There are days when the whole my-child-has-autism thing feels like too much for me. For the most part, I don’t spend very many of my days really thinking about it. This is our life; it’s our reality and I’ve come very far in accepting this cup that the Lord has given our family and submitting ourselves to His will for us. Most days are very joyful and full of hope and the majority of days I don’t even really think about what life could have been like anymore.
But once in awhile I find my thoughts slipping.
It’s a dangerous slope because once my thoughts turn that way, they’re extremely hard to steer back towards the correct side of eternal perspective.
There are days when it feels like my body, my whole soul, my entire being is just groaning with the weight of what we face with E. She will turn 5 this month, and she should be having complete conversations with me about whatever things are captivating her little imagination. She should have friends, real friends who reciprocate her interest and enjoyment, and she should be able to navigate her friendships pretty independently. She should be curious about the world; learning to read, learning to do math, learning how to learn … instead of learning how to verbalize requests with complete sentences and learning to greet peers with eye contact and a “Hello.”
It’s not healthy to think about the what-if’s and should-be’s for our current situation. I’m pretty sure it’s a sinful thought habit as it’s a fertile breeding ground for discontentment and the like.
But sometimes I do just feel very sad about it. When I allow myself to take a step back and have an eagle’s-eye view of what we’re dealing with, I feel very, very sad. I don’t think the sadness should overwhelm me the way it occasionally does, but I think there’s room for a bit of sadness in my life once in awhile. Christians are allowed to grieve and feel sadness, right? (Right.) Our thoughts should remain centered on Christ and ultimately joyful but that doesn’t mean we have to always be happy. At least I hope not? I’ll admit I’m a little bit biased right now so my writing may be a bit off-center heh.
I think it’s okay to feel sad about what we’re dealing with because what we’re dealing is an after-effect of sin in the fallen world. I can guarantee you there is no autism in heaven.
This verse comes to my mind:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. -Romans 8:18-25