I wanted to take a moment to share about what God did in our son’s life this past year. We opted to only share this information with our close friends and family while we were going through the midst of it. But now that we’ve come out on the other side, we are ready to give glory to God and praise him for being our son’s Healer!
This is taken from an excerpt I wrote to our close friends and family around a year ago, as we were waiting on the Lord, praying, and trusting…
Joshua has had some health challenges this year. By far, it’s been the biggest stressor our family has experienced together. In mid June, he randomly started to vomit one day. At first, we thought he’d eaten too much, as he ate a huge meal that night. Shortly after, we saw a pattern: almost every time he laid down for naps or nighttime, he’d vomit. He also got alarmingly distended in his belly from massive bloating. Over time, he dropped significant weight. It was more obvious to see his nutrient deficiency, as his identical brother was growing and developing at the same time that Joshua was losing weight.
Long story short, it is six months later now, and we still don’t know what’s going on. First, David worked extensively with him, experimenting with many elimination diets, getting stool and blood work tests done, trying various natural supplements, etc. Then we went to several pediatricians, including one at an urgent care and another at an integrative health center. Joshua even had ozone treatment. We were able to detect salmonella poisoning pretty early on in this process, and Joshua took some strong antibiotics for six weeks. The vomiting lessoned over time, and eventually it finally ended. However, the distention was still very concerning, as was his lack of being able to absorb nutrients. We took him to a pediatric GI specialist, who wanted immediate tests run. He underwent X-rays multiple days, had to fast two days, had an Upper GI test, an endoscopy (which included anesthesia), and an ultrasound. All of his tests came back normal. We are left to hypothesize that he has gastroparesis, which means his stomach muscles are not contracting as they ought to pass the food through into his intestines.
This process has challenged David and I extensively. David helps people with issues like these for a living, and Joshua—his own two-year-old son—has been one of his toughest cases. It’s challenged my faith in God’s goodness and the power of prayer. David and I had to walk through some scary what-if scenarios and have cried and prayed and finally learned to surrender our precious son to his true Father—the One who knows and loves him most. In all of this, I’ve learned a great deal more about how to have compassion on others’ suffering—especially when it’s children. Going in and out of the children’s hospital made me grow in my empathy for all the parents whose children have serious health issues. We’ve grown to really treasure our children more through this experience. We’ve also been learning to live more fully in the present and cherish the time we have with those we love.
A couple of weeks ago, I felt in my heart that the Spirit of God spoke to my heart, in a non-audio voice, and let me know that Jesus wants to be my son’s healer and great physician. God has allowed my son to suffer for a short time, but it is going to be a part of his and our testimony. And God will be glorified. And thankfully, his symptoms have seemed to be going down ever since I felt the Lord put that on my heart…
Here we are in the present tense, and I’m delighted to say that Joshua is symptom free! The lab results David ran recently came back in, and God has truly healed our precious son! Hallelujah! Right after we stopped seeing specialists and having tests run, and right after David and I decided to truly rest in God’s peace and will, is when Joshua’s healing began.
We learned a lot through this experience. One was the simple lesson of not worrying. One of my last conversations I had with my Beloved Papa while he was here on this earth was last November when we were discussing my Joshua. I was crying on the phone with him. And he reminded me not to borrow worry over unknowns. He reminded me that worrying does no good, and we weren’t made to live in fear but in peace. He also reminded me to lean into David during this time, as he mentioned he wouldn’t always be there to talk to, but David could also help me be strong. (I think he knew his days were nearing their end.) He reminded me to pray and have child-like faith. I hold that conversation as a treasure in my heart.
Another valuable lesson we learned is sometimes us parents have to make tough choices. We aren’t always perfect. We simply make the best choices we can at any given moment as we try our best to help protect our children. David and I are not fans of antibiotics, and we do not prefer to go the medical route in most cases. In most cases, we try to be preventative by living healthily. And when we do come across health issues, our family takes natural routes most of the time, as we believe that’s what the body was designed for. But through this incident, we were humbled and reminded that sometimes things are out of our control. Sometimes we do our best, but we don’t have the answers. Sometimes we may make the wrong choice, but we learn to live with it. We do our best, and we learn to live in the confidence that God will guide us as we navigate through this journey of parenthood. My Papa used to joke that it’s too bad babies aren’t born with instruction manuals on the back of their bottoms, haha!
Ultimately, we learned that God is the only true Healer in our family. My husband may have two doctorate degrees and be the smartest man I know. He may own a huge multi-national website and an awesome local healthcare clinic. He may be a sought after speaker and author, yada, yada, yada. It’s all just titles. Titles are all just façades many hide behind to try to find their significance in this life. What we had imprinted on our hearts through this challenge is that God is Healer. All the intelligence, science, and technology man has to offer is only a means by which God can choose to heal. But at the end of the day, God alone is the Healer. God alone is worthy of our praise and honor and glory.
We pray that God is magnified in our lives as we begin to share this part of our story.