The Speech Maker

A quick update:
We had a meeting with Rhema’s neurologist at Children’s Hospital today. He believes that the ongoing seizure activity is interfering with Rhema’s brain function. She continues to have significant “activity” on the left side of the brain – in the speech areas – as well as increasing activity on the right side. Her current anti-epileptic medication is simply not working.

At the advice of our doctor, we have decided to begin weaning Rhema from the current drug. Once weaned, she will start a new anti-epileptic medication called Keppra. In August, we will do another overnight hospital stay in which a 24-hour EEG will be performed to determine how well the Keppra is working. I had really hoped to avoid switching her from drug to drug. Hopefully, the Keppra will work for her.

It is hard to know what’s really driving the train here. Is it the autism that makes it so difficult for her to speak and process language or is it the seizure activity? Or both?

One thing I am confident of and that is, simply, God made her. He created her brain in all its glory and complexity, He formed her mouth and tongue. No matter how many doctors we see, or treatments and therapies we try, we know for certain that if our little one speaks it will be because of God and God alone.

I love a Bible passage where God is revealed to Moses in the Burning Bush. The Lord tells Moses that he will be the one to lead the people of Israel out of their captivity in Egypt. Moses is full of questions and objections, but can you blame the guy? He was just supposed to roll up into Pharaoh’s house and tell him that God said to let the Israelites – the ones who had provided hundreds of years of slave labor – just pack up and leave? This was no small task.

In Exodus 4:10-12:
Moses said to the LORD, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent… I am slow of speech and tongue.” The LORD said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

Moses was literally saying, You’ve got the wrong guy. I am not a man of words. (Some believe that Moses did in fact have a speech impediment – Isn’t it just like God to choose someone like that to demonstrate His power?). God’s response is simple: I made your mouth. Don’t you think that if I made the mouth and created the gift of speech, I can give you the ability to speak? God gives those gifts, He can take away those gifts and restore them again – ultimately His purposes will be accomplished. In another translation, God literally says to Moses, I will be with your mouth and teach you what you will say.

Wow, there’s such a peace in that. And it doesn’t just have to apply to my family and our struggle with autism and epilepsy. For those of us who know the Truth of Christ, we must share it and live it. But we also have the gift of speech, and we must speak it. That is, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). If you’re the least bit fearful like Moses, let God be with your mouth.

By the way, slow-of-speech Moses later becomes God’s eloquent messenger, commanding plagues to come, and plagues to cease, and waters to part. In Acts 7:22, Moses is not remembered as a man of few words, but instead as “mighty in words and in deeds”.

**I have met so many friends and “encouragers” since I joined the blogosphere. Thank you for letting us share our lives with you, and thank you for rejoicing with us for every little “utterance”, every little victory.

6 thoughts on “The Speech Maker

  1. This was awesome! Moses is a great paralell for Rhema and for all of us. You have to have the fait that He will restore during this time that she is too young to have that faith for herself. The testimonies of the Bible are evidence that God can and will perform wonders again…

  2. I am praying for you! My heart goes out to you as you diligently try to find the right medical help for Rhema, and also continue to stand for God’s intervention on her behalf.

    I’ve been reading in Matthew lately and was amazed how many times it said that Jesus was moved by the people’s infirmities. Several times the phrase popped out to me …”and He healed them all.” As I pray for my own son, I want you to know that I name your daughter and other names I’ve encountered of kids with autism, and I pray that God will show himself in a mighty way to save and restore this generation of beautiful children and the parents who love them. Thanks for sharing your experiences and your insights with us!

  3. as i read your always eloquent words, i was momentarily taken a back when you said you ‘weren’t sure what was driving the train.’

    i thought, ‘you of all people know better than most exactly what (or Who) is driving that train!

    but, of course, it wasn’t long before i followed you right back to the track (that you had never actually veered from) and into the comfort and peace of your boundless faith.

    edward teller once wrote, ‘when u come to the end of all the light u know, and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of 2 things shall happen; either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly’

    rhema is already showing you how to fly

    peace to you, my dear new friend

  4. jess, thank you so much for that beautiful quote! it is true that I am finally really learning what it means to trust God, and you’re right, i have Rhema to thank for that. =)

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