Day 29: Visions/Dream
"Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law." Proverbs 29:18 ESV
"Where there is no prophetic impartation, we will lose heart, purpose or direction" Proverbs 29:18 Message
Today I give thanks for the many (prophetic) visions and dreams that have clarified, shaped, and molded my purpose as well as given me direction.
I have had a passion for women's and maternal-infant health since before I can even remember. In my mind, since I was about 6 or 7 years old, I had plans to be an ob/gyn, after reading my first children's book about from where babies come. However, while in medical school, my pediatric attendings would always declare that I needed to strongly reconsider a career in Pediatrics since so many of the children in the wards had such an affinity to me.
I was not feeling any of their suggestions! It is one thing to do wellness visits for a non sick baby but it is absolutely devastating to endure the suffering of treating a really sick child or losing one to an ailment. My medical team and I crossed every tee and dotted every 'i" for the most beautiful Black baby I had ever seen but we still loss her on our watch to a Shigella infection, a vicious infection that causes bloody diarrhea. That bacteria ate up and destroyed the two-year-old's entire intestinal lining; by the time she got to us, no matter what we did, nothing could or would have helped to save her. Although that happened over fifteen years ago, I still feel the loss rip into my heart like it was yesterday.
Keep in mind that I am only lamenting about the devastation of treating a sick child. I haven't even mentioned parent encounters. It is one of the worst experiences to deal with a parent of a sick child when you have no answers of "why" the child is in the condition in which they are. It's even a double whammy when there is a loss of a momma and a baby.
We lost a mom and a baby at full term during a medical mission due to pre-eclampsia. The devastation of those losses still ache too. Pediatrics? I would never voluntarily sign up for that job. You can imagine how I felt when my friend Juana came to me and told me that she had a dream about me the night before. She said in her dream I was the doctor in a neonatal ward of a hospital. In the ward, I had over twenty babies that were no more than two days old but the babies were doing incredibly phenomenal things. She said they were all praising and worshipping God at one point, but at different moments these no older than two-day-old babies were talking, doing mathematics and solving complex problems, playing musical instruments or were drawing with incredible skills. She said that in her dream all she could do was watch in amazement as I worked with these genius level neonates because she had seen nothing like it in her entire life. As I heard her describing the details of her dream, I was thinking to myself, "she must have ate some beans before going to bed because there is no way that she could have seen me working as a pediatrician or with kids. That is no where near in line with my interest." That dream was pre-Delilah and all of the work that I am doing know. Fast forward several years, my daughter was born. She had musical talents and perfect pitch from the womb and at two years old would pick up pens and pencils to scribble what I thought were legitimate looking letters and objects. Months shy of her fourth birthday, she became aphasic and reverted into autism. We used musical scales for years to help my daughter develop speech again. At four, she drew her first rendition of Dora the Explorer and Boots that I still keep on my refrigerator until this day. From that time on, my life centered around Autism and I became an unpaid Developmental Pediatrician to guarantee the well-being of my daughter. I began to meet so many families who had children with autism and would work with them, giving suggestions on how to effectively work with their children in specific areas. I taught them how to use common household products and crafting to develop a child with autism's sensory. I taught basic home made versions of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech, through music. I taught nutritional education to reduce hyperactivity and showed how puzzles could increase attention span. I also inherited this autism mojo that makes me a magnet for children with autism. I have been in institutional settings and on public transportation and autism children find their way to me. One time while on the bus, I had a beautiful non verbal toddler climb into my lap to "speak" to me as his mother watched, simultaneously mortified and in amazement at how quickly he gravitated to me. His mom got her first lesson on how to get him to look directly into her eyes. She started crying when her son looked into my eyes because he would never do that before. I love, love, love, special needs children and young adults. They are geniuses and talented to the nth degree. They tell the truth and make no excuses for it. How did I get here, a person who swore that she would "never" volunteer for this occupation? Life. A child with autism. God's strategic plan and tenacity to give me a heart for young people with special needs. I was one of the first member and have been an organizer for my support group, the Bronx Parents Autism Support Circle, for the last seven or eight years. I'm sold out to our Autism community and it's beautiful children. Recently, I was asked to be a board member to champion the develop of a ministry for special needs children and adults called Capernaum, in the Bronx. Capernaum is part of a larger organization that also has a ministry for teenage moms, called Young Lives. Young Lives is how I was attracted to the organization in the first place. Remember, I love maternal-infant health. I have even been a member of my sisterhood/tribe of women in the Birthing Project USA for over 18 years, guaranteeing the mentoring of mothers and the safe births of babies worldwide. Because I wasn't sure about the time commitment and if that was the direction I was taking in my life at the moment, I had many doubts about becoming a board member for Capernaum. As I was praying about whether to accept the position, God reminded me of Juana' s dream years ago and all the phenomenal, genius babies that I'd be shepherding. If I had not received that prophetic vision of impartation years ago, I'm sure that I would have completely missed the plan and will God had purposes for my life at this time. My answer to the position was a resounding "yes." Today as I give thanks for prophetic vision and dreams that bring clarity to our lives, I invite you to bless my thirty-year-old organization, the Birthing Project USA, https://www.birthingprojectusa.org/. We are the first Black maternal infant organization in our nation that has gone global and has saved over 20,000 babies of color from dying before their first birthday. From Mississippi to Malawi, we mentor mothers through their pregnancies and ensure, through the safe birth kit, that they can safely birth their babies anywhere in the world. Love Ya, Have a great day of thanks!