God's Got This

Many of us like to plan things.  Plan trips, plan meals, plan every detail of our lives.  Lots of us make lists just to check things off and feel accomplished.

I am that person.

I like being in control of things. I like knowing what is coming my way.  I find comfort in plans and feel a sense of security in dictating the direction of my life.

I always thought that I could do anything as long as I worked hard enough and cared enough.  There was nothing that I couldn't do if I just put forth the effort.

Then autism came into our lives.

My son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at the age of three.  Since then, life looks different than I ever planned, and I have learned a valuable lesson:

 I am not in control, God is.  

I tried to pray it away.  I begged God to "just take it away.  Fix him.  Let him wake up and talk.  Take away his struggles."

God was silent...or so I thought.

I so desperately wanted my son to "be okay."  I cried.  I begged some more....still no miraculous over-night changes.

Was God even listening to my prayers?

Colin is now five, and I have learned some great lessons in the last year and half.

God is listening, and He did hear my prayers...His timing just wasn't my timing.  

I wanted Colin to wake up one morning and say, "Good morning, Mommy.  How was your sleep?"  While that would have been a wonderful miracle, I see that God is still working a miracle, just not an over-night one.  Colin is learning to talk.  He now has an augmentative alternative communication (AAC) device that he uses to communicate with us.  He is making tremendous progress with ABA services, and his progress is nothing short of miraculous.

God uses our darkest hours to refine and use us.

This is one that many people struggle with, and I would be lying if I said I hadn't as well.  It is that age-old question of, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"  While I don't know the answer to that question, I do know that Colin's autism has ultimately changed me for the better.  I am more understanding, more compassionate, and more accepting of others' differences.

A new friend recently said to me, "Colin's life has such great purpose.  His story is touching and changing so many other lives.  The two of you were meant to be."  Maybe, just maybe, God gave Colin to us (with autism) because He has a higher purpose for us.  Maybe, just maybe, we will be able to bring about change - awareness, acceptance, love.  His diagnosis wasn't the end of our lives - it was just the beginning of a new journey.  This new journey has bumps and challenges that I would never have chosen for our lives, but I know that God has a bigger plan and will use those difficult times to refine us.

God had answered my prayers long before I even prayed them.

When Colin was six months old, I started praying for healing.  By one year old, my prayers became more fervent.  By 18 months, I was begging.  By two years old, I was desperate. I felt like God was not listening to my prayers, because I didn't feel like I was getting any answers.

But God.

God had been laying the groundwork for Colin's story long before he was even born.  He was placing people in my life who would be vital pieces to our story.

He sent me into the field of speech language pathology.

He gave me a professor who would place me at a certain outpatient clinic for a clinical rotation.

He sent me to that same facility after graduation for my first job.

There, He gave me a coworker, a trusted friend and music therapist, who would later guide me to a certain ABA clinic for Colin.

This ABC clinic, and the people there, have changed the trajectory of my son's life, and mine as well.  God knew that I would need each one of these people to put us on the right path to get Colin the help that he needed.

But our story doesn't end there.  Because of Colin's success, I feel compelled to share his story.  I need to advocate for all children on the spectrum who deserve the same opportunity...and God knew this all along.  I share our story, I have written books.  This was always in His plan. For Colin, and for me.  He had orchestrated this, long before I was even born.

So, I have learned that I'm not in control.  No, it isn't always easy, and I struggle with it from time to time...but I know that things will work out just as they are supposed to - because God's got this.   


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