Relapse and Faith

Relapse is a word that I am familiar with.  It is not a word I like.  In the past week I and another dear friend have been hit with relapses.  First, I am not sure if relapse is the right word, but it seems to fit the bill.  The dictionary defines it as a deterioration in someone’s state of health after a period of improvement or temporary improvement.  I suppose the word temporary is where I am going to camp.   The relapses deal directly with our sons, our son’s health as specific.

I know what it is like to have a doctor tell you your son is fine.  That he needs to live a certain lifestyle in order to maintain this healthy state, but he is not ” out of his mind’.  I have a dear friend who also knows that feeling of joy, actually elation coupled with desperate relaxation that your son is healed.  Though the road ahead is filled with things to deal with, at least he is on the way to recovery and a life.  This past week we both were hit hard with bad news.  Although our sons are separated by 19 years, they are still our sons.  It happened so suddenly and then again when you look back there are those tiny tell-tale signs that you may have seen but weren’t quite sure. And here we, as mothers are,  sent back to the hospital for our sons.  Their conditions could not be more different than they are, but the one thing they have in common is the timing of the week of relapse.  And it is a relapse that could be fatal in both cases.

How do I process this in the face of what I know to be true?  I know God intervened and sent us a most illogical and unexpected answer to prayer that my son was not mentally ill.  That his condition is brought about by means he must stop.  Another mother is seeing the evidence of God working miracles in her son’s precious life as day after day prayers are answered and faith turns to confidence in the outcome.  But then it hit, that small nag in the pit of our collective stomachs, that mother radar that something is just not right.  And then comes the doctors confirmation.  What do I do?  What do I say?   Do I believe?  There are those who are ready to tell me that the doctor was wrong the first time and he will always have this ( although “this” is yet to be defined) and we will float between relapse and health for the rest of his life.  They don’t believe he was healed or ever will be.  Do I listen to them?  It seems plausible, I mean it took me by surprise to consider that God had heard our prayers and he was touched.  But we did believe, we knew there was a change, we saw the steady progressive steps of healing that began to transform our son.  We have a “new normal” for sure, but still we have a definite plumb line to distinguish when he is not himself.

And what of my friend?  I have seen such an amazing answer to prayer, an outpouring of community that shows the absolute goodness of people and their dedication and support and belief that her son will come out of this illness whole, even if it is a “new normal”.   I have the same conviction for her, I know God is near.  But I am reminded of a lesson I recently taught while in a Beth Moore study on Daniel.  It was how God always delivers us, but it can come in three different ways.  The first is to be removed from the calamity or trial.  Many people have been protected and delivered from trauma, trial, and pain due to God removing them from the situation.  A door opens and they are able to escape what was coming.  I have a couple of friends who fit this category.  I admit, I am a tad jealous to see them have such drama free lives and such trouble-free days.  But I know God has a plan and it involves all our histories and it involves more than ourselves.  He is able and if He plucks you out of trouble, Praise His name!!

2 Then there is being delivered through the trial.  This means you go through all the struggle, the pain, the suffering,but He is right there and leads you by the valley of the shadow of death, but it does not come near you.  It feels close, almost certain, but God delivers your through this situation.  This happened to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, they went through the fire, but God was with them and they didn’t even smell like smoke when they stepped out of the furnace.  A furnace so hot it killed the men who were stoking it.  The cords that bound them were loosed and burnt off, but they were not even singed and completely smoke free.   I have known God to work great miracles in people’s lives and see them come back through a horrific accidents or a tumultuous marriage or even a season of sin that should have left them not only smelling of smoke but burnt up with scars, and yet God saw them through this fiery tribulation.

Then there is the third way He delivers.  He delivers us right into His arms from the struggle.  My sweet dear friend went through and then after a healing and a relapse she went straight into the arms of Christ where she is right now.  I am sure she would have wanted to stay and be with her family, but I dare say if you asked her to come back she would decline.  The word of God tells us that we cannot even imagine the things He has planned for us in the life to come.  His sheer presence and love would surround her in such peace she would stay and wait for the time her sons and husband would see Jesus face to face as she does now.

As a human soul I of course will vote for being delivered from the trial   I don’t even want to go through it, but in my 49 years I must say in all my many experiences, I see God gets me through.  If I have been delivered from, then it comes from an unseen force and I am blissfully unaware, but I praise God in all things.

I do not know the road ahead, I am fighting the darkness that ensues when there seems to be no answer.  I am so pleased to note that my friend has had an answer.  She and her dear son will “go through” again, but it is an amazing answer to prayer again.  I know God is in this plan and I and others pray for his strength to do this again.  Sometimes it is hard when you know what to expect, but she also knows the strength of God to soar like an eagle.  My road is less obvious at this point.  We have no earthly idea what to do.  I mean we really have no earthly idea, we have no plans, no ideas and in the world of mental health there is so little help or encouragement.  So I pray and ask for direction.  Some how there must be a way to get him safely out of this state, but it lies beneath the sound I am able to hear.

Relapse is hard, no doubt.  It is not a new season; For in order to have relapse one must have had a respite.  So I will trust that God has answered prayers, loves my son more than his dad and I, and that He has a plan to protect my son and get him out of harms way, if only in his mind.

impossiblepossiblemysonsbattleismybattle

I just want you all to know I am just a lone mom on a journey of life with Christ. A journey into the dark depths of mental illness. A place I never knew existed, or that this could even happen to my son.  This was not in any baby books, or even teenager books.  I have been hit broadside.   I do not have answers and fight the desire to crawl back in bed and sleep.  When there are no answers, no plan, no way to fix it and people flee from you because they can’t understand why you don’t fix it; you just keep on keeping on.  So I will write, read, cling to my Lord and God and know that somehow He has a plan not only for my son, but my friend’s son ( although different illness) and for all those mothers who don’t know why this is happening.

What if we are wrong?

I have to admit I am somewhat of an end times junkie.  This all started years ago when my children were little and I wanted to add to the holiday fun for the family. I listened to Focus on the Family and they had recommended a book that I can’t remember the name of, but it had great ideas to add to each holiday to make it Christ relevant and fun.  This was exactly what I was looking for.  In this book was a section on a “christian passover”  After reading about it and diving in full force ( those who know me understand I have two speeds, fast and full-blown) I hosted my family and in brother and sister-in-law and 6 small toddlers and babies to a 4 hour nightmare of  full on kosher “Christian Passover” meal and Seder.  Let’s just say it was a disaster, but it whet my appetite for bible study and I dove in head first and I haven’t had my nose out of those books ever since.  I teach a lot about  the 7 feasts of the Lord and the end time significance that they imply.  After seeing Christ fulfill the first three feasts to the day and the Holy Spirit fulfill the fourth to the day I was hooked.  I knew the Lord was teaching us something important if we only had eyes to see and ears to hear.

This short article is not about all the study on the feasts, that is reserved for another time, it is not about the wedding feast and wedding preparation either, again for another article; this is about missing what God is doing.  Kind of like missing the trees for the forest, or is it missing the forest for the trees?  I never remember, but either works fine for me.

You see we tend to have preconceived notions about how and when Christ will return.  There are those who  simply quote “no man knows the day or hour except the Father” so they ignore it all and put their head in the sand, not realizing the play on words Jesus was using.  Then there are those who have charts and 7 years and 3 and 1/2 years and peace treaties they try to tie it up with a bow and take all christians out of the picture up to a grand wedding supper with the Lamb of God all the while the bride is still on earth….but you see there is one body, ONE BODY.  Ephesians 4 sums in up nicely.  We ( non jews, Hebrews ,GENTILES) were once far away and separated and excluded, utterly estranged and outlawed from the rights of Israel as a nation–strangers with NO share in the sacred compacts of the Messianic promise.  We had no hope, being in the world but without God.   But now, Christ Jesus has brought us near by His blood, He is our peace our bond and unity.  He has made us both Jew and Gentile ONE BODY and abolished the dividing wall between us.  By abolishing HIs own crucified flesh the enmity caused by the Law with  its decrees and ordinances, which He annulled; that He from the TWO might create in Himself ONE new man–one new quality of humanity out of the TWO, so making peace.

When I read these words in Ephesians I am more convinced than ever that we, the gentiles are grafted into the olive tree ( Israel) and we now follow them, and their God is now ours and we are one with them.  Ruth displayed this perfectly when she left her land and became a Jewess and followed what Naomi told her to do.  But that is not what I read  or hear about.   All I ever read about now is how the body is secretly removed, without the dead in Christ rising first, and then God deals with Israel as a separate entity.  I think we are looking at this all wrong.  We are looking in the wrong places and trying to make the end of time fit our model of what we want and what we think we should get.  The Pharisees and Sadducees did the same thing.  They fit the coming of the Messiah to conveniently fit the mold of Christ coming in the power of the throne of David and ruling over all the world and putting and end to their enemies, presently Rome.  The problem was they were looking at what they saw in themselves according to the word of God and not what it said about all the people. they forgot God told Abraham they would be a light to the gentiles.  God already planned to make them one body   Re-Read Ephesians 2 again, slowly and in as many versions as you like.  Christ unites us into one body–one body marries the lamb, one body is the bride, one body to love and enjoy Him forever.  We become the people of God through Christ, just as they become fulfilled through all the law and prophets when they believe and trust the Christ Jesus is their messiah.  No one comes to the Father without the Son.  We both are joined in His death and His resurrection.

So when I see the fall feasts i Look for Christ and the implications of the great deception the God is sending;  and the falling away of the love of the body and a lawless man arising; I am on the lookout.  Satan doesn’t know when either, so he must always have a man of flesh prepared in every era of time, ready to fulfill the scriptures.  Don’t look for your ticket out of here, look to those who are around you and need to know.  What do they need to know?  That you believe, that you believe in this Christ, enough to stake your life on it, and the lives of your children and families.  Tell them what He has done for you.  Ruth did, she followed Naomi and did what she was called to do and Naomi’s God became hers, She ,  the  moabite, cast out of the family of israel for 10 generations because of her people could not be in the congregation of the Lord now became the 10th generation, the one to break the curse and then to become the great grandmother of David. Tell them so they will not be deceived, or ambivalent or a scoffer,  Or do you think that Christian persecution will not happen here?

I don’t have the answers, I am just a fellow disciple on the road following Christ like you, but I choose to look to HIm and wonder–not at a set plan that men have said must happen before Christ returns based on tradition and man centered ideas.  , The Jews during the time of Jesus missed it and Jesus wept over them.  This tribulation will be even worse, if possible the Word of God says, so increase your diet of scriptures, take them to heart. teach them, learn them, and then mentor others.   We all have a piece to play in this puzzle–being a part of the body, one body, one Israel, is the most amazing thing I could have read tonight.  Iam reconciled to His plan through a people He chose from the beginning knowing His Son would bring peace to this world, but only through a magnificent death and resurrection.   I for one am  praying for those under extreme persecution from ISIS and pray that godly teachers will hear from God and tell us  to be ready,to not be deceived and arm ourselves with the full armor of God, for we are in battle…the battle for souls… God Bless and get your nose in that bible as soon as your eyelids open.

Christ returns on a white horse and every one will know who HE is..

Christ returns on a white horse and every one will know who HE is..

one month

IMG_0028Time is something that we really can’t measure.  Oh sure we try, there are minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years.   We even break it down to milliseconds and then try to grasp the infinite, but at it’s core we can’t really tell time.  We just live daily and look forward and back and try to plan and re-group and move ahead.

I have a one month time appointment.   You see one month ago I walked into a new meeting with my son, and a new doctor, ( assigned to us) to help manage some medication for an unknown and mystical ailment he has been dealing with.  Of course if you have never had the chance to navigate the unchartered waters of the mental health world you would not understand that there is no answer, no cure or consistency when dealing with issues of the mind and often there is no “diagnosis” either.   We just know we have to go once a month for a check up and do all we can to avoid another hospital stay.   We went expecting to try something new, something that would help and not hinder in this field of “lets try this” or “lets mix this”, or “here is a new one”, but this time we had a total unexpected event.  The new MD, Psychiatrist, simply looked across his desk and told my son nothing was wrong.  He declared he was fine and didn’t need to come back at all.  After I physically shut my jaw that had hit the floor and stopped the lump in my throat from breaking free, I asked what exactly what did he mean?   I told him that he was required by the law to come for the next year, once a month, and that, we would in fact be coming back.  He stuck to his guns and said nothing was wrong and to stop all medications, within 4 days or so.  That sent alarms running through my brain, I knew you couldn’t just stop meds without weaning down from them, luckily I had done just that the previous 10 days as I thought his meds were, in fact, making him worse.   But this?  Stop everything and move on as if this was just a blip on the screen of his life?  My son looked at me and said  ” I told you nothing was wrong with me” so he stopped all meds that day.  It was all I could do not to come unglued and panic as I thought he would be back in the hospital and having to endure so much more pain and anguish; I remained stoic and nodded.

So, one month is upon us tomorrow.   All is stable, no real issues with withdrawal and absolutely no symptoms manifesting as they had in the past two years.   So, of course I was determined to find another doctor and get someone who could help my son; I mean there is no way this “assigned” “cheap” psychiatrist could be right,  and then I took a breath.  I mean, we had been praying about this, interceding on his behalf, believing for a miracle and when I heard the words that he was fine I simply dismissed them.   I set my mind against this doctor and waited to be proved right, after all my son has had two years of darkness and unworldly behavior, he couldn’t just be “fine” now could he?  We had been dealing with things that one only sees in the movies and now “there is nothing wrong with him?”; I have seen too much wrong to believe

So I made a conscious decision to believe.  After all, I ask my gals in bible study to trust and believe and here I was an unbeliever in the face of praying and asking God to heal my son.  I felt a bit weird confessing to the group that I was going to believe the doctor and go along with diagnosis that he was fine.  That he had endured a hard couple of years and was labeled by the first doctor and then all the other doctors followed suite.     I knew enough that he had been under spiritual attack and my husband and I had even felt the real presence of evil in our home.  But none the less, I chose to believe.  I chose to believe in the power of prayer.  I chose to believe that he is healed and even  if he is not,  I will still choose that the God of the universe will protect and keep him and for hope, but I DO BELIEVE.    It sounds unlikely I know, I have talked to many people who would think I was in denial, they would try and talk me out of believing due to past behaviors, but I am choosing to brush them aside, I BELIEVE,

When was the last time you asked God for an answer to prayer and when you got one you simply denied it?    I thought it would look different, that it would be harder and not so clear!   So this doctor says my son in is fine, Okay, I believe and give thanks to God.  Even with all that I declare, I am still struggling to not type an addendum; to say” please don’t judge me as a fool if I am wrong”  and don’t mock me wanting to believe   But in the end I know I follow the God of the universe, and He says I can go to him and ask for wisdom and to ask without wavering; so today and tomorrow and the next day I will choose to believe my son is better, he is really better, so I will say again I CHOOSE TO BELIEVE, do you?