Where are your Feet?

Robbies' little feet

When Robbie was a baby, he had recurrent ear infections, and stomach emptying problems that caused significant reflux.  When he was about 11 months old, he was on a medication to aid in emptying his stomach.  Robbie had just started standing, and moving around a little by holding on to furniture.  He was getting ready to walk!  We expected it any minute, that he’d take his first steps.

The first steps didn’t happen. As a matter of fact, it seemed he’d become afraid to move around.  If he wanted to go to a different place, he’d get me to carry him.  Around the age of 15 months, I noticed on his stomach emptying medication, that it can cause dizziness, but it should go away after adjusting to the medication.  So I wondered how would someone know if a very young child was dizzy?  He’d been on the medication for 4 months.  We decided to stop the medication and see if he still really needs it, and see what would happen with his walking.  That very day, Robbie stood up and walked across the room!

4 months later, Robbie had tubes in his ears to drain the fluid that was constantly there.  We expected for his balance, hearing and his processing of sound to improve greatly.  And some of it did.  He was able to tell which direction sound was coming from, and turn his head to it for the first time!!  His balance was better, but he still had problems with movement.

Robbie loved to swing when he was very little.  Big long swings were like Heaven to him and he’d often fall asleep while swinging.  However, the summer after his tubes were placed in his ears, he suddenly could not tolerate the swing.  He would ask to go in the swing, and so I’d put him in, and swing him, and he’d panic and cry “All done! All done!” and I’d stop the swing and try to get him out but he would stop me and ask to get “down” but when I’d reach to lift him out of the swing he’d push me away, then scream and ask for down…then push me away, over and over.  He could not tolerate movement, or to stay where he was-in the swing. Eventually, I would just pick him up and hold him tight as I could, to help him feel safe, and take him inside. He would scream and cry, and tantrum for a long time until he felt safe again.

Later we came to learn that this problem has a name, “Gravitational Insecurity”.  It is a fear of not being grounded. It is a fear of movement.

He wanted and needed my help and comfort, but couldn’t take it because it involved more of his fear: moving. Through much help from therapists and the preschool he attends, Robbie has improved exponentially. Today (now he is 5) he will swing on his own, climb rock walls, climb ladders, go down slides, etc. on his own.

We still see the “gravitational insecurity” rear it’s ugly head at times, like the other day when he wanted me to carry him down the stairs.  I told him if I carry him, it will have to “piggy-back” style, and surprisingly, he climbed up on my back. As we start to go down the stairs to our basement he giggles like he his having fun, but when we are almost to the bottom, I felt him tense up and start to panic. “One more step Robbie, we are almost there!”  He made it!  He recovered quickly from his panic and  walked off to play with his trains.  What a difference!

There are a couple ways I want to go with this:

First, how often are we in a crisis, and aren’t able to accept the help that will get us out?  How often are we afraid of the very thing that can save us?  I wonder sometimes if this is how some of us feel about Jesus. Sometimes the very help we need seems so intimidating or scary that we are afraid to accept it. Thank God He is bigger than our hearts!  (I John 3:20 “…For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.”)

Secondly, I want to focus on being “grounded”.  Robbie feels safe when he is literally grounded to the earth, or floor. One of my favorite passages in scripture is Ephesians 3: 16-19(NKJV)

16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

It talks about how should be rooted and grounded in love…  In 1 John 4:18 it says “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear,”   So we are encouraged to be rooted and ground in this love that drives out fear, the love of God that is greater than we can fully comprehend in this life, but we are to seek after it, and pray to comprehend it more fully.

I wonder how “gravitationally secure” we would be if had deep roots into His love.  When I have tried to pull weeds out of our yard, I have felt how strong the roots are, and how deep and entangled they are with the ground they live in.  Some were so strong that no matter how hard I pulled up on it, I could not remove it from the earth.

I hope and pray that I, and you too, would grow those kind of roots. That when trials and struggles come our way and pull on us in attempt to uproot us, we would remain safe and secure in His love, deeply entangled with the Word of God…that we would not be shaken from our foundatation.

Later in Ephesians chapter 6  verse 13, it talks more about being grounded.  It says, “13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then…”

Let us stand firm, grounded in His love, and trusting his Word.

Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”



  1. May 19, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    Eye-opening application to an interesting condition. I guess we’re all resistant to change(movement), even if God has assured us that all things work together for good. If we trust that everything is filtered through the Father’s love, it does make us better able to conceive of change.
    Great writing, and profound thoughts.

  2. Merri Lewis said,

    May 19, 2010 at 3:36 PM

    Thank you Kathleen, It is great comfort to rest in the hands of the Father during times of change that we perceive as not good, but it is true, ultimately, God makes it all good for those who love him!

  3. Debbie said,

    May 20, 2010 at 6:21 AM

    Great,great post Merri!!
    Just yesterday I was weeding the little flower bed by the house when my entire trowel snapped and broke trying to dig up the deep roots. Oh if only our roots were so strong and deep that every attempt of the enemy to uproot us or give us any insecurity was thwarted.

    “Sometimes the very help we need seems so intimidating or scary that we are afraid to accept it.” This can be a very serious issue for Christians because when it gets real big and scary, we often make our own choices based on what we think is right or will work instead of taking it to the Father. He is so wanting to do a miracle for us but we often don’t let Him because we make a different choice.
    You can NEVER go wrong putting your complete faith and trust in Him for all those big gravatationally challenging life experiences. Won’t you trust Him?

  4. Merri Lewis said,

    May 20, 2010 at 8:22 AM

    I know, I wonder why weeds seem to have the strongest root…but that just isn’t true, we just don’t try to uproot the non-weeds!

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