sister-in-law and I had a conversation about attachment.  I shared with her that I was suspecting some sort of attachment issues.  She began talking about the impact of feeding a baby/toddler on attachment.  We were driving home from an hour long trip to the “faraway grocery store” all the kid’s were asleep in the back of the van, and I felt like a huge light bulb just exploded above my head.  She shared what she and my brother had learned in the adoption process about the impact of feeding an adopted child to aid in creating a secure attachment.  I had remembered when my nephew came home from the hospital and them telling me that it was very important that they be the only ones to feed him – the only ones to meet his needs – “containing” him – helping him to bond and attach to them.  

As the days wore on after this I felt sick to my stomach.  I realized that every time LittleM had asked me to feed her she was really asking me to meet her need for a more secure attachment.  The fact that we were fighting with her day after day…missing the need entirely…and thus not meeting it…it made me sick.  Thankfully, I have an amazing mom who works professionally in a field that faces these issues with foster-care kids on a regular basis.  Thankfully she is also always my biggest fan!  She listened to me, reassured me that this was going to be ok, and helped me to brainstorm for a plan.  

It took a little longer to realize that LittleR was struggling with the same issues since he was displaying them in behavioral issues with some sensory “features” more so than the more obvious emotional pathologies of a female!  Nevertheless, we have come to realize that his “stuff” may be even more pressing than hers.  

Do you know how a child will get hurt at school or a friend’s house and hold in the tears, but as soon as he sees his mom he just busts out crying?  I feel like that is what we are dealing with.  PTSD is really the BEST way to describe it.  It is as though the twins were holding it all together while they were sick.  While they were so different than all the other kids, not able to eat, not able to use finger paints, go near new carpets – basically knowing that anything in the WORLD might give them a reaction.  They were surviving knowing that it was almost a guarantee that they would be in the doctor’s office just about every week.  They were surviving knowing that soon they would have another painful immunotherapy shot, more testing, or other traumatic procedure.  They were surviving knowing that we had to move in with grandma and grandpa because the only home they had ever known - the “mold house” - was not safe for them.  THEY WERE SURVIVING!  And then, all of a sudden…THEY WERE HEALED.  After a while…that sigh of relief…something began to happen.  PTSD…it was a quiet whisper.  

With the realization came an understanding that allowed us to immediately change our own behaviors as parents.  We have since allowed them to “revert backward” as far as they wish (all while trying to keep some sort of balance to not allow them to be damaged in some other way from having no boundaries).  This is certainly not easy.  It has its’ own kind of exhaustion.  There are times though, when I realize that we are being given back lost time.  When I can just let go of the way things are "supposed to look" I realize that the simple act of feeding my precious little ones is a gift.  

I know this WILL all be ok.  We are going to walk through this and on the other side I know my little ones will be whole!

I just feel impressed upon my heart to share what I wish I knew – what I wish some other FPIES parent or doctor had told ME:

Dear Nichole, 

Make sure you feed the twins.  This is a developmental milestone that they cannot afford to miss.  Even though they don't have any safe foods - you can still feed them.  It may seem silly or like a waste of time, but I promise - it will be worth it.  You can feed them water, breast milk, or formula FROM A SPOON – at least sometimes.   If they are are old enough to feed themselves once they do have a safe food, don't let them - at least not all the time.  It is so important for their attachment - for every relationship in their entire lifetime - that they experience YOU meeting this basic need.  You are faced with such a significant disturbance in the natural bonding process of a mother feeding her child.  Take heart, there are other things you can do to build a more secure attachment with them too.  You could try co-sleeping, baby wearing...there are other ideas too.  I know it may seem like a lot of work and a big commitment.  I wouldn't worry about what the books might say about letting them be independent or letting them "cry it out" and sleep theories.  It is of the utmost importance for you - in your situation - to make greater efforts and opportunities for them to bond and attach to you.  The simple truth is, you will be giving them an amazing gift. 

Someone who has been there

At this point, we are believing Jesus for complete emotional restoration and healing for the twins.  We will begin walking through doors trusting the Lord to open and close the right ones.  We are currently looking into play therapy and filial therapy with a focus on trauma and attachment.
Thank you Jesus for revelation, wisdom, and healing.

As a side note for parents of multiples:
 I believe our unique situation with FPIES exacerbated and made more obvious the need to have the eye contact while feeding that is natural for a baby at the breast (even if it is a bottle).  Since we had twins this was not often the case.  They were both fed at the same time and often with each of them lying on a Boppy pillow on each side of me.  They could see me and I would talk to them, but they didn’t necessarily have that consistent eye contact while having their need (hunger) met (this is the philosophy of containment – and is the essence/foundation of attachment).