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Deliverance from Allergies

Be not dismayed whatever betide
God will take care of you
Beneath His wings of love abide
God will take care of you
God will take care of you
Through everyday o’er all the way
He will care for you
God will take care of you
Through days of toil when heart doth fail
God will take care of you
When dangers fierce your path assail
God will take care of you
God will take care of you
Through everyday o’er all the way
He will care for you
God will take care of you (1)

 

As a newborn Caleb was introduced to commercial cow’s milk formula at just 6 weeks of age due to an undetected tongue tie.

Caleb projectile vomited for the first time upon being given caffeine in the pediatric intensive care unit just over a week postpartum. Projectile and excessive vomiting continued at home.

As a newborn the pediatrician told me egg whites in particular were a common allergy for babies, removing egg whites did make a difference in how much Caleb screamed. That was of course until we started to try to bottle feed, thank God for the special needs bottle!

On February 24, 2017 Caleb’s general pediatrician recommended I buy wheat baby cereal and put it in Caleb’s bottles to help his food stay down in his tummy to try to stop the vomiting and silent reflux. When we got home from getting the cereal as I parked the truck a very strong feeling of dread came all over my body. I sat there for a moment analyzing this feeling and thinking about the box of wheat baby cereal we had just went through what felt like climbing a mountain to get. I decided to listen to my God-given mother’s intuition and not add it to the bottles…

On March 15, 2017, Caleb’s Pediatric Gastroenterologist (G.I.) recognized immediately, before anyone else, that Caleb was allergic to corn, within just a few minutes of meeting. He also told me he didn’t think Neocate would work as I had just started the trial the night before. He was right about both!

Between 3 and 5 months of age, Caleb had a constant scaly red patch of skin between his eyes and suffered from silent reflux.

Caleb had a series of x-ray studies done of his esophagus and the opening to his stomach in addition to another series he had been through in February for analyzing his swallow.

At first Caleb’s body accepted Ready to Feed Alimentum (RTF Alimentum), a highly processed commercial formula created by hydrolyzing (pre-digesting) cow’s milk and the red patch and reflux went away…but then they came back and worse. His reflux got to the point that it would come up into his sinuses and out his nose! It was really bad.

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Caleb’s red excema patch between his eyes was accompanied by severe silent reflux, both went away with the removal of cow’s milk protein.

In May 2017 I credit God for helping me to “win the lottery” by getting a diet for myself that worked with Caleb so he could get away from formula, which was obviously not working, and back on his mother’s milk.

On May 25, 2017 Caleb tested positive for wheat, but just a trace positive. If I had been giving him wheat protein every bottle every few hours day and night for 13 weeks as originally instructed to do…that could have been an anaphylactic test result. The more the body is exposed to an allergen, the more sensitive it becomes and the more extreme the immune response. Praise God for our gift of intuition.

During the summer of 2017, since Caleb had tested negative to pork, chicken and cashews I invested in the highest quality corn free soy free local pork and chicken, organically raised and freshly butchered. I also bought organic cashews online and dutifully soaked and dehydrated them…vomiting and hives from the pork, bad poo poo from the chicken and terrible crazy diarrhea that just would not go away from the cashews…Except these symptoms wouldn’t start right away so it would make it confusing. I would think a food was working and after a week add a new food but then all of a sudden symptoms were happening. He was developing new allergies at a delayed rate as I introduced new food proteins into my diet! 

Sometime during that summer I also tried to add chocolate back into my diet, organic dark chocolate of course! Hives. Chocolate was out for mom.

In June or July 2017 I found that I was able to give Caleb, without an issue, egg yolk. Although he gagged on it if it was not watered into a liquid (I now know because of his tongue tie which was finally discovered on July 23, 2017 – a HUGE answer to prayer).

On July 26 I wrote “Allergy update: I tried to eat one cherry and one grape cause I love cherries, he got hives, too early too fast. He is gagging and unable to eat the thick baby food due to the tongue tie so we are going to stick with just broth and breastmilk for awhile longer and I will remain restricted. I also need to avoid chicken I found in addition to the pork, wheat, egg whites, dairy, corn, and salicylates. BUT his stools have improved as long as I keep allergens out and broth going in, he had a thick, creamy and a few “seeds” this past week (thank you LORD). I did try some sheep yogurt after which made sour and runny again, so I just need to be patient, long suffering, trusting, praying and PRAISING the Lord to get us through.”

Sometime in August or September 2017 Caleb had an extreme vomiting reaction to egg yolk. I didn’t realize it was the egg yolk at first as it had been a safe food for us for awhile. When I re-trialed a tiny amount though, the same thing plus diarrhea! Egg yolk was now out too!

As mentioned in my “Healing a Tongue Tie” blog, the Lord provided a prayer team of people to carry Caleb and I through. I got this message right when I needed it in August 2017, a message from a very powerful prayer warrior named Laverne:

“Thank you Lord for Caleb. Thank you Lord for Caleb this child shall be great before You and shall do exploits in Your name. I decree that no sickness or plague will come upon Caleb, in the name of Jesus. I decree soundness, health and wholeness into the spirit, soul and body of Caleb, in the name of Jesus. I speak wholeness, soundness and perfection into the heart, eyes, ears Skin, bones, teeth of Caleb, in the name of Jesus. Let the respiratory, digestive and circulatory systems of little Caleb be normal, strong and healthy, in the name of Jesus. I bind every negative reports from whoever in the name of Jesus. Lord, fill the parents with Your joy, glory, peace and love in the name of Jesus. Lord, keep your covering over this precious child that you love so dearly thank you Lord for hearing this prayer amen. Will keep praying especially over Caleb food.  Naomi, keep asking the Holy Spirit for guidance on what to feed little Caleb.  Blessing upon you and your family! Love Laverne! Hallelujah hallelujah it is well with little Caleb!”

I knew Laverne was right. I needed to ask God for specific guidance. I needed to know very specifically from Him what foods and how to prepare those foods so my son could be blessed by food, not cursed. Sure we could have just let things get to the point where invasive medical procedures began again, but I didn’t want to get there. So I approached God’s throne of grace, petitioning Him for His help daily…and just like He led the way for the tongue tie to be revealed He began to lead the way for how to get Caleb out of this mess. He tenderly and gracefully addressed our needs for health by providing answers for not only our physical needs, but also by providing answers for our mental and spiritual health as well, even with things that were way off my radar as I was very focused working with my son’s therapists each week and on trying to make progress with food. In fact the answers from God came into our lives so intertwined together that the physical I feel is inseparable from the mental or the spiritual answers. We needed them all.

My first clue came through two free DNA stool analyses for Caleb showing a comparison that revealed how vitally important it was for Caleb to have prebiotics (foods that feed probiotics) in his diet since we were relying so heavily on lamb stock and fat. Caleb needed his breastmilk sugars and he needed alternatives as well, complex fibers or carbohydrates of some sort. This was all very encouraging as my mother’s intuition had always told me how important my breastmilk was for my baby and now I had another confirmation of that. I had been struggling with my intuition since some well intentioned women were encouraging me to wean my son, but I just didn’t feel like that was what God wanted me to do. Getting that confirmation through those tests were good for Caleb and I both mentally and relationally as well since breastmilk continued to bond us at a deep level even if it were through a pump and bottle, we were trying back to breast efforts still as well.

God didn’t stop there, His answers continued to come and they came big as we journeyed up and out of the hole we had fallen into…but it did take some time and there were discouraging patches along the way, like in December 2017, right after his first birthday, Caleb ate a crumb of a wheat pretzel. This resulted in mucus for poop. Things kind of stayed discouraging until March when we made some major progress only to have afterwards a step back again. The ebb and flow was real. Like the pushing stage of labor all over again. I was ready for the birth of our deliverance.

On April 2018 after getting some more patch allergy testing I was nervous to try the ones that he tested negative for because of how Caleb had developed new allergies the last time I followed that road. I knew in my mother’s heart there had to be a way to address the root issue of all of this! I didn’t want to create new allergies but I needed a solution, my son needed a variety of foods for a sound nutritional diet. A solution that would feel right to my mommy’s heart. I needed that answer to prayer. I still needed God’s continued guidance. Thankfully juicing vegetables really became a major help and another stepping stone up and out for us. I began introducing all sorts of foods via the juicer which Caleb could swallow without gagging and they were easy and quick for him to digest. I juiced all kinds of veggies to get a power-shot of energy and vitamins into Caleb’s body and to help expand his diet. I started to try to add coconut oil to Caleb’s veggie juice and at first it was fine, but eventually on July 18, 2018 Caleb reacted with vomiting and again with a retrial. I was able to continue the juicing without the coconut oil. But my cry stayed before the throne of the Almighty God.

Summer 2018 rolled around and after relying heavily on lamb stock to supplement breastmilk Caleb’s body became ultra sensitive to meat and meat stock by getting hives from leftovers or from meat and meat stock that was cooked too long. I had started cooking a fresh thing of meat and its stock every night in a dutch oven and then flash freezing his meals every night for the next day and then defrosting for every meal in order to avoid hives. It was a lot to do every day! At the very same time I felt convicted by God to start trying to get out and make other mom friends and Caleb needed to start making friends too. My response to this was “how on earth am I supposed to have time to do that Lord?” I still needed to pump, I needed to do all that cooking, I needed to clean bottles and maintain as much order in my house as possible, and adding “social-time” in didn’t really feel like it was something I could swing or even a priority for that matter! However, the conviction persisted so I obeyed God and reached out to another mom I had met online and who also was following a lot of the same natural food ideas for her children too. She was also a Christian and a military spouse. We could relate on so many levels. She was another Godsend. God began to address mine and Caleb’s health by giving me a friend who was a blessing beyond blessings. Someone who could understand me and who was already there and actually well ahead of me in the trenches. She was another mother-warrior fighting for her children on her knees in prayer and on her bare feet in the kitchen. I just have to take a moment to say I am barefoot and proud. I wear my baby on my hip as a prized jewel. Our babies are precious beyond any paper degree or monetary income. If and when I can I will gladly pour myself out as a mother at home in the kitchen, changing diapers, kissing yayas (Spanish slang for owies) and cleaning up the 10-millionth mess of the day. God bless mother’s of all walks of life, working or stay-at-home, but there is no shame in staying at home.

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Caleb playing in the water mid-July at our first play date with our dear friends (not pictured). Alaska is a beautiful place to have a play date!

Laverne’s prayer was coming to fruition as my new friend introduced me to a fermentation system called Pickl-It. I had seen a brief improvement in Caleb’s situation when in March of 2017 I was able to work up to getting 2-3 tablespoons of commercial unpasteurized sauerkraut juice in him per meal and had been able to introduce a lot of food proteins with no problem, pretty much all vegetables (this was before I started juicing). However, we experienced a major setback when following instructions from some certified GAPS professionals online, I tried a fermented garlic brine recipe they provided and personally guided me through. I used a starter and fermented it for about a week. Caleb really like the brine and wanted a lot of it, but then his poor baby mouth broke out in some sort of reaction causing him to have a painful tongue and mouth. I had to pull that and the kraut juice. We struggled to get back to where we had been and although Caleb had been able to eat broccoli with 2-3 tablespoons of saurkraut juice he was unable to without…this was a clue, he needed ferments, but I needed a better solution, for us the mason jar even with a fancy lid didn’t cut it, we needed something else.

THANK GOD FOR PICKL-IT.

Rutabaga, pumpkin, beet kvass, rainbow carrot, red onion, french fries and pumpkin juice.

Pickl-It. Anaerobic fermentation. Pickl-It garlic cannot even be consumed until it has fermented for 6 months, saurkraut, 3 months (most ferments are moved to a fridge after being on counter for up to a week). Thankfully beet kvass took only only 21 days to prepare. Caleb’s body easily accepted EVERY Pickl-It fermented foodstuff. Pickl-It beet kvass was our game changer. Caleb and I were both able to easily add every food protein his body had not had a reaction to with ease, as long as it was fermented in the Pickl-It jar. Rice, lentils, potatoes, and so much more. I started to ferment everything, even safe foods from before like rutabaga and asparagus to maximize nutrients. Fermentation makes all foods easier to digest and the vitamins and nutrients more bio-available as I’ve learned from reading information from the founder, Kathleen. Her son recovered from having early-childhood schizophrenia and autism…because of prayer and Pickl-It (2). Kathleen has also shared with her customers that she was  unexpectedly rid of her severe cat allergy through Pickl-It fermented foods! The Pickl-It jar is truly airtight as opposed to the mason jar. This creates a higher quality ferment with a higher ratio of lactic acid bacteria versus acetic acid (acetic acid burns).

I should mention that in September 2018, shortly after starting Pickl-It, I introduced home-rendered cow’s ghee. I must not have strained it well enough resulting in traces of cow’s milk protein present in the ghee because Caleb got mucus for poop along with a trace of blood. I withdrew the cow’s milk protein and kept on focusing on what I knew worked, Pickl-It foods and goat ghee plus grass-fed lamb, bison and beef.

On September 28, 2017 I got another clue about Caleb’s physical needs after he got terrible stools from scraping a bowl I used to make fat bombs with honey…I re-trialed by increasing fat alone and got the same results. Ironically in my quest to get as much fattening foods into Caleb as possible too much fat caused problems too! I thanked the Lord for showing me everything I needed to know to custom tailor Caleb’s diet just for his body.

As Caleb and I continued to add more and more foods with Pickl-It. We finally began to feel like life could be a little bit more normal. Still I hated knowing that if I messed up on timing for ferments or if I made a mistake with a staple that we could be left too short on food. Then another friend shared with me a pastor online. She said “God will send you to the right sermon”. I ended up watching several of his sermons, one of them about spiritual warfare. At the end of the sermon the pastor tells about a time that a mom of a four year old boy brought her son to him for prayer because the boy had a LOT of allergies. The pastor followed his simple method for deliverance using spiritual warfare and the little boy went home and was completely delivered from all allergies! I was telling my sister about this on the drive to her house after Caleb and I flew down a few weeks ago and then lo and behold the very first sermon at her church in her little town of only 3,000 people was specifically about the same type of spiritual warfare that the pastor had talked about online, also there had been a sermon recently with the same exact sermon topic at my church in Alaska. I was wondering, “Lord, what are you trying to tell me?”.

The Spiritual. I decided to go visit the pastor that preached the sermon at my sister’s church. He admitted to me that the sermon was out of his comfort zone but agreed to pray for Caleb. He invited me to pray over Caleb too after he was done. I did. I prayed. I followed the advice from the sermon I had watched online and I repented for any authority I had given to anything else when Caleb was in the womb. I had struggled with fear and anxiety about my baby’s well-being throughout my pregnancy because it had taken me 5 years and 3 IUIs to get pregnant. I had a dream the week Caleb was born that a big scary fast black spider crawled onto my belly while I was sleeping and pierced through into my baby, i hit “it away” so hard that I woke myself up by slapping my belly… I repented for any way that this fear and anxiety could have given authority to any other spirit than the Holy Spirit and I prayed for the Holy Spirit alone to have authority in my son’s body and for him to be healed from all his allergies, in the name and by the blood of Jesus! Preparing for my meeting with the pastor I also went through some prayers ahead of time sent to me at the perfect time by another friend without me asking her, they were dealing with topics that the spiritual warfare sermons I had watched online dealt with too.

That spider in my dream the week Caleb was born might have pierced him but Jesus was pierced and hung onto the tree so that Caleb could be delivered from all plans or works of the enemy. (see 1 John 3:8)

Deliverance.

After this prayer time with the pastor I decided to follow the advice I had received from some of Caleb’s doctors to periodically retrial some of his allergens. We went home and I, in faith, ordered some pork, dairy, chicken and eggs to trial, I tried ordering the highest quality possible. I planned to slowly start trialing his allergen foods beginning Saturday. Well we didn’t make it that long. Friday morning I was curling my hair and overheard my niece tattling to her mom/my sister that Caleb was eating her Cap’n Crunch which she eats with cow’s milk!…I literally skidded on the wood floors trying to get to the dining room fast enough, but I was too late Caleb was sitting on the dining room table with highly processed cereal dye-colored cow’s milk running down his chin! I decided instead of running out to buy activated charcoal pills to wait and see what happened since the pastor and I had prayed over Caleb for him to be healed of his allergies with only the Holy Spirit in control. About an hour after eating highly processed cow’s milk infused with Cap’n Crunch he had a beautiful brown stool. He had not had a healthy stool with cow’s milk since he was a 3 months old! So I started feeling a bit braver and while we were at a car dealership for my sister in Louisville I decided to let him have some Dove mint hot chocolate in water (his first direct exposure to chocolate), then at a family fun center later he was refusing his banana I had brought but we were both hungry so I let him have some tater tots, barbecue sauce and a tiny bit of my sister’s Diet Coke…healthy poops continued!! So the next morning I actually let him drink cow’s milk, eat butter, and a little bit of egg and it was fine! He was not reacting! Then he had bacon and chicken! He has now trialed all previous allergens and so far so good! Praise God.

Caleb enjoying cow’s milk.

Deliverance. My son has been delivered. He still has some sensitivities that I have observed from letting him eat too many unfermented factory-processed foods, but he CAN eat them on occasion if he has to and will not have an over-reactive immune response in his intestines or otherwise. Pickl-It began as an answered prayer for Kathleen and her son, then it became our answer to prayer too. We are now successfully even doing Pickl-It Sourdough, pancakes, rolls, and even sourdough banana bread. Amazing. I’m getting ready to make my first batch of sourdough cinnamon rolls, hopefully they come out good! My baby will get to have an actual cake on his third birthday. Hallelujah. We have waited a long time for this. I can even look forward to making sourdough pizza with fermented veggies and fermented marinara sauce along with his favorite meats!

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Caleb enjoying Pickl-It sourdough pancakes and cow’s milk kefir in February 2019.

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This was Caleb’s “cake” from his second birthday. Fermented purple sweet potato never looked so good! Along with dates, honey and a maple syrup drizzle it tasted good too!

Pastor Jared was glad enough to take a photo with Caleb at a potluck event at the church called Kill It and Grill It. Not so sure Caleb felt the same about the photo but he had a lot of fun at the event, we got to taste things like raccoon BBQ, squirrel dumplings, pheasant dumplings and more! Caleb really liked the deer. What a cool event that we would not have gone to if it were not for God’s deliverance for Caleb. May God bless Pastor Jared, his wife and children with an abundance of His Spirit, Power and Might in Jesus’ name.

We are on our way out. We have left allergies behind and in Jesus name we will leave all sensitivities behind too. I continue to claim perfectly beautiful poop as God intended for my son to have at the beginning in Jesus’ name. God fights for my son. He sees inside Caleb’s body. He knows what my son’s body needs. I listen for His answers to prayer. He leads me to friends, to doctors, to therapists and to pastors, He leads me where we need to go. He is the Good Shepherd.

Hallelujah.

My body has been blessed as well. I don’t even have to wash my face and my skin is still clear and beautiful. I have naturally regular cycles for the first time in my life and the debilitating painful menstrual cycles are gone. If I eat too many potatoes the pain and the acne start to come back. These are clues, my body talking to me that my health too is found in a big way through anaerobic fermented food. I have faith that I will be able to conceive again, naturally this time and this time I will be ready. I will be drinking kefir every day and consuming fermented foods every regular meal , Lord-willing. I will bless and honor my body with the food it eats and the bodies of my children with God-honoring foods.

God didn’t just lead me to fermented foods, He led me to Him, He led me to perfectly matched Christian friends and He provided amazing medical professionals to support Caleb’s body with therapy and sound advice. We are made up of body, mind and spirit. I truly believe that we cannot attain true health without the Holy Spirit ruling supreme over our members physical, mental and spiritual. In Christ we are truly balanced. In Him we can truly thrive. My pastor in Alaska taught last summer that we reflect God not only with our physical image but also in that we are tri-part beings made up of the physical, the mind (emotion, imagination and intellect) and the spirit. He taught that it was important for our physical bodies and our minds to come under the authority of the Holy Ghost in order to fulfill God’s plans for us. For Caleb and I, I feel like God’s plan on our lives includes a requirement for a healthy body and a healthy mind under that leadership of the Holy Spirit. For example, my infertility was directly getting in the way of God’s calling on my life to be a mother but I now know that what I eat has a lot to do with how fertile I am! I strongly feel that Caleb and I are called to be as healthy as we possibly can mentally, physically and spiritually as an act of worship toward the One Who gave us life and our body to begin with.

How can God help you today? What are you facing that He can set you free from? He may do it miraculously all at once at the altar…or He may tell you to make a new friend and to try a fermentation system in addition to prayer like he did for me. However it may look like for you, trust Him. Seek Him. Cry out to Him. Bless Him.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Revelation 12:11

“But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.” Isaiah 49:25

Caleb enjoying some food while running errands with mom. Freedom!

References:
1. Songwriters: Jeremy Bose / Tiffany Arbuckle Lee

2. Read Kathleen’s (Pickl-It Founder) Story here:

part 1:
https://blogs.psychcentral.com/therapy-soup/2011/10/autism-schizophrenia-and-nutrition-heartbreak-hope/

part 2:
https://blogs.psychcentral.com/therapy-soup/2011/10/autism-schizophrenia-and-nutrition-ants-in-my-brain/

Part 3:
https://blogs.psychcentral.com/therapy-soup/2011/10/autism-schizophrenia-and-nutrition-a-child-thrives/

Part 4:
https://blogs.psychcentral.com/therapy-soup/2011/10/autism-schizophrenia-and-nutrition-an-expert-agrees/

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Take it Back

Sometimes we wish we could go back and do something different, other times if needed we wish we could go back in time and do something that was hard, uncomfortable or of great sacrifice all over again in an instant because the outcome was worth it. Today I feel both. I wish I could go back in time and never have given my son omeprazole. Today I would in an instant choose to go into labor and give birth to my son all over again cause he is worth every bit of pain I went through in my all-natural dry birth. He would be worth me going through that to give him the bacteria his body so desperately needs. I can’t go back and go through labor again for my precious little one. I can’t even give my own life for his healing. BUT there is One who Has given His life for my son’s healing and His name is Jesus. Caleb was worth it to Him too when we was scourged, beaten, ridiculed, spit upon and nailed to that cross.

I haven’t posted a blog update for a while. God has been doing some amazing things that I need to talk about, and will…but today’s blog needs to be about one thing. Setting the record straight. In my last blog I am guilty of false testimony. I accredited God with something He did not do, something damaging and destructive. God DID heal Caleb of whatever was going on with his oxygen, his lips turned red and whatever was causing it to be low or dipping down frequently associated with choking, gagging and apparent struggling to breathe went away. God also revealed to me that Caleb had a food allergy, at just 3 months of age. What God did NOT do was tell me to give my son corn-free omeprazole. God DID tell me to call the pharmacy when the first doctor prescribed corny omeprazole and tell them this: “God healed my son and so he will no longer need omeprazole, so you do not need to worry about getting it ready.” I was nervous to do this because I didn’t want to sound weird, even though I knew God healed my son, the Holy Spirit was testifying to me that He had…I made the phone call. I told the pharmacist just that. Then Caleb’s oxygen monitor seemed to dip a bit in oxygen from the 98-100% it had been resting so beautifully and continuously and miraculously at for two whole weeks! Again, I knew God had healed my son ‘cause the Holy Spirit was making sure I knew he did. I had the confirmation and testimony of the Spirit even when this happened. At first I just resolutely responded in the spirit realm by saying my son was healed. But temptation to doubt began to hit me hard. What if God had only healed the oxygen and not the reflux…”WHAT IF”…then when the next doctor we saw prescribed corn-free omeprazole instead of telling the specialist to his face “no, God has healed my son, he doesn’t need the medicine” just like God had already told me to tell the pharmacist, what did I do? I began to listen to the voice that said “DID GOD REALLY SAY”. Sound familiar? Eve heard that same voice in the garden…“Did God really say?”… and she ate the fruit, she convinced herself to take a bite, she took the bait. She listened to the lie. So did I…so did I. I convinced myself that it must have been to protect Caleb from the corn allergy, surely that is actually what God meant. Boy was I wrong. God is clear. He is not confusing.

I cannot even begin to explain to you the regret I have. The sorrow upon sorrow, the tears I have shed. What I have learned and now know is that when God does something miraculous, something amazing, like healing…when God does that Satan will try desperately to do three things: 1) cast doubt in other people’s minds, 2) cast doubt in your own mind and 3) try to get you to be the one that casts the doubt. What happened when Christ rose from the dead? The enemies of God wasted no time in spreading false testimony, lies, and doubts. I figured out after a month of confusion with red lips and testimony from the Holy Spirit that Caleb was healed, but weird oxygen readings that didn’t fit, was that the reason the oxygen appeared to have lowered again was because his foot had grown fatter and the monitor was giving a false reading! It was all smoke and mirrors (another tactic of the enemy, beware)! Who is the author of confusion? Not God. A test of my faith, who would I listen to? Would I walk by faith and not by sight? By this time I had already posted on Facebook that my son’s 02 was dropping still based on foods (another must be)after having posted God healed Caleb (which he did!). I allowed myself to be used to plant doubt about God’s amazing miracle he had done in my son AND I allowed myself to doubt…not only that but when I gave doubt a foothold and disobedience a foothold I also gave legal authority to Satan to land a new form of curse or oppression. You see he had none left, the serpent was drowning in the blood and he couldn’t get to me or Caleb anymore because God had removed authority for oppression when He healed Caleb’s oxygen and showed me what was up with his food. The serpent’s oppression had ceased, his foothold had been destroyed. His last ditch effort before going under was to get me to create a new foothold for a new curse, a new form of oppression.

Why was it so important to the enemy to convince me to give the omeprazole? My son’s gut microbiome had already taken a hit when he was put on two rounds of completely unnecessary antibiotics in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit starting at just 7 days of age. The gut microbiome takes 21 days to reach a point of establishment after birth, the gut takes 2-3 years to mature. Antibiotics don’t just kill good bacteria. Then after 3 months of caffeine that created outrageous silent reflux God revealed to me my son’s allergic responses to corn in his throat. Then came the omeprazole. Omeprazole lowered my son’s stomach acid ph blocking his body’s ability to create two key hormones that trigger the creation of digestive enzymes and also prevent food from being digested enough before being deposited into the lower gi tract where the enzymes were now out of whack in addition to the previous bacteria hit, not to mention the new ph created an environment perfect for pathogens to thrive. My son’s baby poop had still been perfect and seedy prior to the omeprazole, even after the PICU and caffeine. It wasn’t until the omeprazole that things changed. My 13 month old would be eating a lot more than just lamb stock, pureed lamb, hypoallergenic probiotics and breastmilk from my limited diet right now if I had stood firm in my faith and obeyed God, instead of convincing myself to believe a lie and then spread lies and false testimony by having the audacity to say “God must have…” and accrediting God with destruction. No. I repent. I redact. I declare that I lied, Satan lied. Truth was smeared. I sob.

And yet God has been so kind and gracious, God is love, even when we are in desperate straits or in the wilderness. I think sometimes we like to think that we are immune to consequences under the new covenant, but we are not. Curses and consequences are alive and until we confess, repent and seek the blood of Jesus in court the judgments stand firm. There is only One thing that can stand in the court of God to break the power of our sins, transgressions and iniquities and that is Jesus. “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus was pierced for my transgression of the omeprazole. He was crushed and bruised for the iniquity that runs in our family’s bloodline of dishonoring our bodies, the images of God, with food and destructive pharmaceuticals. He was chastised so Caleb could be well and at peace, He was scourged and wounded so Caleb can be healed. Jesus made a curse, was made to be sin so we could bring our curses and our sins to the throne to stop the enemy, to remove the stronghold, to destroy the foothold. “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

God is my son’s healer. Not me, not my tears, and not even my zeal, though it be great. None of these can heal my son on their own. But—GOD can. The LORD is my son’s healer. The LORD is my son’s strength. The LORD is my son’ hope and REDEEMER and DELIVERER.

“For thus says the LORD: “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued, for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children” (Isaiah 49:25).

“And my soul shall rejoice in the Lord; It shall exult in His salvation. All my bones will say, “Lord, who is like You, Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, And the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?” Psalm 35:9-10

My confession is so important, to set the record straight, not only in God’s courts, but here on earth. I don’t write the story. I don’t figure out “what God must be doing.” I should not credit God with things so easily. I believe we as humans need to be very careful with what we credit God for. All too often we give occasion to the enemy to blaspheme by declaring false testimony about situations or conditions in our bodies or minds, our children’s bodies or minds, relationships, life, everything! Declaring that something that is actually a form of demonic deception and oppression to somehow be God’s blessed will is definitely something we need to have the fear of God in us about! God ordained each of our days before we lived even one of them. He purposed them, He thought about each one of them. He decreed His will for them. Many days, many bodies, many situations, many families, many bloodlines get hijacked and the ordained will of God desecrated and blasphemed because we give legal authority to darkness instead of light. To lies instead of truths. We need to stand firm. We need to fight. We need to endure in this race. As the author of Hebrews says in chapter 12 verse 12 “So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.” Stand FIRM. Seek to enter God’s courts. To state your case. Press in and be careful what you attribute to God. My job is to listen, to trust and to obey. To follow even when I don’t understand why or where or what. God is the author of my son’s destiny. Psalm 139:16 says that God ordained each one of my son’s days before they existed. God took the time to do that. With godly fear I seek to humbly raise my son in God’s way. Not my way. Not my story. God’s way. God’s story. God is the author. God does not need PR. God does not need a spin to make a good story. God needs honesty, humility and truth, even when we don’t know the explanation yet. We don’t need to be able to explain something to stand firm in the truth of it. We don’t need to be able to explain something God has commanded us to do to obey it.

When the Israelites were in wilderness God took care of them. He turned bitter water into sweet water. He led them to 12 springs…12 springs, 1 for each tribe. I love that. God knew the Israelites would end up spending a long time in that wilderness and even though He knew they would disobey Him with the golden calf and have to be punished He still created ahead of time springs at Elim for them for when they first entered into the wilderness which would become the wilderness of their disobedience.

“There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”

Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.” Exodus 15:25-27

Who knows, maybe He even created those springs at the beginning, or during the flood! God knows way ahead and provides way ahead before we can possibly even ask Him. That is called God’s providence. How beautiful is His providence. He met their needs, time and time again even though a whole generation would die in the wilderness. God gave them manna and quail. He led them by fire at night and cloud during the day. God was with them in the wilderness. God knew they would try His patience, He knew they would build the golden calf, but God still delivered them from Egypt, still promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob even though he knew of the rebellion that would come from the many generations ahead, He still chose Abraham. He still chose the Israelites to fulfill his purposes, His destiny to bless all peoples through Jesus Christ the Messiah.

Just like I would go back to the pain of labor and delivery of my son and do it all over again for him in an instant because he is worth it, Jesus I feel would go back to the cross in an instant and do it all over again for me, for us, because He loves us so much. God knew every sin that we would ever commit, He knew everything we would say, think or do in disobedience even after becoming a child of God, and He still went to the cross. I acutely remember my son’s labor and birth, this is a memory that is strong and mighty in my relationship with my son. I will always remember that night and day as part of my identity in my relationship with my son, no matter his age. Jesus gazes at us, the experience of the cross acutely vivid in his heart and mind. His dripping blood hot on the cross of calvary. Furthermore Jesus exists outside of time, He is God. He is omnipresent. This vivid experience of the cross is something that He is acutely aware of at all times in His relationship with us as our Lord, Savior, Redeemer and Intercessor. He knew everything we would do, and He still endured the cross for us, He still loved us. God knew I would listen to the enemy’s “Did God really say?” in regards to the omeprazole but He still healed my son’s oxygen.  He still prompted me to push through temptation and to keep on pumping so my milk wouldn’t dry up. He still showed me the GAPS diet to address my son’s gut before I understood the terrible thing I had done. He didn’t decide I wasn’t worth it because I would ultimately disobey Him. He still provided a free medical grade breast pump to me even when I hadn’t yet found a supplier to fill my insurance referral. God still revealed to me that my son had tongue tie and lip tie at the end of July (more on that in another post to come). After I tried and failed with corn free chicken and pork, God still provided a company that will ship the grass fed and grass finished lamb my son needs to Alaska for only $7.50!! God still provided free DNA stool tests to show me the condition of the bacteria in my son’s gut and to give me a picture of what we are up against.

We only see a faint reflection. God sees it all clearly. We will never gain enough knowledge to make the right decisions without God. We don’t even need our science and technology. When God created us at the beginning He said it was good and He meant it! It was good. It didn’t need to be “made better”. We can trust God without knowing or understanding it all first. In fact we must because we never will attain such a thing, there is only One God, there is only One voice to heed, there is only One word we must listen to: God’s.

Prayer Need:
Like I mentioned above, we desperately need’s prayer support in order to break the power of the pathogenic bacteria called b. fragilis. The DNA tests have revealed a serious situation of growth by this antibiotic resistant and pathogenic bacteria. The silver lining is that between the two tests the corn free soy free goat’s milk kefir grains that God has provided recently have helped to diversify my son’s gut. I believe these are a very important part of the battle strategy pray so please pray for them to stay healthy and for my son to have plenty of kefir. Please pray for God to protect my son’s abdominal organs, his brain, blood, lungs, entire gi tract and more. Please pray especially for this pathogenic bacteria to stop growing, for it to be evicted and to be brought under control by the good bacteria! This is a serious and urgent prayer need for Caleb. Please pray also for my milk supply to substantially increase or for me to find a donor whose milk works for him so it can feed the good bacteria called bifodum longum and to make plenty of breastmilk kefir. Please pray for me to hear from God and for me to be brave and prompt in obedience and for all of Caleb’s needs to be provided for as we stand firm even if our knees shake at times. Please pray for innocent baby Caleb’s gut to be restored, for what was robbed from him to be given back to him and then some. For his body to no longer be held captive, but for him to be set free, for him to be able to eat all foods, more foods. For food to be a blessing and not a curse. For His gut microbiome to be a blessing and not a curse. For him to be healed and not oppressed. For him to be blessed and not cursed. In Jesus’ name. So be it.

Also, I am at the end of a study on curses and based on what I have learned about word curses or blessings I must ask that if you pray or share this blog, please be careful to not make declarative statements about me or Caleb that align with the enemy’s plans. Also, please be judicious with who you share this information with and with what motive. We need prayer. We don’t need to be a sensational story, topic of conversation, or spoken of with firm statements or phrases that confess or agree with our plight. Please just choose your words carefully to bless us according to God’s plans He wrote in our books before we were even formed in the womb vs words that agree with curses against us or that give the enemy an opportunity to revel or delight or curse even further.

Thank you.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:13-16

 

Naomi’s Baby Story

I told my baby story at my shower – I didn’t know if I’d every have a baby shower, and I’m so thankful to God that I did. I hope you find the story of my journey through infertility encouraging to you no matter if you face infertility or not. We will all face something that feels crippling or overwhelming at some point in our life. We are all busy with the building of our household whether it has children in it or not – who will you trust with the building?

God Knew

When my husband and I started to try to have a baby in 2010 God knew that it wouldn’t be until 2016 that we finally would conceive our son Caleb.

When I was in my mother’s womb, God knew that I would struggle with infertility issues when I grew up, but that didn’t stop Him from planting the desire to be a mother deep in my heart from a young age. That didn’t stop Him from placing me in a family where I was the oldest of six, surrounded by babies and younger children–I’m so thankful for those years that I feel prepared my heart for loving and valuing children – whether they “are mine” or not! All children belong to God first and foremost as their Creator*. He gets to see their first smile in the womb, their first grimace, their very first movement, their “firsts” belong to Him. God gets the first fruits of our life in the secret place of our mother’s womb. Even today with the advancements of ultrasound technology we come no where close to the 24/7 intimacy God has with our precious little ones as He tenderly and lovingly knits them–as He knitted us –together.

God doesn’t make mistakes. God is on time. God is perfect.

In January of 2013 I created a business card for a dear friend of mine as a class project for school. I needed to created one and she had a business that needed one. She created cute, lettered cloth blocks by hand. I borrowed one to help me with my project and I ended up never giving it back to her before she moved out of state. Flash forward to 2016, God has blessed my womb with life and another blessing of a friend graciously and kindly offers to take some photos of me to help document this miraculous time in my life. That morning before we met up for breakfast and photos she wanted to know if I had any wooden blocks with letters on them to help with the photos, I had none but thought maybe we could go by Walmart and grab some after breakfast. Anyway I remembered though that I had a cloth block in one of my office drawers somewhere…I just couldn’t remember the letter on it! I hoped it would still be in the drawer that I thought I’d last put it in, it was — way in the back.

Lo and behold the letter on the block was the letter “C”. In the bold color red, just like the shirt I had chosen to wear that morning for photos.

Before the beginning of time God knew me. He knew all of my paths that I’d take and every moment of my life. He knew that my husband and I would come very close to choosing to stop trying to have biological kids before He would open my womb. God knew that we would have a son and that we would choose to name Him Caleb. In 2013 He knew this and the cloth block my friend gave me to help me with my project had the letter “C” on it. How fun it must be for God, like a big surprise, 3 1/2 years earlier and He is the only one that knew as she handed me a block of cloth, both of us clueless how meaningful it would become. How amazing and how loving is our Father in Heaven truly is!

NHodawanusGodKnewBlogPost.jpg

Picture by Magdalena Ferrandino

 ” I could ask the darkness to hide me
  and the light around me to become night—
     but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
    Darkness and light are the same to you.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.”  – Psalm 139:11-16

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” – God speaking to Jeremiah (the prophet) 1:5

* Whether we accept the price God paid to adopt us as His child and become our Spiritual Father is different than God being our Creator. See John chapter 8 and Romans chapter 8.

Joy in the Wilderness

During my journey through the wilderness of infertility God was with me every step of the way. He led me in, just as He has led me out. Just as He provided for Elijah in Kerith Ravine, God sent me His Spirit and His truth to feed me and to sustain me even as my womb remained barren and void of life, like a drought – a drought I had been born with. When the test results had first come back showing that I wasn’t ovulating and that I wasn’t creating the hormone levels needed to create nor sustain a pregnancy I had a choice. Would I decide what I was going to do next, or would I let God decide what I was going to do.

God tests us in the wilderness to see if we are truly fully devoted to Him, if we have a heart toward Him like Joshua and Caleb had even as they marched back into the wilderness away from the Promised Land. To be fully devoted to God is to be fully devoted to His authority, to His Lordship over everything, including the decisions we make. I determined to wait upon the Lord and to only do what I felt sure He was OK with me doing in my efforts to become a mom. Ultimately I was brought to the crossroads that even though this had been a dream of mine my whole life that if it was not God’s will, then God’s will be done. I had to submit to the pain of a failed attempt at pregnancy over and over again and declare that God was good, no matter what. The thing that amazed me in all of this was that God taught me about His goodness in the midst of the wilderness. He taught me by allowing me to experience the depth and the love of His goodness when I all I had was Him. He taught me that He was more than enough.

When I took that really hard step and declared that God was good, as I cried and sobbed my heart upon the floor I should add…God responded by bolstering me up in Him, by doubling my portion of faith and by filling my heart with joy–joy in Him. We can have joy in the wilderness. It all just depends on whether or not we will say:

Have your way in me oh Lord.

A few weeks ago a pastor in my life, Clay Gatlin, shared a message out of Proverbs and spoke about God’s authority and determination of “our vat”. How big our vat is, and whether it is overflowing or not. This could mean a myriad of things for each of us, our income, our health, whatever our lot. For me it was my womb, God has spent almost the past 6 years teaching me and bringing me into a deeper awareness of His authority over my womb and over my fertility. He did this through a womb that remained barren and lifeless year after year. It has been a journey of sorrow for sure, but one that I’m thankful for because God brought me so much closer to Him and to a place of trust. He taught me about the great wealth of His goodness as He challenged and grew my faith in regards to His love and goodness. When I stepped out and declared God’s goodness over my circumstances, no matter what–I felt such an immeasurable level of peace and joy in the Lord, a peace and joy that sustained me and healed my heart even in the midst of a barren “vat”.

I’m so excited to tell you that my husband and I are expecting. After 5 1/2 of trying, and almost to the end of the time I was willing to go through the emotional roller coaster anymore, lo and behold God has filled my vat to overflow with life! When Pastor Clay spoke about how some of us have small vats and others have big vats and that we shouldn’t compare our vats that really resounded with me because God doesn’t want me to compare my vat with with other women’s vats, other women who will be blessed abundantly in their fertility. I just need to keep my eyes on God and rejoice in Him during this most amazing season in my life as my vat is literally bursting forth (my belly is surely growing and I love it)! I love the my vat is physically growing as a living testimony of God’s perfect timing and goodness. 🙂 I am soooo incredibly thankful to God for my baby and I love him so much already.

We each have our place to serve and to bring glory to God in the kingdom before He calls us home. I rejoice with women who have been called by God to bear many children. I rejoice in God for the place that He has for me in His kingdom as well. I rejoice with all women for the place that He has for each of us as His dearly beloved bride. Oh how deep and how wide is the love and the passion of our bridegroom for each of us. Lose yourself in Him. Catch your reflection in His tender gaze. We are each so precious in His sight, the apple of His eye.

 

Childbearing Hips

As one negative pregnancy test led to the next and to the next, each cycle became less of an exciting wait and more of a dreaded encounter, hoping against all odds that this would be the month, only to have those hopes dashed be a single pink line and those telltale cramps. Agonizing cramps that seemingly mock me from within my own body. Taunting me that I have the body parts but that I’m broken, that I don’t work, that I might look like a perfectly fine woman on the outside-but that I’m not. Cramps that I still have to suffer. Suffer every month for what-for nothing my mind cries out. The frustration at “being broken” can feel overwhelming at times. Questions of “why was I created to be a woman if I don’t even work” flit across my mind as cruel reality brings jarring pain to such a crescendo that my infertility cannot be ignored–not today. I can go for a few weeks acting like everything is normal, but then the cramps, then the reality. The empty womb crying out at me–”don’t you dare forget!”– a war between my body and my mind, between my hormone levels and my desire to be a mother.

The identity crisis of being a woman with infertility is real and it was unexpected. It caught me off-guard when I began to feel trapped in my body, a body that didn’t work. A body that looked like it should work-but wasn’t. My childbearing hips were helping me carry in the groceries, or a box up the stairs, but that wasn’t what they were supposed to carry. They were supposed to help me carry a baby, my baby. Like I’d carried brothers and sisters growing up. Instead here I was all alone with no baby and these childbearing hips. Watching the diagnostic ultrasounds of my womb, finding out the exact measurements of these body parts that remained vacant, lifeless. I felt like I was useless, like I was defective. Betrayed by my own body it felt like there had been a mistake. Life wasn’t supposed to be like this. I was supposed to be a mom. My dream of raising children, homeschooling, making homemade bread, my body didn’t match up. It wasn’t right. Something was wrong.

Something is wrong. Things are broken. There is sickness. There is disease. I’m not the first person to feel trapped in, or betrayed by their body and I won’t be the last. In the end our bodies will fail each and every one of us, expiring to return to the dust because of the curse of sin that is upon us and all of creation. A curse that we’ve inherited and that we perpetuate. A decay that renders our ability to stay young, strong and healthy out of our control as time marches forward until we breathe our last. And when we breathe our last it will surely matter what or who we identity with and as. It matters because if your identity is founded only in the life that you spend in this body then you are guaranteed to be disappointed, to be betrayed by your body and by your idolatry. But, if your identity is rooted in Christ Jesus then you are guaranteed life eternal. Whenever I feel frustrated with my body, whenever the sorrow washes over me I cling to Jesus and I remember that my identity is in Him. I am His. I belong to Him. I am His daughter. I am His bride. He satisfies me with His Living Waters and comforts me with His strong arms. He holds me and He sustains me. He is my confidence. He is my Rock. He is my salvation. He is my hope. I will never be disappointed when my eyes are on Him, and they will be on Him forever–for when I leave this body I will be going home to a place that He is preparing for me. A place where He is the Light, where there is no more sorrow, no more tears, no more shame.

I refuse to agree with the lies of Satan that seek to take my eyes off of Jesus. I speak the Truth of God’s Word over myself. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am carefully made by the hands of my loving Father Who knew me in the womb, Who knew me even before He formed me. God made me a woman, God has given me the heart of a mother and I am so thankful for these things. I rejoice because of His tender love, He is my Victory. I am so incredibly thankful for my body. I am thankful for every part of my body. Yes this creation may be under the curse of our sin, but God is the Redeemer and He is making all things new. God is my Redeemer! He is my “dream-come-true-Boaz”, He has paid the greatest price so I can be with Him forever and ever and I gladly give myself over to Him, to His authority, to His will. He can–and is–making something beautiful out of the mire clay. I am free to dance in joy as He lifts me up from the ashes. He has brought me into His glory and I look forward to be taken into the full measure of His glory. His strong arm upholds me, His strong right hand defends and protects me.

I need thee every hour Lord. I need Thine Righteousness to revive me for Thine power to course through me, for You Holy Spirit to wash and cleanse me, for Your Word to lead me. For every part of me to be enveloped in Your presence, under Your guidance and authority. Every lie, every doubt hold no power over me-for I sit down under Your shadow with great delight and Your fruit is sweet to my taste, You bring me to Your banqueting House and Your banner over me is love. You satisfy me and embrace me, You come leaping and bounding over the mountains and hills and lead me into the Cleft of the Solid Rock, through Your pasture among the lilies. (See Song of Solomon 2).

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,  being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.  2 Corinthians 10:-6

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.  Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.  I Thessalonians 5:16-24

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”  Revelation 21:1-8

Summer of The Leviathan

God often prepares His children before something happens. Revealing a key part of His Truth so that we can be ready for when the storm hits-or for being thrust into the icy, isolated, darkness, which is a more fitting description in this case. Several things that were my biggest dreams in life were stripped away around the same time that we left the tropical island of Okinawa and moved to Alaska, a week before the snow hit. This on top of me never having lived anywhere where the snow actually stays longer than a day. The psychological shock of being thrust against my will by the military into an environment that felt like an icy trap mirrored the trauma I felt in my soul.

During that first year of trying to have a baby, while we were still in the tropical “paradise” of Okinawa, God laid on my heart an urgency to read the book of Job. Even though I was beginning to realize that there was indeed a problem with my fertility, I really had no idea and I thought we could just get help after the first year and have our baby soon after that. Oh, how little did I know that 5 years later there would still be no cigars, no sweet baby coos, no staring in wonder into the eyes of my baby. No baby.

God knew though. He knew all the different emotions, all the different parts of my heart and soul that would be laid bare under his refining fire. He knew this, and He knew that a lot of it would hurt and that I had to be ready. I had to know that He was God and that I was not. God knew that I was going to have to hold onto this key, foundational Truth in order to submit to Him and let Him fully have His way in me. Even when it felt like “all my dreams” were being taken away.

 Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Declare to Me, if you have and know understanding. Who determined the measures of the earth, if you know? Or who stretched the measuring line upon it?…

…Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, saying, Gird up your loins now like a man; I will demand of you, and you answer Me. Will you also annul (set aside and render void) My judgment? Will you condemn Me [your God], that you may [appear] righteous and justified?

Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His? [Since you question the manner of the Almighty’s rule] deck yourself now with the excellency and dignity [of the Supreme Ruler, and yourself undertake the government of the world if you are so wise], and array yourself with honor and majesty…

…“No one is so fierce [and foolhardy] that he dares to stir up Leviathan;
Who then is he who can stand before Me [or dares to contend with Me, the beast’s creator]? “Who has first given to Me that I should repay him?
Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine. [Who can have a claim against Me who made the unmastered beast?]

Job 38:1-7, 40:6-10, 41:10-11 AMP

These passages from Job deeply impressed upon my soul. I cannot stand before God. God alone has the power and might to create, to give or to take away. God does not “owe me” anything. Like it says in Job “Who has first given to Me that I should repay him?”-no one. No one has given anything to God so that God owes them. In fact God has richly blessed us, the undeserving, by sending His son while we were still in rebellious hostility toward Him. Even if literally every dream and everything that I love was taken from me I would still have Jesus, and I would still be rich because I am His. He is my Redeemer. Like Boaz who redeemed Ruth out of destitution, shame, and sorrow into wealth, love, and joy. God redeems us out of sin and death into eternal life as His adopted children, purchased by the precious blood of His Son, and that is the only gift that we need.

It was vitally important from the beginning that I set my mind on the task of trusting God. Jesus said His burden is light and His yoke is easy. He desires to clothe us in His righteousness and strengthen us with His joy, but first we must entrust Him with our life and trust Him wherever He leads. To desire nothing-but Christ alone, is to have all that you need. He is more than enough. I remember forcing myself to sing “Enough” by Chris Tomlin after we’d moved to Alaska and began to become more acquainted with the reality of infertility. He is more than enough. With a tightly constricted throat, and tears forcing their way down my cheeks, “All of You is more than enough for all of me / For every thirst and every need / You satisfy me with Your love / And all I have in You is more than enough”.

Sometimes the rocky mountain paths or the dark valleys don’t make sense from our perspective, but we can be like Habakkuk, who after He asked God “why” He resolved:

I will stand on my guard post
And station myself on the rampart;
And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me,
And how I may reply when I am reproved.

It’s ok to ask God why, as long as our heart is right. Are we asking Him so He can reprove and correct us, or are we challenging Him? There is a distinct difference.

God wanted me to be in a posture of submission so that He could transform me according to His will, not mine. So that He could bless me with the portion of His presence that is reserved for those that declare, no matter what, that He is all that we need, and that He is more than enough. And, believe me, I needed that presence, because it was Him, my Father, my Anchor, that I was clinging to; hiding in the Cleft of the Rock.

To choose to trust in God and let Him take the lead means being able to abide in His presence. To be blessed with His ever comforting Spirit. He is the Good Shepherd, He does not push us into the valley, He walks ahead of us and protects us. But in order to be satisfied as with the fatness and marrow (Psalm 63:5) of His presence we have to be in close proximity and that means following Him right on His heels. When we enter the valley of the shadow of death we must press in closer ’cause it is harder to see. Maybe the death in that valley means the death of our dreams. But we can trust Him with the thoughts and the plans that He has for us, He Who is the Author and the Perfecter of our Faith.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2