My Wife Has the Gift of Healing…Change my Mind

by | 20 Jul, 2018 | 8 comments

Advocate: one who pleads the cause of another; specifically: one who pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court

God is described by the Psalmist:

     Father of the fatherless and protector of widows

        is God in his holy habitation. (Psalm 68:5)

God is a father to the fatherless and a protector (dayan) of widows, those most desperate for protection. Dayan means judge; God renders justice to the those who have none. Dayan means advocate; God moves on behalf of the downtrodden, those who have no patron. Dayan means champion; God battles on behalf of the powerless.

God is a champion to the dispossessed, a judge, an advocate, a protector.

I know of some in need of one such as this.


System kids have suffered a great injustice.

They’ve been wronged. They’ve been victimized. They’ve been dealt a bad hand.

A million different circumstances put a kid in the system. Neglect puts a kid in the system. Addiction puts a kid in the system. Abuse puts a kid in the system. Really, betrayal puts a kid in the system. They’ve been betrayed by those whom they should’ve been able to trust the most.

The destruction becomes more poignant in light of what should’ve been. They should’ve been raised by a loving father and/or mother. They should’ve been cared for, provided for, and protected. They should’ve been loved upon…all in the context of certainty, assurance, and they should’ve been brought up in the way of the Lord.

The injustice is not without grave consequence.

Affliction Generalized

Where to even start?

It’s only been in the last year or two that I’ve even begun to fathom the trauma suffered by my sons. I’ll never fully comprehend and it’s tough because they mostly look just like any other kid…but they’re not.

The carnage cuts a broad swath across their bodies, their minds, their hearts, and even their souls.

The stage is set for a life of affliction from before conception. Circumstances and often the prevalence of generational sin dictate their suffering from the outset. The sins of their parents weigh heavy upon them.

Affliction invades the safest of all sanctuaries, the womb, as countless many are victimized by prenatal drug and alcohol abuse. The effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and prenatal drug abuse persist for life. From this, they are born into a vast and varying smorgasboard of suffering…often, but not always, at the hands of their parent(s). They are physically abused, beaten. They are neglected, left to fend for themselves. They witness…things.

Ultimately, they are betrayed and then ripped from the only normal they know, dysfunctional though it may be.

The effects are not something you can just wish away.

Affliction Personalized

Like many foster parents I suspect, we entered the system naive to the harsh reality.

I honestly thought that you’d just send us a kid and we’d love on them, teach them about Jesus, and things would be just fine. That isn’t quite how things worked out.

Each of my sons languishes under a different burden(s).

Our very first foster kid who became my son was born addicted to crack and meth. I still remember his first seizure, when he stopped breathing, epilepsy being his cross to bear along with a host of other conditions including Tourettes and autism. For the first four years of his life, he never slept more than two or three consecutive hours.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome scourges another two.

One witnessed violence against his mother. Two others spent their formative years in the heavy and sordid meth scene.

Developmental delays abound, and attachment disorders.

One of my sons is hearing impaired though we still don’t know the full extent.

Because of this, my sons all have intense needs, special needs. They need Christ-like love, they need Jesus, they needed a forever family. What my sons need is an advocate, someone willing to take up their case and plead it. My sons needed a champion, a dayan.

Into this fray charged my wife.

Justice Realized

My wife is a warrior.

Headlong she charged into the battle for the health and welfare of these sons of ours, with no regard for her own well-being.

Physically, there is no magic bullet, no cure-all, especially for those with multiple conditions. Referral after referral, specialist after specialist, often with competing diagnoses—anyone with a special needs kid will understand.

Did condition X cause condition Y or vice versa? How do they relate to condition Z?

Come back and see us in three months…

Mountains of red tape and bureaucracy confront those trying to navigate an often obstructionist healthcare system. Frustration abounds. Wait for three hours to see a specialist who confirms absolutely nothing…and then do it all over again.

At one point, one of my sons had four separate therapies each week. Occupational therapy. Physical therapy. Speech therapy. Tennessee Early Intervention.

My wife is a fire-breather.

She didn’t sleep an entire night for about four years. One of my sons has a sleep disorder, the epileptic. He’d sleep for two hours and then be awake and when awake, he’d rage at the night, crying out against an injustice that he’ll never comprehend.

And my wife would hold him and kiss his face, for hours, and whisper in his ear that everything was going to be okay and rock him in his rage. Another son, we later discovered, also had a sleep disorder. Ami went back to work, loving and holding and kissing and soothing, the only way she knew how.

My wife is a fierce combatant.

A son labouring with mental health issues began to drift, slowly at first and then startlingly fast, descending into the pits of depravity. My wife stood before him and demanded accountability, respect, and righteousness while at the same time offering the unconditional love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

When he camped in the woods for days on end to smoke marijuana, she stashed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in his bag so that he wouldn’t be hungry.

My wife is the champion of my sons, their advocate. My wife is a healer.

The Fruits of Justice

In her advocacy, we see healing.

One of my sons showed up in a literal catatonic state as a baby. He had no startle reflex, no reaction to sound, nothing. Diagnosis after diagnosis accompanied each visit to an expert.

My wife lavished love upon him, flooding him with affection and grace, and she fought for him, she advocated for him. I dare anyone to stand in her way as she fights for our sons and slowly, ever so slowly, but as sure as ever, a miracle occurred.

Today, after several years, my son is alive and I mean, alive! He radiates life more abundantly. He resonates with joy. He beams with liveliness. He still has a ways to go but he is being healed as much as he has been healed.

The Lord brought him out of his affliction and into life…under the strong and steady hand of my wife, my son’s greatest advocate on this earth.

She has the gift of healing, in the caress of her strong hands, the touch of her kiss, the warmth of her embrace, and the steadfast fierceness of her love.

There are others, some more dramatic, some less. My epileptic was declared mysteriously free from a blood clot in his brain. The puzzled doctors could not understand why the MRI refuted the initial X-ray. Our kids with sleep disorders, generally speaking, will sleep through the night. One of our sons is interested in West Point, another in law enforcement.

And they all share a common grace, the fierce love of a godly mother…

…which manifests itself in her advocacy for them.

The world issued them an injustice, punishing them for sins they never committed and they will never know of the extent to which my wife plead their case to a harsh and uncaring world.

And still she charges, relentless in her neverending advocacy of those who have no one to stand on their behalf, my sons.

Perhaps you are gifted as she, willing to champion the cause of those in desperation. They are out there…would you be willing to stand and plead?


  1. Donnavin

    Reading how you write about mom makes my heart smile. Im so glad god put you in our path. Love you dad!

  2. Heather Rivas

    I love this article because we have had discussions about whether there are healers and those that prophesy today.. Ami is an example that there are still those that heal today in the name of Jesus. She doesn’t keep the love God has for her to herself. Instead she takes that love and showers it on anyone God puts in her path. She is an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

    • Bradford Smith

      Hey Ms. Heather! I think she is pretty inspirational…but I am biased 🙂 Miss you guys.

  3. Melissa

    I love this so much! She is special in so many ways. She is one of the most humble people I know. I love her to pieces! These were beautifully written words about a beautiful soul.

    • Bradford Smith

      She’s pretty amazing but again, I’m sure I’m a little biased!

  4. Mira

    I don’t believe in god, but I do believe in good parenting and it sounds like you and your wife are doing a great job. World would be a much better place if more people including people who claim to believe in god would practice what their faith teaches them which is love and charity for our fellow human beings.

    • Bradford Smith

      Thank you for your comments! And though you don’t believe in God, I do agree with your statement.


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Bradford Smith

Bradford Smith

Author - Founder

Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).


If you loved this article, and would like to learn more about foster and adoption care, and to stay up to date on our projects, missions, and programs, as well as the release of Bradford’s third book, Brave Rifles, please sign up for our Newsletter. The 413 Project is made up of common people empowering and serving others to accomplish an uncommon good.

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This is a powerful read in a small book. The subtitle hits the mark with its description of, "A Biblical Treatise on Adoption." The author poses a challenge to the reader to stop reading the book upfront if the reader does not want to be moved to action.

   Janice S. Garey  

The call that sounds for the incredible need of emotionally and physically abandoned and orphaned children and one that when answered manifests the love of Christ.

  Anne Rightler

This book is a must read for anyone affected in any way by addictions. So many of the situations in this book seem hopeless, but as Brad so clearly points out, Christ is the solution and the only hope of man. As long as there is breath, there is hope!

  Scott Doherty

In Scourge, Brad offers us more than cold statistics or a cautionary tale. Instead, he offers us the solution - faith backed by action - to overcome this insidious problem Insightful and provocative, Scourge is a warning flag, guide post and rally to hope for all of us.

 Chad Chasteen


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