Jesus does heal autism, neurological disabilities and mental illness, says Shellique Carby-Bird, 31, of Pietermaritzburg, who has experienced healing and freedom from her own suffering in those areas through the power of prayer and Christian ministry.
Shellique who has a long history of health issues including Asperger syndrome (a type of autism), bipolar mood disorder and post traumatic stress, shares her healing journey that began last year on a blog through which she hopes to help others and challenge a widely-held viewpoint that autism is incurable.
A former board member of Autism South Africa, she writes: “I am not against disability and autistic rights, in fact I support them as I have experienced the suffering, discrimination and stigma that people with disabilities/autism experience. I AM against disability and autistic pride. Disabilities and autism are NOT gifts and they are not nice things to have.”
Describing the dramatic change in Shellique since March last year, a month before her wedding, when she requested prayer to be freed of autism, her mother says: “Something had changed! I suddenly had the daughter I always knew was ‘in’ there, but could never ‘find’! The gentle, loving daughter who looked me in the eye. Who engaged in conversation without negative or inappropriate comments.”
In a testimony posted on Shellique’s blog, her mother says she herself was baptised in the Holy Spirit when her daughter was 10 and was set free of lifelong curses. From that time on Shellique became free of epileptic seizures and asthma attacks she had experienced since infancy.
When Shellique was in Grade 11 she was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome as well as bipolar mood disorder, ADHD and depression, says her mother. She could not look people in the eye, had frequent “meltdowns” in public, could not make friends, was generally “driven”, and could not enter into worshiping God.
But, continues her mother, despite the suffering, Shellique did not want to be free of autism because of pride in “special abilities” and believing the view that her disability was incurable.
Then, a month before her wedding, Shellique suddenly told her family she had had enough of autism and asked her father and her fiancé to pray for her and command autism to get out of her.
“And so Shellique was set free from autism!” she writes.
“She was the most beautiful bride I have ever seen! There was a glow and a peace about her. She radiated love in a way I had never seen before,” says her mom of her daughter’s wedding day, which would normally have been a setup for a meltdown.
The next breakthrough in Shellique’s healing journey happened in July last year when she went for a 3-hour sozo (Christian healing ministry).
She says God told her and the women ministering to her that He had set her free from depression, bipolar disorder and other mental disabilities like post traumatic stress disorder. They also identified roots of her problems including being abused as a child.
Shellique said she experienced peace and joy after the ministry.
The women told Shellique not to stop taking her psychiatric medication but she decided to try and wean herself off the drugs because of their terrible side effects, including causing insomnia and tight muscles. She had tried this unsuccessfully a few months before but after the sozo she managed to phase out the medication. A psychiatric general practitioner subsequently took her off the medication.
On her blog she shares many ways in which she has changed as a result of her healing — including having more energy, less irritability, better concentration, freedom from various food intolerances, and a much better relationship with people and with God.
She still has ups and downs — but within the normal range of behaviour. She also says the ongoing healing process after her big prayer and sozo breakthroughs have been hard and lonely at times.
Having a relationship with God, being Spirit-filled, and reaching a place where she was desperate for healing were some of the keys to experiencing freedom, she said. Shellique said anybody who would like to learn more about her journey to healing is welcome to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org