My son, when you come to serve the LORD, prepare yourself for trials.
Be sincere of heart and steadfast, undisturbed in time of adversity.
Accept whatever befalls you, in crushing misfortune be patient;
For in fire gold is tested, and worthy men in the crucible of humiliation.
Trust God and he will help you; make straight your ways and hope in him.
You who fear the LORD, wait for his mercy, turn not away lest you fall.
You who fear the LORD, trust him, and your reward will not be lost.
You who fear the LORD, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy.
Study the generations long past and understand; has anyone hoped in the LORD and been disappointed? Has anyone persevered in his fear and been forsaken? has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?
Compassionate and merciful is the LORD; he forgives sins, he saves in time of trouble.
Woe to craven hearts and drooping hands, to the sinner who treads a double path!
Woe to the faint of heart who trust not, who therefore will have no shelter!
Woe to you who have lost hope! what will you do at the visitation of the LORD?
Those who fear the LORD disobey not his words; those who love him keep his ways.
Those who fear the LORD seek to please him, those who love him are filled with his law.
Those who fear the LORD prepare their hearts and humble themselves before him.
Let us fall into the hands of the LORD and not into the hands of men, For equal to his majesty is the mercy that he shows.
“Whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” James 1:2-4
I really had no idea how strong I could be until I had children. It has shaped me in the most beautiful, unbelievable way. I have spent countless hours on my knees and have seen God working in my life and my constant companion. We have experienced trials in some form or another during most of our 15 year relationship. That does not mean my life is without joy. Far from it. We are happier than most of the people we know because we do not take anything for granted anymore. That includes each other. Autism and all of its challanges has changed my life in such a positve way. This sounds ironic but I feel sorry for people that only have typical children. Adversity changes lives. The part that is more ironic is that they feel sorry for me. A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a friend about the funny things people say about parenting a child with Autism. She has two sons and they are both on the spectrum. Our kids go to school together and we have become close. One of the things that she finds the most laughable, is the notion that she has some inherent quality that made her more equipped to handle two kids on the spectrum. We hear this ALL THE TIME: “I don’t know how you do it. I would just go crazy” or “God only chooses special people to raise special needs kids.” That is also known as a “back handed compliment.” Think about the true meaning of those statements. It is a charming notion but anybody that knows me know I am far from a super parent. What we both agreed on, was that it was really about rising to meet the challenge because we love our kids. I am also very, very stubborn. I just flat out refuse to quit or give up. I really don’t want people to look at me as the parenting worst-case-scenario. It could be worse…we could be the Schiffli’s. God has no testimony in me if I fail. I love the Lord and want to glorify Him so I work very, very hard to raise Godly children and have a good marriage. So I guess if stubbornness is a good quality for parenting a child with Autism, God picked the right family. I am also very aware that most people do look at raising any special needs child as burdensome, not the true blessing that it is. That said, I have learned not to take what others have to say too seriously. Comments are usually well-intentioned and said in the hopes of being beneficial.
Todays Prayer: Lord, help me to be a testimony to you through my life and the lives of my children. Help me to be a good wife and mother so I can honor You in my vocation. Amen.