Olivia's journey has been rough - to say the least. Born perfectly healthy, her declining health has always been called a mystery. Fifteen years have come and gone, with no change to the daily seizures that have held our hearts hostage..... until now. Finding HOPE and healing for our girl began with the introduction of Medicinal Cannabis - A controversial treatment for untreatable seizure disorders.
Her story briefly -
At 18-months she developed little "shaking spells" in the middle of the night. Olivia's journey has been rough - to say the least. Born perfectly healthy, her declining health has always been called a mystery. Fifteen years have come and gone, with no change to the daily seizures that have held our hearts hostage..... until now. Finding HOPE and healing for our girl began with the introduction of Medicinal Cannabis - A controversial treatment for untreatable seizure disorders.The Neurologist called them "Generalized Myoclonic Seizures". In many cases this can be the beginning of a degenerative condition, but month after month Olivia “defied” this inaccurate diagnosis by continuing to develop normally. Several months later, after a medical procedure, the little "shakes" became large jerks that would catapult her to the floor. She stopped talking, stopped responding to our voice and appeared have entered her own little world. The seizures continued to change. They soon became "drop" seizures and would come on with no warning and she would fall or crash into whatever was in front or below her. They continued to worsen into classic tonic clonic seizures that would last anywhere between 40 to 90 seconds.
Complexity was the word often used to describe Olivia's condition. We've done our due diligence.....we tried all the medications, none worked. We tried the supplement route through a well-known clinic in Chicago. We then tried the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), to which the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet is developed from. We saw such amazing results from this diet we decided to take her off the many supplements she was taking because we didn't think she needed them. Well, we were wrong, and she crashed. Apparently, the supplements were helping her --- it was not a coincidence. It made sense that to get her back (at least to the place before pulling the supplements away), we should just put her back on the supplements -- but it didn't happen that way. The complexity often used to describe her was now ten fold, any change we made "upset" her fragile hypersensitivity to change and her path became even more confusing and "crooked". The Medicinal Cannabis has finally given us a mechanism to control the extreme Neurological Inflammation racing through her little body -- something every anticonvulsant medication failed to deliver on.
As a parent to a severely autistic child who has daily uncontrolled seizures, the memory of her being "normal" has never been forgotten. The hope of helping, if not stopping her daily suffering has been an uphill journey. Approaching her situation from a diet perspective is not an entirely new idea. Olivia was on a version of the SCD diet in 2005 with some success because I never introduced the homemade yogurt, which is the main healing modality. The main difference between then and now is the knowledge base of Dr. McBride and her ability to share the wealth of information she personally gathered as she cured her own severely autistic child with the SCD diet.
I do respect and am thankful for the excellent emergency practices of the conventional medical institution. Their services have literally saved Olivia's life on numerous occasions. Alternative care has taught me so much about the power of your own immune system, and the tragedy that can follow when the immune system is damaged. Why these two worlds can't work together to shape and protect us all is a shame.
This blog is really about our journey over the last 15 years. Although the focus is Olivia and her recovery, I will also include how this has affected our whole family and how we have dealt with this unexpected interruption in our lives.
Hebrews 11:1 -
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Have a question or comment for me?
Friday, November 23, 2018
So much to update you on! Her progress......what she's regained!
Sunday, November 18, 2018
I'm referring to the Hosea+Gomer bible story? It's been called one of the greatest love stories of all time. Somewhat simple to define, much more complex to understand the context. It's a symbolic message of a not so perfect marriage between God's prophet Hosea, and his unfaithful wife Gomer.
Their marriage is a symbolic representation of God’s relationship with Israel.
Hosea=God Gomer=Israel=His unfaithful chosen ones (which ultimately=me+you)
Are you wondering what this has to do with Olivia?
Unfortunately, it has everything to do with why Olivia's life was destroyed. Literally. It's Truth will describe how she can get her life back. Hopefully.
Although I've been familiar with this bible story for some time, I've never taken the time to dive deeper into it's meaning until now. Fortunately for me, it happens to be the study I started this fall --
Hosea: Unfailing Love Changes Everything by Jennifer Rothschild.
Have you ever heard the Bible referred to as the Living Word? I've heard that expression for years and even though this study is hard for some to swallow, I feel as if God has been speaking through it to answer some of the unanswered (unanswerable?) questions I've dealt with (on and off) for the last 18 years.
Like.....why my kid? Or....where are You God, cuz this hurts (and stinks, and sucks and is excruciatingly painful). Or, how about this one......where's Your plan for good here? Or..... is healing for the faithful or the lucky? Or, how about that constant wondering if You see me? Do You see her? Do You see the suffering?
Just those little questions.
I always likened myself as more of a Gilmore Girl......not a Gomer Girl. For all of you who know and love Lorelei Gilmore, you know, and probably can relate, to her flawed coping mechanisms on display throughout the series. You know....that damn independence...or is it self dependence? The mistake she made at 16 and the consequences she endured (even though the worst of the consequences were sadly inflicted by herself). Remember how she ran away? How she isolated herself (and her beautiful mistake -- Rory). She hid to conceal and protect her heart from the criticism. She went into control mode. She hid from her perceived failure. Her mistake defined her whole life. She became proud. Those darn MISTAKES!!! Sound familiar?
Now, that's relatable.
Gomer, on the other hand, not so much. She's a prostitute. An adulterer. She's portrayed as a willful participant in her unfaithfulness, but is she? Is she willful or is she blinded? Her history mentions the sins of her father.....whose fame seems to be his promiscuous nature... like father, like daughter. Her history is telling for all of us. We inherit more than our genes from our parents. We inherit habits, both good and bad. We inherit behaviors, thinking patterns and wellness habits. Most of all, we inherit "learned" belief systems, whether they are true or not.
There is so much depth in the book of Hosea. Entire sermon series and bible studies dive deep into the riches of truth and wisdom contained within these pages. I will only be focusing on what I believe is the lesson for me at this point in my journey with Olivia. God speaks to each of us individually, and what I get out of these scriptures may be drastically different then what you may see. For me, the role of scripture is to learn about God's character and to apply the obvious life lessons that are so richly taught in this accurately named.....Living Word.
Within the book of Hosea, we see God's anger as His people turn away from Him to worship other gods and idols. Their unfaithfulness to Him. It's a book about people wandering. Wandering away, not towards their God in Heaven. Step within, and soon you'll learn more details of the consequences to blind faith and inherited beliefs. They will hit your blindfold smack dab in the middle.
We are introduced to phony religious leaders and learn the dangers of a "copy cat" religious system set up by man. It details how these men seek to replace Him. Worshipping golden calves as a core belief system in their newly formed "Northern Kingdom" wasn't too smart, but it "appeared" smart because for years and years their economy was incredibly successful. Lots and lots of money, however, most of their citizens were morally and spiritually bankrupt. Oh, yes.....they still believed in God, they just went to the other ones first. He wasn't their one and only.
This is the Hosea scripture that stopped me in my tracks:
You stumble day and night, and the prophets stumble with you.
So I will destroy your mother—my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
“Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests;
because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. Hosea 4:5-6.
Kind of rough wouldn't you say? God's anger at Israel is obvious. Why do I feel as though this is a major clue to the destruction in my life? Is this type of anger towards me in some way? I, too, have stumbled day and night as I've searched for the wisdom to heal my baby girl. The "prophets" of our age, aka the doctors, have stumbled as well. I'm destroyed, my daughter is destroyed by this ever-increasing "lack of knowledge". Is He ignoring my beautiful girl?
It got me thinking....what about my wanderings? What about my early belief system? Who did I, or do I idolize?
I think I represent many people from my generation. I had a "learned belief system" in respect to having children. My believe system, i.e., the first people I consulted on anything with my health, my children's health etc. was the medical community. Sure, I believed in God, but, I was taught they are the experts, and that is what I followed. I trusted them. I believed every word they said. I didn't even flinch when it came to giving my newborns those "life saving" vaccines, including injections that were given within 12 hours of life. Why would I? They were golden in my eyes.
Isn't this truth? Aren't they the golden calves of our age? It's just what the average American family did. No questions....just believe. We all IDOLIZED them. No questions asked.
Cambridge Dictionary defines idol as: a person who is loved, admired, or respected a lot.
Biblical definitions are a bit more serious:
"Idolatry literally means the worship of an "idol", also known as a cult image, in the form of a physical image, such as a statue or icon. In Abrahamic religions, namely Christianity, Islam and Judaism, idolatry connotes the worship of something or someone other than God as if it were God." Wikepedia
It's my history, just like Gomer had her history. I was raised with parents that witnessed the "miracle" of the polio vaccine. They passed down the stories of the people in their community who lost their lives to polio. Even more so, were the stories of all that were SAVED by the selfless medical community. The legends were real to them, and within one or two generations, a learned belief system was solidified with a symbolic golden sheen.
Over the years the urban legends have morphed and we are at an age where more and more people put this institution, and their experts, first. To many, their opinions mean more then what God has to say on the subject matter. Who even asks Him?
I remember watching a documentary on Amish communities. The leader of one of the communities was asked why they do not vaccinate and his reply was simple: "They do not want to interfere with the Will of God."
And there it is. A major reason why my daughter suffers so......I interfered with the Will of God and made choices for my baby based on my complete trust in an entity other than Him. I idolized the ignorant golden calf and there are consequences. Why did I, like Israel go after false Gods....like Gomer went to other lovers? One answer ---- learned, inherited belief system.
Another piece of advice given to me by all sorts or experts.....doctors, pastors, school officials...that I had to stop trying to "control" my situation. In the eyes of the spiritual experts, I wouldn't give the control up to God. In the eyes of the doctors, I had to ditch the control and just except her for what they said was her fault.....a genetic imperfection (that they could never figure out). Now, with the wisdom I've been so richly given, this really makes me laugh. You know why? Because of what they don't want to believe. I realize now, that I lost and transferred control of Olivia's life the minute I handed my beautiful baby girl to my pediatrician for her first vaccines. What I had left was feeling out of control and dependent on man, not God. And for what? Because I believed in an urban legend? Complete destruction of her life....all because of my ignorant learned belief system. I was so confident. I was so prideful.
Pride. Don't you love it? It's epidemic. Some of today's "experts" in all sorts of fields lack reverence. Only the prideful can pose as experts, especially when they have never even looked into the history and the truth of an invasive procedure like vaccines. Many just believe the past "experts", never thinking to investigate on their own. How would you feel if you found out that you've been Hoodwinked when it comes to the true polio history? What if it were really propaganda, or better yet merely an urban legend? (Resources at the bottom of this post if interested).
"Mistakes were made.....but not be me" is the 21st century mantra.
This happens to be the title of a best selling book.....Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts. This is an amazing book written by two sociologists speaking directly to this subject - cognitive dissonance.
"Cognitive dissonance, the mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. The unease or tension that the conflict arouses in people is relieved by one of several defensive maneuvers: they reject, explain away, or avoid the new information; persuade themselves that no conflict really exists; reconcile the differences; or resort to any other defensive means of preserving stability or order in their conceptions of the world and of themselves. The concept was developed in the 1950s by American psychologist Leon Festinger and became a major point of discussion and research." Encyclopedia Brittanica
"When we make mistakes, cling to outdated attitudes, or mistreat other people, we must calm the cognitive dissonance that jars our feelings of self-worth. And so, unconsciously, we create fictions that absolve us of responsibility, restoring our belief that we are smart, moral, and right—a belief that often keeps us on a course that is dumb, immoral, and wrong. Backed by years of research, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) offers a fascinating explanation of self-justification—how it works, the damage it can cause, and how we can overcome it."
We humans are wired to cognitively justify our actions and choices. At the same time we blindly, almost willfully, spitefully, making horrible and ever-worsening decisions. As a result, we devote an enormous amount of energy to creating and maintaining false constructs designed to preserve a sense of individual exceptionalism.
Are we being intellectually honest with vaccines?
By the golden calves I worshipped.
The buck has to stop with me. Pride separates me from the One who could figure Olivia's mess out. Remember my post "Assumptions Can Be Deceiving....... Continued"? In it, I posted the results of a recent study on Aluminum - specifically:
"Whilst being environmentally abundant, aluminum is not essential for life. On the contrary, aluminum is a widely recognized neurotoxin that inhibits more than 200 biologically important functions and causes various adverse effects in plants, animals, and humans". Kawahara 2011 PMID 21423554
It inhibits more than 200 biologically important functions! Obviously, even the alternative community has not discovered how her system was screwed up - literally. God is it. Only God can do the fixing and the rescuing.
Olivia deserved better.
God's giving me a second chance at helping Olivia, as Hosea gave Gomer a second chance. Like Gomer, I will no longer be the "spiritual prostitute" I was during the first time around. I'm forgiven. I'm loved by the Author of the Greatest Love Story in the bible.
The golden calf never delivered for me, or for Olivia. Their ignorance in what was originally God's creation has just made things worse.
This scripture is precious. Going back to Olivia's "Valley of Achor", where this trouble began. Knowing what happened to her body and fixing it will bring us to the door of hope. Surprisingly, over the last 18 years that damage has never been completely addressed. With 18 years of conventional doctor visits under our belt, Olivia is at her all time worst. The last hospitalization almost killed her.
Olivia, sweetie, I'm sorry I was such a Gomer.
God can rescue you.
I still believe He has a plan for her life and I am done interfering with His Will. Lauren Daigle describes this beautifully in her recent song - Rescue.
You are not hidden
There's never been a moment
You were forgotten
You are not hopeless
Though you have been broken
Your innocence stolen
I hear you whisper underneath your breath
I hear your SOS, your SOS
I will send out an army to find you
In the middle of the darkest night
It's true, I will rescue you
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19
History of Polio resources:
Smoke, Mirrors and the "Disappearance" of Polio Dr. Suzanne Humphries
Dr. Suzanne Humphries book "Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines and the Forgotten History
The Moth in the Iron Lung: A Biography of Polio - Forrest Maready
Here is a Polio video series by Vaccine Historian - Forrest Maready
My Incredible Opinion with Forrest Maready - Polio Part 1
My Incredible Opinion with Forrest Maready - Polio Part 2
My Incredible Opinion with Forrest Maready - Polio Part 3
My Incredible Opinion with Forrest Maready - Polio Part 4
My Incredible Opinion with Forrest Maready - Polio Part 5
My Incredible Opinion with Forrest Maready - Polio Part 6
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
We all say it as our kids get older.....How can it be? 20 years have gone by for my baby girl and my heart feels heavy.
Oh, friends. I want to be positive. I want to use fluffy unicorn words to portray a fake, picture perfect response to such a monumental day. Can I just be real? Can I just be honest?
If nothing else, this....this being real......showing my human weakness is a big part of this faith journey I've been on. In many respects, it parallels Olivia's current physical recovery efforts.
What the heck am I talking about?
I was just discussing this concept with a friend the other day. The concept is simple and hard in the same breath......as we recover....as we heal we have good days....but then we have bad days. As time goes on, soon our good days are equal to those bad days. Then, all of a sudden, there are more good days and the bad days aren't quite as bad as they were.
You get the picture.
Olivia and I are two peas in a pod. Those good days are multiplying, but the bad can overtake us in a moment.... sometimes for more than a moment.....kind of like the fierce storm that swept through our area in the last 24 hrs. Clouds moving in swiftly, lightning that appears to be coming through your windows and of course the gigantic "BOOM" of the delayed thunder as it wakes every living creature in the middle of the night. While laying in bed thinking, (let's be real....OVERthinking) the firey storm reminded me of one of my "go to" songs from a long time ago....."Praise You in The Storm " by Casting Crowns. Those heavenly lyrics...they kept me going when my bad days outnumbered the good. Here's a sampling:
I was sure by now, God you would have reached down
And wiped our tears away,
Stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
That it's still raining
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
The God who gives and takes away.
Here's the good new about my journey thus far.....
As I think back, my bad days only turned good as I grabbed hold of God's word. In actuality, my "bad" days back then were really bad even though Olivia's health was better (she was eating by herself, walking and did not need a wheelchair). I hope I'm articulating this correctly. So, even though this "storm" in my life has intensified to a present day tsunami level, my bad days are a fraction of what they used to be and I give all that praise to the One who has led my heart down a path of redemption and freedom.
Redemption. One Oxford definition says that is is "the act of being saved by error".
Redemption and Freedom. Yes, freedom from the guilt and shame of my error.......blindly trusting a "belief" system, freedom from my self condemnation for such blatant ignorance of the choices I was making for my beautiful girl. My beautiful young lady.
That's how Good He is.
Here's what's crazy........my annual "what does God's word say about numbers bit".....she's 20 now. Biblically speaking the meaning of 20 symbolizes redemption, and/or a complete or perfect waiting period.
Can't make this stuff up.
Olivia can be redeemed. Her life can be saved from that error. Remember, I told you we are on a new path? So far...... so good. Like anything, we still have those bad days.....but the bad aren't as bad as they used to be. More on this later.
I feel I've reaped the benefit from "Praising Him In The Storm". On to a new skill.......Learning how to tell my heart to beat again. Teaching Olivia to allow hers to do the same.
"You're shattered - Like you've never been before
The life you knew - In a thousand pieces on the floor
And words fall short in times like these - When this world drives you to your knees
You think you're never gonna get back - To the you that used to be
Tell your heart to beat again - Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away - Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door - You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been - And tell your heart to beat again
Beginning --- Just let that word wash over you
It's alright now ----Love's healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up, take step one --- Leave the darkness, feel the sun
'Cause your story's far from over --- And your journey's just begun
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Thank you for all the powerful prayers for her recovery this summer - we felt your love. Even if we have a long way to go, I'm incredibly thankful for every "mini" step forward.
She definitely looks irritated here because I missed getting a picture this morning and tried to get one after school but the rain started pouring down!
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Although rehabbing Olivia's weak post-hospital body should be a priority, the "experts" see it differently. Olivia was discharged prematurely from the in-home physical therapy....... just... "because". New guidelines and stricter ideals from higher up's deemed her ability to recover in their timeline impossible (especially with that ever so important diagnosis)....so, therefore, she was done in May.
You all know me be now.....you know I'm not the type to give up easily. I contacted outpatient facilities in hope to get her additional therapy.....even just one day a week.....I was successful, at the end of September.
This, my friends, is the life of a handicapped individual, and their caregivers. Experts give up, but we believers don't. We are pushed outside ourselves.... beyond ourselves as we learn and research and become just about what these experts are......without the initials behind our names (I, unfortunately, do not have money for that). We teach ourselves. We read the science. We adapt and learn about nutrition, biology and chemistry in relation to the human body, especially a damaged one. We dive into therapies, both physical and developmental. We become an expert.....THE expert on our child....doctorate level expertise that sadly carries no weight or worth. More on worthlessness later.
This summer I became Olivia's physical therapist and it was quite the job! When the in-home therapy folks left, I was still relying on the Hoyer lift to get her up from any position. She hardly had the strength to lift her head, let alone balance herself in a sitting position or walk. Her left arm had just become a tad bit functional again (her left arm was injured in the hospital.....she was unable to move it. It literally hung to her side.)
It was overwhelming. Tasks took double the time to complete. It was exhausting to move her, dress her, feed her and clean her. She always looked at me so sad.....like she was thinking..."It's not worth it Momma. I'm not worth it." Those looks were always so heartbreaking for me. I know she's in there. I know she understands, she just can't tell me. Her body was so exhausted. Void of energy. Each and every day, I whispered these 3 words....."You're worth it"......"please believe that you're worth it."
Last week a friend detailed an encounter she had with her specialist doctor. She experienced some side effects from a new medication that became debilitating and contacted the physician with concern. Her physician confirmed that it wasn't a side effect of the medication and that it was just a coincidence. It clearly wasn't a coincidence for my friend. She stopped the medication and the side effect went away, but even this did not convince the physician. My friend's opinion about her own observations of something negatively affecting her body was "worthless" to this expert.
Ugh - this bugs me. All I could do was think of my poor girl and how the many medications have been prescribed and doubled with terrible side effects that almost took her life, and the experts didn't even bat an eye. Her misery did not matter....especially because she could not tell them how bad her body hurt. How worthless do you think Olivia has felt throughout the years? No voice=No opinion. No opinion= No boundaries. No personal boundaries= worthlessness.
And that's where I come in. I'm her voice. I give her an opinion. I give her boundaries. She becomes worthy......of life. Of personal safety. Of respect and most importantly......dignity.
Just tonight while writing about Olivia's rehabbing, a different word kept popping into my head. Rahab. I remembered reading about Rahab briefly when I did a Joshua study but was intrigued to look into her story a bit more. No coincidences here.
Rahab was a prostitute who lived in Jericho, the first major city the Israelites would meet as they crossed over into the promise land. Her "calling"? To hide two Israelite spies who took refuge in her brothel as they stalked the city for intel information for Joshua. She heard the stories of their God. She knew what she was doing was dangerous, but she took the risk because she sensed that the God they trusted was worth trusting. She was worthless to her community, and let's just reach a bit to conclude that she felt a bit of worthlessness deep down with the choice of her profession. Because of her faith, she was willing to help others despite what could have been a great cost to herself.
Here's my point. God works through people like Rahab. Imperfect, rejected & worthless. Rahab rose above her life situation by trusting God and pulling through on an important assignment specifically assigned to her. Believing in His protection instead of groveling in selfishness and disbelief.
By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. Hebrews 11:31 ESV
It's the end of the summer and Olivia has made some great strides. She is eating better. She is sitting up on her own. She has started walking with support. Last Friday, our rented Hoyer lift was picked up and taken away. Each and every day I see that worthless label melt away......the sad face doesn't dominate her day as it once did. Her cute little smile and giggle have replaced the sadness. I think she's going to be ok.
Here's a video summarizing our summer.....this post.....with a message for all of us.
You're going to be ok.
Friday, July 13, 2018
Kind of a crazy word to be bouncing around in my head lately don't you think?
Unfortunately, it's there for a reason I guess.
There are some who view my position on vaccines as reckless behavior. How on earth can I question.....and put into question what some call the most important medical discovery of modern medicine and infectious disease control history?
Believe me. Many people do not want to hear about it nor will they support it (or me) and they have zero qualms about tearing parents like me down with their actions or words.
Having a child with a vaccine injury redefines people's perception of you. Many are afraid to be associated with such a stance. Institutions constructed to supposedly help children with disabilities have and will shut any sort of vaccine injury conversation down.
Over the last 18 years I've been snuffed off by the best of them. School officials, medical professionals and even church leaders and their staff. To many, it's just not worth supporting (especially going public with) and/or agreeing with the truth of Olivia's suffering. Why? Because it is an extremely controversial subject. There is a boldness that is required to stand by someone like me. Many feel as though the risk of jeopardizing their social and/or financial position is just too high.....even if they believe me.
Although I've been pondering this label for awhile, I wasn't really sure the direction I would take it in my writing. I was torn with the message I would send by bringing up such a sensitive topic. Sensitive for all parties involved. I would emphasize that although initially I was offended when people shut me down during conversations (which was completely evident by the complete disengagement when the subject came up followed by looking over or past me while I explained what really happened to my baby girl) it doesn't anymore. Even if the eye contact doesn't reengage with some folks, taking offense is not worth the swirl of burden and spiritual consequences that cascade when someones opinions collide negatively with your own.
Olivia and I have had a long weekend together. The rest of our house went camping, hiking and boating. Unavailable staffing and Olivia's inability to participate in such a weekend kept us both home while the rest of our family enjoyed quality time and memory making. The plus side of these lonely 96 hours was a reduction in cooking and the increase in music playing.......as loud as I wanted. Eeeek!! What a bonus.
One listen to this song and I immediately knew how to write about this subject. Coincidentally, (or not coincidentally) the name of the song is "Reckless Love"!!
I agree somewhat with my critics......I may be a tad bit reckless....the main difference is that I'm not reckless, rather my love for my injured daughter is. Who better to explain this important difference better than the author of this song, Cory Asbury. Here's an excerpt from the story behind the song:
"So, when I use the phrase the "Reckless Love" of God. we are not saying that God, Himself, is Reckless. He is not crazy. We are, however, saying that the way He loves is in many regards quite so.
He is utterly unconcerned with the consequences of His actions with regard to his own safety, comfort and well being. His love is not crafty, or slick... its not cunning or shrewd. In fact, all things considered, it is quite childlike, and might I even suggest sometimes down right ridiculous.
His love bankrupted heaven for you...for me. His love doesn't consider Himself first. It isn't selfish or self-serving. He doesn't wonder what He will gain or lose by putting Himself on the line. He simply puts Himself out there on the off chance that you and I would look back to Him and give Him that love in return. His love leaves the 99 to find the 1 Every. Single. Time and to many practical adults that's a foolish concept.
But what if he loses the 99 in finding the 1, right? What if? Finding that one lost sheep is and will always be supremely important. His love isn't cautious. It's a love that sent His own Son to die a gruesome death on a cross.
There is no plan B with the love of God. He gives His heart so completely..... so preposterously that if refused we would think it to be irreparably broken. Yet, He gives himself away again and again and again and again.....time and time again. Make no mistake, our sins do pain His heart and 70 X 7 is a lot of times to get your heart broken and yet He opens up and allows us back in every single time.
His love saw you when you hated him. and all logic said they'll reject me, He said, "Naw,
I don't care what it cost me. I lay my life on the line as long as I get their hearts". Cory Asbury
She bankrupts her heart and pocketbook.....doing anything to bring relief and bring her child back. Her love "doesn't consider herself first. She isn't selfish or self serving. She doesn't wonder what she will gain or lose by putting herself out there". She "puts herself out there on the off chance that her precious child will look back at her and give her that love in return." Painfully priceless.
Her love "leaves the 99 to find the one every time, and to many practical adults it doesn't make sense." She may have to leave old friendships that don't allow for the support she needs to focus on her "lost" child. Some critics talk about the lost child's siblings and the "neglect" those children experience because of the mother's obsession. Really?
Oh, yes, we are warned.....your other child will develop issues, you are choosing one over the other, or my favorite...think of the other children in the family...the neglect. Does this pan out? Why is it that most children who have a seriously ill brother or sister become the most amazing people? No entitlement issues, selfless, caring individuals who actually walk out the Truth Jesus teaches first and foremost....love. They see the suffering, they feel the difference in their family...they learn and develop coping skills...unlike many of today's young adults on college campuses.
There is no plan B for the mother of a vaccine injured child. She "gives her heart so completely, so preposterously." Hers is the heart that's "irreparably broken", yet she gives herself away again and again and again. She takes on the rhetoric from her family and friends, never backing down from the truth they just don't want to hear.
The original context of this parable defines the "lost as a sinner who has lost their way . The righteous, proud individual who's sin has blinded him to God's love. I found a different definition of "lost" that fits with our current situation --
"Denoting something that has been taken away or cannot be recovered" - Merriam-Webster
Olivia has been lost. She's been taken away, and with God's leading she can be recovered. Verse 5 goes on to say:
I'm finding my lost sheep. Slowly, but surely. A mother's "Reckless Love" is merely an imitation of Jesus. Isn't that what we are called to aspire to? Remember that saying....."What Would Jesus Do"? He doesn't give up. On you, me or Olivia.
p.s. This is a powerful video of God's "Reckless Love". As a mother to a couple young adults and a pre-teen, the video provides a visual of God's behind-the-scenes protection as our children make choices in life that seem to separate them from God. He'll leave the 99 each and every time for the 1.
Thursday, July 5, 2018
Maybe I'm wrong, but I think by this time my readers know something is up when I haven't posted in a while. We've hit a low spot in our journey...... by "we" I mean me. Olivia is slowly moving along....regaining some of what she lost in the hospital but unfortunately this time around it's been an extremely slow recovery.
So? What's up with me you might ask?
The weakness is real, and disastrously powerful.
What do I mean by that?
After making the videos of Olivia, my heart felt exponentially wounded. Reliving her vibrant personality before the injury conjured up feelings of anger, which clearly led my mind to the latest hospitalization....my weakness screamed,,,"Really Lord, we were on that new path you set us on. Why on earth was this further victimization allowed?" (sigh)
Soon after, I felt myself taking a break. Taking a break of my morning devotional as I watched my beloved "God" books collect just a wee bit of dust on the bookcase beside the makeshift bed in our office. "It's summer", my mind reasoned. "You've had the worst six months of your life", it went on and on and on. In my defense, I was also gearing up for a 4 day "vacation" to the Dell's for my little dancer's nationals and soon I kind of fell off God's radar.
Over the last 18 years of this sucky journey, I was desperate for some peace in regard to my beautiful girl losing her voice and soul as seizures took hold and ravaged her mind and body. I thankfully found that peace in God's word. Every day was spent reading or learning scripture as I grew in my understanding of God's character. This method was my "pill" taken every morning which enabled me to move through my day and fight for the one I lost.
Upon my return from the Dells, I realized that all I had worked up to was gone. As I walked through the door, I was no longer looking through eyes of faith, what I was now seeing was the horrible, impossible and depressing condition of my beautiful girl. I looked at her as she lay on the gym mat filling our scantly furnished living room. The once faith filled eyes that looked past circumstances now focused on her inability to get herself to a seated position which is clearly a prerequisite to standing and walking. At once, I was on the mat pulling her legs down from her favored "fetal position" reminding her that she's not a baby. Emotions that I haven't felt for, well, 18 years flooded my spirit and the "refreshness" of my time away vanished in an instant.
I was desperate. Once again.
I was desperate to get that peace back.......like yesterday.
That night, while laying next to her as she began drifting off to sleep, something unexpected happened. I had just settled in reading one of my "dusty" God books when I felt her right hand feel around on the bed. All of a sudden she grabbed my left hand and clasped it tight...intertwining her fingers through mine as if she were saying....."I'm holding on to you Momma....please don't give up on me". In that instant, it dawned on me......that is what I was doing every morning when I sat down to read God's word. Figuratively, I was searching for his hand in the dark, feeling around for the grasp I had grown to know so well, all while whispering "I'm holding on to you Lord.....please don't give up on me."
Dependence on Him is the only cure to my debilitating weakness.
After this experience, I was intrigued to learn more about this stint of apathy and weakness. I was reminded of the many mindset strongholds I've developed throughout the years, including my mode of operation when it comes to the race that has been set before me. Weariness can and has overtaken me. Honestly, I thought I was past this.
Then I was reminded of 2 Corinthians 12:9, and this verse came alive in my life and in this situation:
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
I now know that the trigger for my spiral has a root, and that root was an inability to really grasp her condition coming out of the hospital. Not only her regression but the intense anger I felt towards the staff at the hospital. I no longer harbor any of this anger towards them, but inadvertently turned it on myself. How could I let this happen to her? That, there was giving into my weakness and losing the power to overcome it.
Here's the key for me. God's GRACE is empowerment. I don't deserve it, it's not earned, but an unmerited gift. I turned away from his grace when I stopped reading His word. He reminded me that His power within me is greatest when I face situations that are beyond my ability to handle.
Yes, yes, yes. I know.....God is in control. I receive this message a lot from people. He is in control but for some reason He wants me to be involved in this situation. Oh, how I would love to kick back and do nothing. I've come far enough down this road to realize that for some reason He's working this thing out through me not for me.
Tenth Avenue North has the perfect song to describe this phenomenon - giving God the control knowing He wants you to be a part of His plan❤️
Here I am, All my intentions, All my obsessions
I want to lay them all down
In Your hands, Only Your love is vital
Though I'm not entitled, Still You call me Your child
God You don't need me, But somehow You want me
Oh, how You love me, Somehow that frees me
To take my hands off of my life, And the way it should go
I've had plans, Shattered and broken,
Things I have hoped in, Fall through my hands
You have plans, To redeem and restore me
You're behind and before me
Oh, help me believe (Control, Tenth Avenue North)