My Sunday School class is doing a study on Francis Chan's Letter to the Church.  In learning about church leadership, and we took a spiritual gifts assessment. 

I've taken similar tests over the years, and I always come up with the same gift: teaching.  I do enjoy teaching, so I figured that I'd get the same result again this time.  Here's what I got today:

Exhortation...I can't say that I've ever gotten that one be completely honest, I had to Google what it meant. 

Exhortation: The gift of exhortation is the divine strength or ability to strengthen, comfort or urge others to action through the written or spoken word and Biblical truth. 

I have to say, I think this hit the nail on the head.  Reading through the descriptions of my "Top 5," these really speak to me and my place in life right now.  I started this page in order to share our story and encourage others in their own autism journeys.  I truly enjoy reaching out to others who are going through the same things I've experienced, whether that is infertility or special needs parenting.

If I'm being completely transparent, I have considered shutting down my page and not writing anymore.  I often let the negative comments - being called an "ableist" and a "martyr mom"- I let it get to me.  I wonder why I share, why I'm so outspoken, and why I keep doing it in the face of such a negative, hateful world.

Then I took this test this morning and realized:

I do this because God can use my words for a purpose bigger than my own understanding.  

Then the pastor spoke this morning on trials.  We go through things in life - sometimes things that we cannot understand - but we know that God has a bigger purpose in it.  Our faith is showcased during the hard times.  I've always said this, and I'm now realizing that it's a gift I have:  I can look at a bad situation and see that there is a greater good in it. I can see the little details - the smallest connections - and know that God had His hand in it.  I can see how God works out everything for the good.  

I can find the purpose in the pain.

I know that God is glorified when we turn to Him in our darkest times.

I understand that I can use my story to reach others.  

I see that I am encouraged by others who share their stories, so I, too, can be an encouragement to others.  

I guess I'm sharing this to say - I'm human.  I get down sometimes, and I think about quitting...but then I realize that writing - and connecting - with others is truly a gift....and I can't waste that.  


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