We are back in the saddle, literally and figuratively!
First, here is a short video of John trotting for the first time on Pinkie at his lesson last Thursday. It is hard to tell from this video, but John had the biggest smile on his face! He and Daniel both are thrill-seekers for sure!
Second, we are “back in the saddle” of the program!! Yay! We couldn’t be more excited to be embarking once again on John’s home program, custom-designed by The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia. The program is designed to treat the source of the problems: the brain, as opposed to merely focusing on the symptoms.
We consider ourselves blessed to feel rested and truly ready for John’s program after a busy, albeit very rewarding, year (having a baby and moving were at the top of the list!). It’s hard to believe Daniel is now 15 months old and we have lived in Atlanta for 6 months. Time flies!
Since John was a little over a month old, we felt the Lord telling us He was healing John. We prayed Mark 11:22-25 and have experienced countless miracles amidst the ups and downs. Of course, we initially expected the “big,” instantaneous, Bible-type of miracles: the parting of the Red Sea, David defeating Goliath, loaves to fishes, walking on water, Lazarus brought back from the dead, lepers cleansed, etc.
However, as we have continued on this journey, discovering its intricacies and rich layers at every turn, we also began to notice the other miracles in the Bible. The ones that unfold. The ones that require time. The ones that are a process.
Do you remember the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho and the corresponding children’s song about the walls that “came tumbling down”? If you recall, the tumbling of the walls required the troops to march around the town seven days straight before any action was seen (Joshua 6).
Or how about Naaman’s healing in 2 Kings 5? He was skeptical at first, as I would be, when God’s prophet Elisha offered the “help” of directing him to wash in the Jordan River seven times. As believers, I think we often react as an angry Naaman did: “I thought that [Elisha] would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” (2 Kings 5:11-12). Similarly, we shout, pout, and take matters into our own hands. Fortunately, Naaman eventually came around, washed in the Jordan River, and received his healing. What’s more, the healing produced faith in the one true God. What a gift!
Lastly, I can’t help but think about Abraham and Sarah and their God-promised child. You know they must have felt crazy waiting on God’s promises. And in fact, they thought God was crazy and even manipulated the situation at one point to try to get to the end God had promised through sinful means. However, God was gracious and HE didn’t give up on His original plan even when His followers of little faith had. Despite old age, years of painful waiting, and the presumed roller coaster of times of hope and times of discouragement, God enabled Sarah and Abraham to give birth to their promised son Isaac, a miracle indeed (Genesis 21).
Like these stories in the Bible, we pray we can be faithful in the process. And we pray the same for you as you steward the miracles (whether they be quick and tidy or long and involved) in your own lives. For us, John’s program is the process God has provided, like repeatedly going to the river, doing the same things (patterning, masking, sensory stimulation activities, crawling down the slide, etc) OVER and OVER again. We often enter into our “river” dirty, coming forth one step closer to the promise. Coming forth cleansed. Coming forth with renewed vision. Emerging with our eyes set not only on the hope before us but also on the rekindled joy for this very day.
Let’s pray we can be faithful stewards of God’s vision, even when washing in the river once again feels absurd or pointless. God works in the process, refining us, molding us… so that we will “come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).
In terms of program specifics, we have eased into some patterning this week. Patterning is passive on John’s part as the adults move his head, arms, and legs in a certain sequence to give his brain tactile input, telling it over and over again, “This is what it feels like to crawl/walk/etc.” He is on his tummy on a massage table as we pattern him. The stimulation we do of the various incoming pathways to the brain actually grow those pathways making output (motor skills, hand use, speech) possible.
We have also begun “masking” again. John breathes into this plastic bag for one minute at a time. Just like a person who is trying to stop hyperventilating, masking forces John to take slower, deeper, more efficient breaths. Consequently, his chest cavity itself grows and allows deeper, more mature and effective breaths even when he isn’t masking. Moreover, masking causes John to rebreathe his own carbon dioxide
And there is a lot more fun to come! Thank you for your prayers that both brought us to this point and will carry us forward in this next season in our family’s life!
|Hopefully the program will keep us out of trouble! :)|