Thursday, April 11, 2013


I had the privilege of hearing my sweet friend Andrea share the following story a few weeks ago at a small group meeting.  It ministered to my heart so much, that I asked if she would send it to me.  With Andrea and her husband Greg's blessing, I'm honored to share it with you here on Rocks and Jewels.  I will just briefly add that I still wholeheartedly believe that we are to be good stewards of the bodies that God has given us here on earth, taking care of them as we are able, being responsible with the knowledge we have.  Ultimately, all healing comes from our Father God, who created us to begin with.   Romans 6:1-2 say, "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?  May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?"  I view health and healing in a similar manner.  Do we continue to destroy our bodies with unhealthy consumption patterns, not caring what goes into our temples, because His healing is available?  Hopefully not!  His divine power has given everything we need for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us, by His own glory and goodness, as stated in 2 Peter 1:3.  Do not toss aside wisdom, knowledge, common sense, and resourceful living, but rather understand that life and healing are in Christ, especially when we have come to the end of ourselves, our limited knowledge, and even our energy and sanity, exhausting every possible solution or remedy to our physical / emotional / mental / relational problems.  We don't have to stress and  become weary over what we do not know or cannot figure out, because He is there with healing and mercy to cover our past mistakes, current shortcomings and weaknesses, and any sicknesses affecting our well-being.   
~ Amber

"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; 
no one comes to the Father but through Me."  
John 14:6


I stepped into pregnancy with Gracie in the fall of 2007 with the idea that I was going to go into labor, go to a hospital, and have someone yank her out of my tummy.  I didn’t want to feel anything, just wanted to have my baby and get on with life.  By January 2008, I had completely changed course.  I had done lots of research.  Greg and I made the decision to do a natural birth at a birth center in Hurst and to not vaccinate our daughter.  It was a drastic change of pace, and with that change of pace came the birth of a new lifestyle for us.  With the decision to not vaccinate comes the responsibility to seriously care for your child’s immune system.  It was a challenge, but after reading tons of material on the subject, I was up for the challenge.  

Her first year of life, we were super cautious with food, knowing that a child’s digestive system is not fully developed until around 24 months of age.  If fed improperly, (meaning the standard American diet of rice cereal, grains in general, and dairy products from cow’s milk) children will for sure develop leaky gut, and that is something that not only can you not recover from, but leads to a lifetime of health issues that go from bad to worse.  I looked around me seeing most of the children of my friends dealing with health issues, ranging from eczema to autism and everything in between.  It seemed they all kept doing what their medical doctor told them to do and their kidddos either got worse or developed more issues.  I was bound and determined to take care of our little Gracie and make sure she did not become a victim of the system.

The Brown Family, October 2009

For the first two years of her life, Gracie was in excellent health.  She only had a runny nose while she was cutting teeth. She never even had a full blown cold. Never had an ear infection. While everyone else got sick, I just gave her some supplements, and maintained a good diet.  She had probiotics, fish oil, vitamin D, and green smoothies every day, among other things, to maintain optimal health.  Never had a vaccine, never had an over-the-counter or prescription medication.  I was very proud of our hard work and how healthy she was.

By around February 2011, things began to go downhill.  She had been potty trained for some time, at this point.  She and I were driving home from Central Market one day, and she had a pee-pee accident on the way home.  Later that evening, while giving her a bath, we noticed a pretty bad rash on her bottom and assumed it was from that accident.   We put some cream on it and put her to sleep in a pull-up.   

As days passed, the rash got much worse.  We took her to our family Doctor.  Our family Doctor is a Chiropractor, and their practice had been so wonderful with every issue that came up.  We knew for sure that we would get to our appointment and he would tell us what to do and everything would be fine.  He gave us advice, what to put on the rash and what supplements to give her.  We did it and it responded at first but then came back with a vengeance. 

After a few more trips to the doctor and lots of remedies tried, he suggested we see a pediatrician.  We had exhausted the knowledge of our sweet Doctors.  He gave us a reference of a pediatrician in Grapevine who was supposed to be friendly with ‘crunchy’ folk like myself.  The doctor said he had been seeing a lot of this type of rash during that time, and he did a test.  It came back positive as strep.  He gave us a prescription for antibiotics, along with probiotics to counteract all the damage the antibiotics would do to her digestive system.  We were finally on our way to freedom.

The antibiotics worked great, but as soon as she was finished with the round, the rash came back way worse than ever before.  I am going to get graphic for a moment.  She was bright red from the very tip of her bootie crack to the very top of her front area, if you know what I mean, and everything in between.  It was a blood red.  The skin was so dry, it was peeling off.  She looked like a burn victim. There were spots that were bleeding and pussy.  And to top it off, she had some disgusting discharges from the area that smelled putrid.

So, instead of putting her on another round of antibiotics, we switched gears again.  We went to a wonderful homeopathic doctor, Dr. Bekker, in downtown Dallas.  He is also an MD and specialized in children, so we had the best of both worlds.  This was sometime in May or June of 2011.  He checked things out and did some research and came up with a homeopathic remedy.  It worked wonderfully.  We thought we were free.  Then after a few weeks, the rash came back.  Not as bad, but it was back.  We went to him again and ended up seeing him frequently throughout the summer.  By August or September things seemed to be leveling off, and we were so thankful.

By November, surprise, it was back.  When I called Dr. Bekker’s office, he suggested food sensitivity testing.  We did the test and the results came back right before Christmas.  She had a sensitivity to: black pepper, cayenne pepper, oat, scallop, strawberry, sweet potato, turkey, walnut, amaranth,  buckwheat, carob, chick pea, egg white, egg yolk, ginger, honey, lime, malt, pecan, vanilla, almond, apple, artichoke, baker’s yeast, beef, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cane sugar, cashew, cottonseed, crab, cranberry, date, dill, fructose, garlic, haddock, hops, iceberg lettuce, lima bean, navy bean, olive, orange, papaya, plum, psyllium, shrimp, string bean, tilapia, gluten and casein and whey (which is dairy).  

So, there we have it.  Many of these items were her very favorite foods, like strawberries, broccoli, milk, hummus made from chick peas and sweet potatoes.  Of course her symptoms kept returning; this totally made sense.  So we did the special rotational diet, just like Dr. Bekker suggested.  He said we would be able to slowly start introducing the problem foods after six months, and she would be all better.  No big deal, right?

Gracie, 3 Years Old (early Feb. 2012)

It worked, for a while.  Then after a few months, she appeared to be developing more sensitivities.  Symptoms started returning.  She also appeared to be developing more symptoms.  On February 24, 2012, she started vomiting undigested food in her sleep.  The scary part was that she did not even wake up and was sleeping on her back.  She had vomited a few times that night and didn’t even know it.  The first time we heard the noise over the baby monitor, Greg ran up.  She was upset with him for waking her up.  We put her in our bed, and as soon as she laid down, it happened again.  She was confused because she didn’t even know it was coming.  She slept in our room the rest of the night.  I was terrified.  Fear of losing her got very strong in me.  If we wouldn’t have heard her throw up that night over the monitor, she could have died.  Her little mouth was filled with vomit.  Our little girl that I had believed would bring God’s Grace into the lives of everyone she met was going down a very scary path.  
The next morning we took her to the Chiropractor.  I was hoping and praying that her diaphragm needed adjusted, things would be fine, and we would be on our way, but I was very fearful.  The doctor, Kyska, adjusted her and asked us to take Gracie to her friend that did muscle testing.  Turns out her friend, Ms. Eileen is also an iridologist, which is someone that reads the eye and tells you what is going on with your entire body.  She said that Gracie had parasites throughout her entire body and they were eating all the nutrition that she took in, so her brain was stressed and not getting enough nutrition.  

Although terrifying, this made perfect sense.  Gracie ate huge portions of food.  She ate more than Greg at some meals.  No one knew where she was putting it.  So, we decided to go back to Dr. Bekker and have a stool sample done to verify what this woman was saying.  

While we were waiting for the results of that test, I began documenting her symptoms.  She was sneezing all the time; her nose was so congested at night that she would wake up with snot all through her hair; she had constant anal and vaginal itching; that awful rash I told you about; at this point, she had developed eczma, and it was getting worse; she was exhausted and had a substantial lack of energy for someone her age; she was foggy brained, had lack of focus; she had frequent gas and burping; her breath smelled like vomit; she was constantly grinding her teeth; she had athlete's foot; she coughed a lot; had abnormal amounts of canker sores; her teeth appeared to be getting weaker, and she began to have some tooth decay; she would talk in her sleep, cry in her sleep, and wake up soaked in sweat; she had lots of undigested food in her stool; her urine smelled awful -- the smell filled the whole bathroom; her ears were itchy and frequently red; often she just smelled like vomit in the evenings.

So, back to the stool sample.  The results came back.  Yes, she had parasites.  But, they were a breed that was unidentifiable, so there was no way to treat them with modern medicine.  Also, she had a dangerously high dose of E. coli in her system, she was infected with a particularly high dose of yeast or fungi that was unidentifiable, and her pancreatic enzymes were not working properly to digest her food. 

With the course of treatment that Dr. Bekker suggested, we did not see much hope, so sometime in the spring of 2012, we stepped out on our own, did some research, and decided to put her on the Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet, better known as GAPS diet in the ‘crunchy’ world.  The testimonies made the diet look very promising.  It claimed to seal up that leaky gut with traditional paleo-style nourishing foods, and I was sold.  I had read so many testimonies.  I did a ridiculous amount of research, and we were ready to tackle this obstacle.  Greg was on board.  It was our only hope.
The diet worked.  It worked so well.  Her symptoms were gone; life was wonderful.  Only one problem.  The first month, we spent $1200 on food just for Gracie.  And, I spent every waking moment in the kitchen preparing traditional nourishing foods and on the computer researching what else we needed to incorporate into this ‘healing’ diet.  I had a 4 year-old and an 8 month-old when we started.  It was incredibly stressful.  I felt like a slave to the kitchen, a slave to the diet, and our finances were a slave to this illness.  It was awful.  I was a mess, losing my hair, I developed eczema, and my hormones were going from bad to worse.  I was frustrated, exhausted, and I am pretty sure a bit or more depressed.  The kids were driving me crazy, because they wanted my attention.  I wanted to spend time with them, but if I let up on the diet, Gracie would not get better.  It was a vicious cycle.  We tried to wean her off the diet at the ‘appropriate’ time, but the healing didn’t come like the testimonies said.  Her symptoms just came back.

Then in the end of August or beginning of September 2012, out of the blue, my cousin’s wife who lives in Nashville sent a mass text to all her contacts and asked if there was anything we needed prayer for.  I texted her back right away and told her we needed healing for Gracie.  I felt like our lives and our finances were in bondage to this thing, whatever it was that was tearing up her body.  She sent a sweet and simple prayer back via text, and I felt peace for a moment.

I had signed up for a small group in the fall, because during this chain of events in our lives, I had gotten disconnected from church.  The small group that I signed up in sent me an email back saying it was full.  I was slightly put off, but whatever.  I chose the only other small group I would be able to make it to.

The first night, I was there a bit early.  Christi asked me if I had heard of Pastor Prince.  I said yes, kind of.  I heard one message that I loved, but never really paid attention after that.  Christi, not knowing what was going on in our home, said, “you HAVE to listen to his teachings on health and wholeness through the Holy Communion.” She promptly ran to her giant stash of materials and came back with a 5-part DVD series and this tiny little book that changed our lives forever.

After we finally made it through the entire series and book, it took us a while to start partaking of the Lord’s Supper.  We didn’t want to do it to be the next ‘thing’ that would work.  We wanted to truly trust Jesus.  Once all our hearts were ready, Jesus snatched us up in His arms.  By October, we started partaking of the Holy Communion, believing that when Jesus died on the cross, He bore our sickness and disease just like the bible says, believing He has already released the healing for anything that comes against us.  Wow.  One week later, Gracie was able to eat anything she wanted.  

Gracie, 4 Years Old

At first, she did have some mild symptoms.  Nothing like before, but they made me very nervous.  I just kept listening to messages about how God wants us to receive healing and reading my Bible, learning what grace truly is, and studying every word I found in there about healing.  I began to step out more and more to give it all to the Lord.  I was exhausted of being independent and doing things myself.  I wanted to let go and when I did, HIS supply began to flow more abundantly in our lives.  I unsubscribed from blogs and email lists, ‘un-liked’ Facebook pages, and deleted pinterest boards and pins.  Those mild symptoms began to disappear.  As I did more, getting rid of books, the GAPS book, Nourishing Traditions, gave away the amber teething necklaces, more healing began to flow.  

Today, Gracie is in complete health, full of energy and life.  ‘Perfect in Jesus,’ as she would say.  
I remember one night in the fall, after Jesus healed Gracie, she needed someone to cuddle her while she went to sleep.  As she was falling asleep in my arms, the smell of her breath was so sweet.  It was the familiar scent that I smelled, as I rocked her to sleep in my arms, when she was a baby.  I was overcome with peace, knowing that it is finished.  Jesus had given me a sign.  Our battle with this illness was over.  The battle is not ours, it is the Lord’s, and He has already won. I finally feel content and at rest, trusting in Jesus to be our supply and our source for healing and health, more than anything we can ever do or eat.  I am so thankful to Christi for handing those materials to me and so thankful that Pastor Prince delivers so many messages that are grounded in the scriptures and truly reveal the gospel of Grace and the finished work of Jesus Christ.  Healing, health and wholeness are a part of living in God’s Grace, and they are for every believer that wants them.

Gracie, 4 Years Old, Perfect in Jesus!

I was deceived by the notion that ‘God has given us all these wonderful things on the earth to heal our bodies and make us whole.'  I can’t find that in my Bible, but what I can find is that creation is fallen, and only the Creator can redeem and make perfect.   
The Bible says that we don’t have to 
“..fuss about what is on the table at mealtimes…people who don’t know God or the way He works fuss over these things, but you both know God and how He works.Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions…you’ll find all your human concerns will be met.
(Matthew 6:25 & 32-33)   

It also says that “He heals your diseases, every one.” 
(Psalm 103: 3-5)

and “your body will glow with health and your very bones will vibrate with life.” 
(Proverbs 3:5-8)  

“No weapon that can hurt you has ever been forged."
(Isaiah 54:13ish-17) 

“With His spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s.”
(Romans 8:11) 

The words of the Lord are “life to those who find them and health to all their flesh.” 
(Proverbs 4:20-22) 

He promises to give us back our health and heal our wounds.
(Jeremiah 30:17) 

Jesus Christ puts everything right for those who trust Him to do it, including our health. 
(Romans 10:4)

That’s our story.  It’s not about us, but about the great things that He has done.
 ~ Andrea

(Re-posted with permission from Andrea Brown.)

The Brown Family, Christmas 2012

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