Sunday, September 15, 2013

The "A" Word

The coloring sheets lined the hallways. Down on the floor, right outside each room, the craft and coloring page coinciding with the Bible lesson, lay flat on the floor with each child's name. His coloring page...always blank. Nothing filled in, nothing colored, just his name at the top of the page, written by his teacher. At first I was not bothered. He's two years old. Why would a two year old sit down and color when he can run around the room and play? But now he is almost three...the coloring pages remain blank while the pages next to his are full of scribbles.

I decide "coloring" will be the thing we work on. This way he will fit in and the teachers will like him more. Right? He just needs to be taught to color and play, then everything will be fine. During our Homeschool days, I place him and his baby brother in high chairs, baby brother begins to scribble, but he does not. Instead, he begins to eat the crayon. So we move on to finger painting, but the same happens. I hide the tears, rush to my bedroom, drop to my knees and sob.

Occupational therapy, Speech therapy, Special Skills Training, it continues for nine months. Each day we pray and hope to hear his voice again. When he was a baby he said our names. He looked us in the eye and smiled. He did so much more. All of this therapy will bring it back, right? Friends and family continue to ask about him. All of them assure me that he is fine and will talk when he is ready. I find myself hiding things from those I love, paranoid that they will say the word I do not want to hear. I continue to smile, joke around and be the big personality I am known for! But behind it all, I am dying inside. Wondering how my marriage will survive, how I will I be the mother to all five children they need. 

Then last week, we heard the word. The "A" word. "We believe he is on the spectrum and this is why."  
There were no tears. Just relief. The elephant in the room... finally exposed. Thankfully, the Lord has created a fighter in this Mama, just what he needs. I have immersed myself in books and spend every bit of free time researching. We are in the midst of getting his treatment plan set-up. It is a lot of paperwork, appointments and so many choices to make. People often overwhelm me with all their information so I do not read every message sent to me. I will lose my mind if I do.

The unbelievable peace God has given me in this journey is none like I have ever experienced. So much peace that when Moms tell me to expect bad days, I doubted they would happen. Then this morning, I sat on the couch trying to decide if I had the strength to get all five kids ready for church (Jeremy is on a job). Suddenly...I think of the coloring sheets and decided that I can't do it today without Jeremy. He is my strength, my husband and friend who centers me in this. I need his strength this morning. As I sat, thinking about all of the appointments we have this week, I notice Jude on the other side of the room playing with a red sock. Yes, a sock. I rushed out of the room and sobbed. And then I remembered, this is one of those "hard days" they tell me about. 

Stephen Curtis Chapman sings a song called "Be Still and Know." I took a moment to listen to it. I knelt down on my bedroom floor, imagined myself in the Father's arms and cried. It was exactly what I needed in that moment. I don't have to have words to pray, I can just sit...and be still. I stand in awe of my Heavenly Father. He is my everything. He is my peace. He is my ALL.

I think back to my pregnancy with Jude. I have always said that it was the most peaceful time in my life. It was during those nine months God did a huge work in my heart as a Mother and Wife. I felt like it was HOLY GROUND and it was. He was preparing me then to be the wholehearted mother Jude would need. 

Today is a hard day but deep in my spirit, JOY remains. I wouldn't change anything. I have learn to rest in God's sovereignty. I trust HIM completely. There is so much to be found in this season. In the world of Autism, JESUS is there. Jude will speak! Jude will raise his hands in worship. He won't go to Heaven just because he has Autism. He will have a relationship with Jesus because God chose him and Jude will choose HIM.


(I feel so insecure writing. My grammar is not the best. Hopefully my heart can be seen through all of my mistakes.)