2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives be rescued from the fierce? But this is what the Lord says: “Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.
Firm Foundation by Chandler Moore & Cody Carnes
Happy Eleventh Day of Thanks Everyone!
Today, I give thanks for having a right mind (sanity). I’ve witnessed what it is to not have sanity and saw a person fighting to regain it for almost a week. It was a gruesome, devastating experience.
Disclaimer: I’m going to write about something that is very painful, a little disturbing, and gives you a peek into the challenges that Delilah and I face on this phase of her journey towards healing. This reflection will make us very vulnerable to your (the reader’s) opinions and judgments. But, I’m hoping that instead of your judgements and criticism, there will be empathy that invokes you to pray for us and those who walk our same journey. Perhaps, when a caregiver with a special needs loved one needs a break or a little respite, you will be inclined to help.
Just a few days ago I gave thanks for feathers and told you about the feather being one of my and God’s code language symbols. It signifies that in the midst of (spiritual) warfare, God is going to get in the middle of my situation and defeat the enemy. You can imagine my surprise when Lilah and I, after leaving a baby shower, were walking to the train station and literally a white feather appeared right in front of me. It caught my attention because usually it appears in the middle of warfare. The odd thing about this feather’s appearance was that there was no “real threat” of warfare at the current moment. I didn’t know it at the time but, this feather was a warning that an intense spiritual war was about to break out. I prayed and covered myself and Lilah but really had no idea of the terror that was about to come.
We got home and Lilah went straight to sleep. Delilah was in a period of her biological clock where the medicine she receives every ten weeks, that helps regulate her hormonal imbalance, wears off. Delilah is a fast metabolizer so, although the medicine is supposed to cover most patients for every twelve weeks, it only lasts in Delilah for up to eight weeks. With the shift toward this hormonal dominance after eight weeks, Lilah is usually fatigued and can be quite irritable and prone to crisis moments. I usually let her sleep for as long as she needs to during this time because I know the wear and tear that this medical condition has on her body. She slept for many hours that day. When she woke up (close to midnight), I noticed this strange look in her eyes. It appeared as if she (her soul) wasn’t there, even though she was standing right before me. She started to call out this name that I had never heard her call before. It was a name I was familiar with but I didn’t know what particular characteristic Delilah had associated with this name. She called out other names that I was familiar with and knew that something terribly wrong was about to occur.
I have to pause here and tell you something else about the spiritual nature of this phase of Lilah’s journey as well. We have entered into a phase of Lilah’s spiritual journey where we are breaking/destroying a Legion spirit of Rejection. For those of you who don’t know, a legion is a cadre of at least 6000 demon (evil) spirits. Interestingly enough, Delilah names demons that are influencing her by the names of people she knows with the characteristics of that demon. For example, one of my cousins deals with major depression and sorrow. When the demon spirit of depression is oppressing Delilah, she will call out the name of that particular cousin to indicate that the demon of depression is there. When Delilah calls out the names of particular familiar spirits, I (and others) know that a very bad situation is about to occur because those spirits happen to be and have the characteristics of insanity, violence, aggression, rage, bullying, deafness and dumbness.
What I eventually discovered was that the new name Delilah was calling out, she associated with Hatred. Hatred was now joined to insanity, violence, aggression, rage, and bullying. When I mentioned that Delilah had this look in her eyes that was so hollow and seemed as if she was not there, she really wasn’t. The spirit of Hatred had consumed my baby as she called on that name and she looked at me as if she wanted to kill me and began to charge at me. She began clawing at my face and trying to grab whole areas of my face and mouth to scratch me and pull my skin apart. She began to kick and punch at me. She grabbed my hair which was tied in a bun and started to pull on it, trying to rip out individual strands of my dreadlocks. For about an hour, I shielded myself from several of her blows and kept evading her attacks as I moved swiftly throughout our apartment. As she was getting tired, I finally got hold of Delilah’s hands and was able to restrain her for quite some time, without hurting her. In that restraining position, I held Delilah for dear life and continued to pray the word over her and bind and cast out those spirits until she semi-calmed down and would not charge me again. When I let her go, she went into her room and I stayed in the living room praying and worshipping, while crying. I sent an SOS text to my prayer partners asking them to pray immediately and letting them know that Lilah’s mind was completely gone. Although Lilah was in her room, she was making loud sounds that indicated that her mind was still not calm and at peace.
After receiving my text in that midmorning hour, one of my prayer partners said that she was prompted to call me immediately to pray with me. She told me to put her on speaker. While I prayed, my prayer partner began to speak to Lilah’s mind and declare the word of God from the Bible to Lilah and reassured her that peace that passed all understanding was there to cover her. We prayed for some time. A peace lulled over Lilah; she calmed down and went to sleep. I was so tired that I ended up falling to sleep immediately after I got off the phone.
When Lilah woke up, she wanted to go to church. I was so wounded emotionally that I needed a break from being with her. I called several people to ask if they would be willing to take her to church without me and got no response. I decided that I would get dressed and take her to church, although I still needed some space. A friend called and said that she was willing to come to get us for church but could not take Delilah on her own because she didn’t know how to handle or redirect her if necessary. I was very annoyed and frustrated, because as much as I help others constantly, I was in the middle of my own emotional crisis moment and there was no one available to help me and just let me have an hour or two to breath. Lilah stayed calm throughout the entire day. My friend’s family, Delilah and I went to church and afterwards went to eat an early dinner. My friend drove me and Delilah back home and we had a peaceful few hours until we both went to bed.
I got up at midnight to go to the bathroom. While I was on the toilet, Delilah came into the bathroom and charged me again as she did the night before with the same look in her eyes. No matter how much I called out to Delilah, it was as if something had closed her ears so that she couldn’t hear me and scaled her eyes so that she couldn’t see me. I restrained Lilah and prayed the word over her until she completely calmed down. I called/texted everyone I knew who prayed and asked them to join in my efforts. I decided to fast along with praying because I was determined to get my baby out of the grip of Hatred. I also knew that as the bible mentions in Matthew 17:21, this kind of spirit was only going to come out through prayer and FASTING. This same charging behavior happened for the next four days until it finally broke on the fifth day.
Throughout the five-day period, several folks committed to fast and pray with me for Delilah’s healing and deliverance. I had given them the prayer points and scriptures that we would pray throughout my week fast. As I prayed and fasted, God reminded me of the white feather He had already sent to me. On the fifth day, when Lilah’s mind had fully come back to herself, I received a call from my cousin who lives in Columbia, SC. When I asked her how she was doing, she told me that she had just gotten through a rough four-day period where her mind was completely influenced by hatred and murderous thoughts. She detailed that no matter how much she would pray and ask the Lord to help her to regain her “right mind” and “right thoughts,” the mind and thoughts to kill and murder innocent people in mass numbers just kept coming to her mind so strongly. My cousin said that she had to shut down all of her communication and social media, arrange things in her job so that she would encounter very little people, and isolated herself to the maximum she could do in the four day period because all she had thoughts to do was murder innocent people and had no idea how or why these thoughts kept coming to her and bombarding her like they did. She would cry out to God for help to purify her mind and thoughts and kept casting the thoughts of murder out each time they would come, which was constantly. I was in awe hearing her tell me what had happened to her. After she finished telling me what happened to her, I let her know that she just explained to me what was happening to Lilah for the last four days as well.
I let my cousin know what happened to Lilah and how her mind was completely gone for four days and how she had not been herself. I told her about the look of murder or desire to kill me was in her eyes and how she charged me and tried to attack me as if I was someone she had never known a day in her life, let alone her mother. My cousin and I were both in shock at the stories we were telling each other and at how strong the spirit of hatred and murder was in influencing both her and Lilah. No matter what was happening, that spirit had a strong grip on the both of them and wasn’t readily willing to let them go. My cousin shared with me that she realized that the spirit of Hatred was able to operate so strongly in her because there was still open doors in her life of unforgiveness, bitterness, and anger towards people who hurt her. My cousin still had to do the real work of renouncing unforgiveness and forgiving those people so that she could have true healing in her mind, heart, and soul. Similarly with my cousin, Delilah was holding on to unforgiveness and anger towards people who had abused and hurt her too. During that week of fasting and praying, in moments when Lilah was calm and lucid, I led her in prayers to release the unforgiveness in her heart towards the people who had hurt her. I mentioned to my cousin how when Delilah renounced that unforgiveness in her heart and released people who hurt her, little by little, deliverance began to take place and her mind was slowly restored to her until completion on that fifth day.
That week was the most devastating and hellish week of my life. I had been beat up, scratched up, and had pieces of my hair ripped out of my head. I had never experienced a sustained attack and warfare of abuse to my body, mind and emotions for five days straight. I was tired and hurt. It was the first time in all my years of parenting Delilah that I had to assess and open my mind to the possibility of whether I needed to put Lilah in a residential facility for care because I would not be able to handle her in a crisis moment anymore. For those of you who don’t have children with special needs or have never experienced children in crisis, this may be beyond your ability to even imagine. Some of you may question, “why didn’t you call the police or a mental health crisis mobile unit?” The reality is that police are not trained to deal with Black and Brown people in mental health crisis moments. Most often those in crisis are killed and abused for the aggression and violent behavior instantaneously. Mental health crisis units, psychiatric wards of hospitals usually deal with typically developed people who can talk fluidly and verbally express themselves to some degree. They also usually medicate and numb people who are in crisis. As of yet, I have many of my colleagues exploring if there are psychiatrist/psychologist who work with minimally verbal autistic people and I have not found anyone yet who does. (If you know of a professional who does, please share their details with me) I’m also not in agreement with medicating my minimally verbal, autistic daughter, who doesn’t normally have behavioral issues or a diagnosis that requires her to be medicated in such a way.
I want to be clear. This is the way that I chose to work with Delilah. I can’t say that every caregiver should work with their loved one in the same fashion. Children/teenagers/adults with special needs are very strong and some have violent tendencies in crisis moments and behavioral issues that are beyond the scope of what their caregivers can handle. If you have to seek help or residential living situations for your loved ones because they are aggressive beyond what you can handle, please don’t feel ashamed of that. Because you love them and you love yourself, you have to do what is best to preserve both of your lives. There is no right or wrong way to handle the situation, you (the caregiver) have to do what you feel is best after you have prayed and sought wise counsel about it. I thank God that as I prayed and fasted, God gave me instructions on what to do for Lilah during that four-day period. I am also thanking God with everything in me that Lilah regained her sanity and her mind was completely restored unto her.
This experience highlighted several very important things to me. If a person doesn’t have their right mind intact, everything is gone. I learned just how spirits will go and get the seven “even more wicked” spirits to siege a person’s mind (Matthew 12:45). This experience reinforced the need for regular fasting for Delilah’s deliverance and consistency in praying the word of God over her mind and body until breakthrough comes. There is a huge shortage of mental health professionals (psychologist/psychiatrist) that can give services to minimally verbal to non-verbal autistic patients. Where can caregivers go to seek mental health services/help for their autistic loved ones? It also highlighted for me that I need a circle of friends who are willing and able to give me respite when I need a break from Lilah. If my mind wasn’t strongly rooted in God, I think I would have had my own emotional/mental breakdown at the lack of support and help.
Today as I give thanks for having a right mind (sanity), I’m inviting you to check out the available support groups and services of the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), https://www.nami.org/, and to donate (https://donate.nami.org/give/197406/#!/donation/checkout?utm_source=globalNav&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=DonationTracking&c_src=WEBDG) to their organization so they can continue impacting the lives of person with mental health challenges and help them to be their best selves. They also have a promotion throughout the month of December. If you buy a copy of the book “You are not alone: The NAMI guide to Navigating Mental Health’ from any retailer where it is sold, NAMI will send a free copy of the book to a person or organization of your choice. Please consider buying a copying and sharing the free copy with a person who has mental health illness or an organization that helps members of the community with mental health illness.
Have A Great Day of Thanks!