Today I read an interesting Christian post, “When Your Kids Won’t Bow to Idols,” which was really about PARENTS bowing to idols! The gist of it was to ask yourself if you are raising your kids to follow some idol of parenting that you’ve made for yourself. For example, are you expecting to be an expert at parenting because child #1 was “easy” to discipline? The author was.
And then came Child #2…
Boy oh boy, can I relate! As easy as Amelia was to raise and handle, Zoe was 100% the opposite. And just when we mastered sensory issues, autism issues crept in. When those seem to be getting better, physical issues kicked in. And when we had those in hand, here came regression.
And THEN God made it loud and clear that I had to give up homeopathy which in reality HAD become something of an idol to me.
What’s Your Idol?
So, what’s an idol? Well, in Christian terms it’s anything – ANYTHING, EVEN GOOD THINGS – that you put before God and God’s plans/designs/will for you.
Here is a very common idol you will among Christian families, that are otherwise doing right: putting your kids before your spouse. Nope. The order is absolutely wrong, and yet, it’s something that I think many Christian parents have a hard time handling. (Unless the building’s on fire, because no way I can carry my husband. He’s on his own LOL.)
Do you have an idol, when it comes to your kids and parenting? Maybe you do and you don’t even know. What is the one key thing that you value for your kids above ALL else, even God’s will? That? That’s your idol.
And I absolutely know what mine is…
A New Protocol
A few months ago, my kids had “plateaued” with homeopathy. They just weren’t making progress anymore. Then my practitioner made some things fuzzy about her methods and I realized that they might not be compatible with my faith. I originally wrote “suddenly” realized but it had been a seed God planted in my heart already.
I’m not saying that homeopathy is not for some. I’m saying that God directed me off this path, with this provider, at this time. It was hard, but we moved on. I thought it would be the most impossible thing to do and prayed for help. God gave me the words and my practitioner understood me 100% and wished me the best. I’m sure she was sincere too.
My next thought was, “What next?” Then I went to a local TACA Conference in May and found a biomed doctor.
We turned to something else, yet even still my soul itches with the idea that that new protocol, that activity of chasing protocols, well, that’s an idol.
Alright confession time: Chasing protocols is my idol. Dang. I hate that. I need to help them, don’t I?
Putting It All In Perspective
Meanwhile, a little while off the homeopathy, the kids actually seemed to improve. I had semi-abandoned the diet too, as I’d just been EXHAUSTED and up to my eye balls in after around March or so. We went to a new doctor and I keep telling myself that for now, they are simply getting the supplements their bodies are not supplying. And with all due respect to nutrition, it’s not that easy to get a kid to eat all their nutrition, especially healthy fats.
That said, however, they got worse. We were on a detox supplement for a while and then I got afraid to detox using it before their systems were clear. But now, their guts seem worse too. And this week, they woke up with allergy shiners.
I’m kind of in free fall freakout, but …
the replacement was just another idol?
What if healing my kids is my idol?
When Healing Is Your Idol
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t plan on taking the kids off the supplements. Things like fish oil are good for kids. We have blood tests to get that will shed some light and another appointment in August.
So maybe I’m just a stubborn, thick-headed, disobedient, too human Christian.
Now that I’ve said that, I haven’t heard the same message like I got for homeopathy, on how to treat my kids. That’s a half-truth, though, because since I did get that message way back in the beginning of the year, I haven’t asked God what to do next.
I just ran and embraced the next thing. Maybe that’s the truth: that I’m still holding on to this idol that my kids will be healed. Maybe healing is my real idol.
How the heck does one let go of that, especially when you are surrounded by story after story after story of success:
-“Hyperbaric oxygen chambers were a game changer for my kid!”
-“We tried this treatment and he went from not talking to conversations in 6 short months!”
-“Holy crap, my kid is off IEP. Thank you, holistic healing!”
I’m not being mean-spirited. I’m truly happy for those parents, and well aware that their journey is not my journey. I’m not depressed in a jealous manner. I’m just wondering why my journey can’t be a little, tiny squeak better.
And it’s the same same same things we battle. The same distinctive speech issues for each child. The same gut issues for Zoe. The arm eczema for both. The clothing issue for Zoe. The foot issue for both. Gut dysbosis that is never ending.
And round and round, and I always come back to, “It’s me.” But is it? In 6 years, in all I’ve done, these issues have not gotten better, and then puberty monkey wrenched small gains for Zoe, too.
The Final Surrender
I guess it comes to this: my kids are not mine, they are God’s. They will be His first, mine second. That’s His order, just like the spouse/kids order.
Giving them up to Him is also something I need to do, over and over. If you’re like me and you’ve discovered this heart wrenching concept that your kids are your idol, you might need some help. Here is what I’m going to do:
1. Realize I need to surrender them to God every day.
Every. Dang. Day. Sigh. But really, it’s like the renewing of your mind: every day is new, from conquering sin to submitting to God, it’s all new. I’m working not to hold too tightly but it’s a challenge. Not a bad one – Amelia made herself pancakes since I slept in today. She didn’t make them properly but she did it all and ate them all so I’m guess using an egg instead of water still made them edible!
2. Be a practical, Christian parent.
Amelia’s 14 and entering high school. I can’t sit on my hands and pretend a miracle could happen. She needs to be prepared for adulthood with her level of intellectual disability. If you read my newsletter, you’ll recall that I wrote about the IEP being fine – it was fine that she’s in a lot of special ed. It’s what she needs over inclusion for now.
Both kids need to be taught more consistently about faith as well. I’m struggling with that, but we’re getting there with the help of some workbooks.
3. Pray for my kids more often and more intensely.
The story of the unjust judge and the persistent widow is on my mind, Luke 18:1-8:
18 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Let me be honest. My prayers have been sucky lately. I’ve been SOOOO distracted. I have had a few nights where it was intense and real, but mostly I’m super distracted right now. I need to get right with my prayers and my walk with teaching my kids. I keep failing on these two things because I lack energy, and I’m uncertain how to rectify except to do better again. Verse 7? Yea that one.
4. Seek guidance and direction in the details.
Sometimes I just *do*, KWIM? I’m very much a “just jump in” type and it gets me into all kinds of trouble. So I’m going to stop that. Instead, I’m going to ask God for very specific, lead-me-by-the-hand directions. Diet change? Eliminating nightshades, for example, is something I’m considering but it’s a BIG change so I have to make sure He’s behind this idea. Or maybe I’ll “stumble” on something else, or maybe God wants to clear them up with no visible changes that I’ve made.
5. Have faith.
I always say I have faith but do I? Let’s talk about Zoe’s loss of her advanced math skills, that she had in the spring of 2016. Like super duper, multiple 6 digits by 6 digits in her head, bring on the odd shape volume calculus stuff. Her teacher doesn’t seem to expect anything above intellectual disability (I.E, low IQ) for autistic kids, which makes me wonder how the heck he got that job. I’m struggling to even get her in a regular classroom AND I had to fight for them to teach her SUBJECTS. WHAT?? Ok, breathe, and have faith. There are other schools…
6. Don’t expect too much..or too little.
This is my biggest worry, that I’ll just give up because I’m afraid of someone popping my hot air balloon at 10,000 feet (although that did happen at this week’s IEP). I don’t want to abandon my hope that things can get better, but I don’t want to be endlessly seeking a needle in a haystack as the years fly by. There is a bit of a line I have to walk, and I guess I have to ask God where that line is.
I do know that when I have these things on track, I have less worry, more peace and I know that I’m on a good track.
If you’re raising a child who has a disability or need, what idol are you putting before God’s will? The answers are scary, but the love, guidance and direction of our Faithful God will always ALWAYS see you through! Peace to you, g