Thursday, February 16, 2012

God's Gift

Hello God? You there? Yep, me again. Do you have a minute? I recall somewhere in the Bible, Matthew 11:28-30 I believe, where you made a statement that says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Well, here I am, wiped out, emotionally exhausted, totally at a loss and trying very hard to unload all of my frustration onto you. I am definately weary and I am holding you to your word. Are you ready?

Does this have to do with my son? Yes God, this has to do with my son. I know, we discuss him a lot. Yes, I know he is unique and beautiful and amazing. Have you noticed how he pays such close attention to detail? He sees the beauty in life that I almost always miss. If it wasn't for him pointing out the fine hairs on the caterpillar or the brilliant yellow under the wings of a bird or the intricate details in the architecture of our church I would have missed it all completely. He can be so quiet sometimes that I don't even know he is there, but he is always thinking and creating. Yes, I know he was made in your, I did not know you had AUTISM God! This is the first time you mentioned it. I can certainly see some similarities.

 So, this is how I'm feeling. I love my son with all of my heart and it is my heart that breaks for him a little more each day. I don't know if I can bare it. He is 11 years old now and his life has not been easy. He was diagnosed at age four with PDD NOS, age five with Autism and age 6 with Asperger's Syndrome. When he was younger he seemed happy, quiet, and at times, distant, but happy. He has always had sensory integration issues. Certain noises like the dryer buzzer or the sound of the vacumn cleaner cause him great pain. He was not and still isn't very coordinated so playing sports was not something he really wanted to do, but yet when he took swimming lessons last summer he mastered the breast stroke within minutes after learning it. His coach was so amazed by him. Did you know he can calendar count? Give him any date in the past, present or future and he can tell you what day it was, is or shall be. Even though I know he is really smart, he does not think so. His grades in school are poor, he has no friends and communication is so hard for him. He asked recently if "he would always be this way?" (very insightful if you ask me). He told me one day that he just can't find the words. He sees everything in pictures. He can't process conversations or things that he reads.  Kids make fun of him, teachers are frustrated with him, people in public make rude comments about him. Being in public can be hard for him, the sounds, smells, sights can be overwhelming and he becomes loud and sometimes angry. People look at us and whisper. He does not understand what he is doing to offend others and many times he isn't doing anything wrong, he just responds to some things differently than most. When he cries Lord, his tears flow like a river. His cries are deep from way down in his soul. I hear him crying in his room at night. His best friend is his cat. He tells her how lonely he is.  I don't know what to do any more God. Time is soaring past us and today I feel my hope dwindling yet again.

I don't understand why this has happened in our lives. I don't know what my purpose is for this situation. The pain of watching my own beautiful son struggle becomes unbearable at times. I am living my life on the verge of tears. I constantly ask myself if I am doing everything possible to help my son. What am I missing? I don't think I am handling things very well. I can not fix what is broken. He is so amazing and funny and creative and beautiful and .... Can you understand how hard it is to be ridiculed, misunderstood, whispered about?  Of couse you can. You felt all of the pain I feel as a Father for his son.

Hmmm? What's that? Who chose his name? Well, I did. I never thought I would have any more children. I had prayed for another son, remember? Matthew is the name that came to me and it was the only name I would consider. The meaning of his name? Yes, I know, it means.....Gift from God.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17).

I understand God, I get it. Just as you gifted the world with your beautiful and perfect son, you have also gifted me with my own. I would not have him be any other way.  Thanks for spending time with me and listening to my heart. It  feels much lighter now. Oh and God, thank you for my gift, my inspiring, amazing son, my Matthew.

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