Emily is my eight year old, beloved granddaughter. I have always had a special connection with this child. By the time she was three it appeared she was "different”. She was easily angered and went into destructive, screaming rages. I noticed also that she did not like to be touched or hugged. Many times as I was leaving her home and her Mother would prompt her to “Give Grandma a hug." Emily would quickly reply, "No hugs for you, Grandma."
Emily's mother is a schoolteacher so Emily was at first in a home care environment and later at the YMCA. When I would go to the YMCA to pick her up she was often in "time-out”. The teacher at
YMCA would comment that Emily was aggressive with other children. Other times Emily would place herself in "time-out” by hiding under a table and covering herself with her jacket. I called this cocooning.
As the time approached for kindergarten we had grave concerns about how Emily would fare in a structured classroom environment. She had developed a great sensitivity to smell and exhibited a snorting behavior that was later diagnosed as Tourette’s Syndrome. This snorting tic resulted in Emily
being placed in the hall outside the classroom so as to not disturb the rest of the class.
Emily's rages increased in duration, strength and frequency. At the beginning of first grade she was a fearful child unable to cope with any stimuli. She spent the majority of her time under her desk covered with her coat. In the hottest weather she wanted to wear her coat on the playground - actually all day.
Emily's mother taught on the same campus where Emily attended classes. This became a problem when Emily would retreat to the safety of her mother's office. With extreme stress and anxiety Emily would lock herself in the bathroom located adjacent to her mother's office. This resulted in several teachers and administrators rushing to the bathroom door and a whole scene evolved.
There were times Emily was so distressed about going to school that she would refuse to get up and get dressed. Emily's mother took the only action she felt possible. She picked Emily up naked or near naked, placed her in the car with her clothes and gave her an ultimatum to dress on the way to school. The principal got involved and said Emily was “oppositional defiant', ODD or possibly had a pervasive
development disorder in the Autism spectrum. Emily was later diagnosed by the neurologist and other
various doctors as having ADHD, possible Bipolar disorder, Tourette's syndrome, Oppositional Defiant
disorder, Obsessive Compulsive disorder, and Asperger's- high functioning Autism
I attended many ARD sessions where decisions were made to best serve Emily's needs in order to educate her. These meetings brought about great stress in the whole family. Elizabeth, her mother, was in between a rock and a hard place. First she had to be Emily's advocate, but there was some concern regarding her relationship with the administrators on the campus.
At the end of the first grade, it was agreed that Emily would move to another campus and be placed in the 'Achieve' class. Most of the students in Achieve class exhibit behavioral problems. They did not relate well to other individuals and were academically behind second grade level. The Achieve class size never exceeded a ratio of 6 students to 3 adults.
During all this time I would take Emily to the neurologist, who prescribed a cabinet of medications. At other appointments a psychologist played chess, backgammon and other games with Emily in order to push her to the frustration point so he could teach her how to "cool off”. Emily exhibited a desire to control all others around her. If things did not go the way she wanted in the psychologists office i.e., she was losing at the game, she would just leave and go to my car and start blowing the horn to make me come take her home.
In June 2002, I wrote in my journal that Emily was becoming increasingly more violent and destructive. She has two young male siblings - Luke and Lance. One night when I was babysitting all three and Emily could not “have her way", she found a pellet gun and came into the room and aimed the gun at me while I was rocking the infant. She threatened to shoot me. I was afraid for the baby, but I spoke with great authority that she must put the gun down and never do that again.
During the months leading up to this instance, Emily and I had a quiet conversation regarding Adam and Eve. I'm a member of a Bible study group and Emily always seemed intrigued that I "studied" the Bible. In discussing Adam and Eve I explained that it was the devil in the form of a snake that tricked Eve into eating the apple. Sometimes we know we are not supposed to do something, but the devil tells us it is okay. and to go ahead and do it.
Emily started talking rapidly, telling me that is what happens to her. There is a "good" Emily and a "bad" Emily and lately the bad Emily is getting stronger. It keeps telling her to “do it, do it, do it” and she doesn't really want to do it. This really made me do some more thinking because I often felt the child was possessed or at least oppressed because of the way she would rage and her facial expressions would change along with the tone of her voice becoming a demanding growl.
Things started happening very fast during this time period. Elizabeth met Karen, who had a son named James, who had been through a deliverance ministry and God had healed James. Karen gave Elizabeth a video to watch and invited her to come to a Friday night praise meeting.
Whoa, Elizabeth knew our family had been a victim of deception in the past at the hands of a "minister" who lead people astray and. chose to treat the Bible as a buffet where you simply sample a few things and leave the rest behind. She came to me and we began to pray. When God wants to move people He grabs them by the nape of the neck. You might say Elizabeth was grabbed by the nape of the neck. The next time she saw Karen, guess who was present - Sheila Ramsey. Emily was with Elizabeth and growled a demand to “Don't talk to her”' motioning to Sheila.
We went to a Friday night praise meeting. At the second visit, we had to take Emily. During the lesson Emily became physically abusive and growled orders at her mother. At one point she opened the front door and left the property. There was a lot of anxiety among us. Sheila asked for two prayer warriors to go into a bedroom and begin praying for Emily. Finally, Emily came back inside and the evening ended with prayer (after much physical tussling) while Emily hid under her blanket.
The next step was the commitment to deliverance counseling by Sheila's prayer and ministry team. After a few sessions it was time for Emily. I was present with her parents. I was amazed that she sat and matter-of-factly answered Sheila's questions and talked. Usually she would clam up and not share any information. At that first meeting, Emily had to give her up attachment to pacifiers, her love for unicorns and begin writing affirming sentences every day. That was a lot for the first session.
At the succeeding session of prayer there were times that a spanking was necessary because Emily was openly defiant of assignments or instructions. But as sessions continued we have seen a great transformation in this little girl - actually her entire family. They are attending church, Emily and her brother Luke are very active in the Awana's program and eager to be there every week. Emily is an ace at
memorizing Bible verses and songs - as she says, "cinchy, Grandma!” Elizabeth plays praise music all
night and Emily says she no longer has horrible dreams of her family being murdered. Medications have been slowly withdrawn and today Emily is med-free. This was a direct promise Sheila made to Emily during the first session of prayer.
Today you will see a little girl who can pray with the faith that many adults lack. She is well aware that a cross symbolizes Jesus and He has come to live in her heart. She wants to be baptized now because she is aware that is the public witness that Jesus lives in her heart.
This child has so touched my spirit with her faith and child-like ability to trust God. One last story that might lift your heart. When her mother was selecting colors to paint the bedrooms for the children, Emily's room would be blue and the boys would have light tan and maroon/red. I disagreed over the colors for the boys' room fearing that it would be too dark and resemble a cave. However, Emily encouraged me and said, 'No, Grandma, I wish my room were red. Do you get it? Red stands for the blood of Jesus and His blood will protect you from everything."
I don't know what the future holds for Emily and her family, but I do know God has begun a good work and will be faithful to complete it. Let us praise God that He alone can snatch us from the jaw of the enemy and -set-us on solid rock.
p.s. I forgot to say that People who are seeing Emily now and knew her prior to Sheila's ministry beginning their work, are amazed in the change in Emily. Her pediatrician told me that Emily used to bounce off the walls and was so rude. Now Emily is well-mannered and more patent and less demanding.
Teachers at the school Emily attended in the first grade cannot believe she is med-free and functioning normally.
Emily's grandfather says she looks different, but he doesn't know why.
Emily admits it will take time before her cousins and neighborhood children accept the fact that she is being healed and changed. I told her to be patent because it takes a long time for some people to recognize change and trust the "new Emily”.
She is a singing, laughing, affectionate, cooperate little girl. What a joy! She wants everyone to come when she is baptized. Maybe we should sing "Now I Belong to Jesus" the instant she rises from the water.