Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fountains of Grace

Autism is hard.  But God is good.

Some days are harder than others.  But God is always good. 
Today was one of those "harder" days for me.  By God's grace, John David is doing very well.  However, about every other month or so I have a hard day or two (or three.)  Days where the reality of John David's diagnosis is more obvious to me than other times.  I am so grateful that there are days that I forget that John David has autism.  (Not really; but you know what I mean.)  I am very grateful.  There are many parents who live with the all too constant reminder of the presence of autism in the life of their child. 

And then I think about my little girl.  I wonder, almost daily . . . "what if?"  What if Claire has autism too?  I watch her little ways like a hawk.  I often feel the way one must feel reading a medical text book - you read about a certain disease and start checking off the list of symptoms, and you are convinced that you have it!  Though I don't know a whole lot about the mystery of autism, I know much more than I did when we began this journey.  So the more you know, the more you know to look for.  I recently told David that I've got to stop analyzing everything that my little girl does and just enjoy her.  She's growing too fast.  Yet on the other hand, the early detection and intervention is crucial.  

I don't like to share too much hum drum, gloom and doom.  I don't share this for you to feel sorry for me.  I can definitely throw some pretty good pity parties, but thankfully, the Lord is always there and doesn't let the party last too long.  :) 

I share this though, to ask you to pray for me, for David, and for my precious children.  Please pray for peace, for wisdom, and for grace that we may walk well this path the Lord has allotted for our family.  

We also pray that God will heal John David, if that be His will - for we know that He can!  We pray that God will spare Claire from autism.  Yet the Lord also gently reminded me today that if autism were not the struggle, it would most definitely be something else.  None of us are immune from hardship and pain in this life.  Autism may be a means of grace to spare my children from far worse circumstances; even certain snares of sin.  For this, I rejoice, and can truly say "Thank You."  

I cannot begin to imagine walking through life without the abiding presence of God - and the peace that passes understanding that He offers each and every moment.  I am so thankful for the reality this peace and the grace God has granted us to be able to experience it in an overwhelming way.  And I am specifically thankful today for how the Lord used kind, gentle means to remind me of His absolute sovereignty and unwavering faithfulness.  He is good, and His ways are, indeed, kind and wise.        

I had good, edifying conversations with my husband, David, my sister-in-law, Lynn, and my friends, Susan and Melanie.  Thank you all for lending your ears and your words today.  The Lord used you to remind me of truth and to encourage my down cast heart.  Thank you.    

And despite my heavy heart regarding my children, I am thankful that the Lord allowed us to still make some good memories today.  The days are passing too quickly; much too quickly to waste time wallowing in pity and despair.  Our lives truly are a vapor, and what we are experiencing now is not forever.  Often on some of the hardest days, David will remind me that - as children of God - this earthly life is as close to hell as we'll ever get.  Hallelujah! 

And then we will know perfection.  There is no autism in heaven.  No tears or pain.  Christ is there.  And we will see Him in His fullness.  And be like Him.  Come, Lord Jesus! 

These pictures from our time at the water fountain today.  Though John David loved the big fountain in the middle (a "Goliath fountain", of course ;), he was quite cautious.  We should have chosen to go earlier in the morning.  Claire was exhausted, not in the mood for water fun nor for picture taking.  We left the park hot and hungry, and once we headed home, Claire was asleep in no time.   

It was a hard day, but it was a good one.  

Autism Awareness is very close to my heart.
I proudly and humbly wear this necklace that John David gave me for Mother's Day.
(David helped him pick it out :) 
The symbol of the puzzle piece is so fitting.  
Researchers are trying to solve the autism puzzle.  
God knows, and we can trust Him with our loved ones.

Thank you, Lord, for John David and Claire. 
And thank you for what You are teaching me through their lives,
as I fill the role of their mother.
You are all that I need.  
Blessed be Your name.


Hannah A. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn said...

Thank you for sharing, Katie. It is good to walk through these things together, bearing one another's burdens. We are glad to walk with you and your precious family! The days ARE very fleeting. John David looks so tall in that first picture!

Melanie Campbell said...

Katie, thank you so much for sharing your heart with me last night.I cannot imagine the thoughts & emotions that you experience regarding you children, but please know that they are both precious & much loved. Of course we serve a God who is big & great enough to cure John David or to prevent Claire from having autism, if its His will. Thankfully He is also big enough to give us what we need to go through any struggles that we face. He is good, and as I've said before, He gave John David the best parents he could ever have! To see how you love him, how patient & gracious you are with him, & the unconditional love you have for him is such a huge testimony to the grace & love of our Saviour. I learn so much from you & David!

I love your family so much, and please know that all of you are daily in my prayers. :)

The Rigoloso's said...

praying for you & yours, sweet friend.

Katie said...

Thank you all so much for your encouragement and prayers. We are blessed to have you walk through life with us. I love each of you.

Melanie Campbell said...

Kaite, I wanted to add that you look absolutely beautiful in that picture - you are truly beautiful inside & out! :-) Love the necklace!

Katie said...

Thank you, Melanie. And you are too, my friend.

The Parkers said...

Sweet Katie,
Sharing your struggles lets us know how to pray for you but it is also a reminder and encourager to me to be more diligent in my mothering and in praying for my children. Hearing your faith in God and His unending goodness and faithfulness is a much needed reminder for me of my GREAT God. I can't even begin to imagine how tough it must be to walk in your shoes daily, but the grace of God sustaining and carrying you is a beautiful thing to see. I think it is especially in your times of weakness that I see Christ the most shine through in your life. So thank you for sharing and for trusting Him during those times. Praying for you and David as you seek God daily in parenting your children! Love you!

PS - You look beautiful!!! It's always nice to see photos of you along with the kids :)

Katie said...

Dearest Lydia ~ Thank you so much for taking time to pray for us and to encourage my heart once again. You are so kind and so loved.