Read below for a guest post from Rein Terrado.
I still remember the ache brought about by that news.
Three years ago, my husband went home in all grief after a visit at our kids’ pediatrician. He was devastated about her prognosis on our youngest’s condition: our boy may have autism.
It didn’t sit well with me. I took a swipe at my husband’s apparent acceptance of the said prognosis. I questioned his faith. I berated him for not praying after being handed the gloomy forecast. In all pride, I took our son in the bedroom and prayed. You know, to show my husband how to respond the ‘Godly’ way.
It took an event at a Vacation Bible School (VBS) to turn me around.
During the summer of 2013, I enrolled my two boys at a VBS sponsored by a church near our house. In our first night, I was having trouble keeping my youngest still. He was running around the sanctuary. And in no time, he got his way to the stage area as his curiosity was piqued by all the displays in the platform. To my dismay, I couldn’t use my usual he-is-just-a-kid excuse – all the kids his age were lining up to be with their respective groups, and no one, except for my youngest, attempted to go up there to play!
I felt deep pounding in my chest as my boy gleefully strutted on the stage and touched all the sets and props. The minister came and hugged him. By the time he ushered my son down the platform, I was already in front hurriedly picking him up and saving our faces. I felt desperation for his action.
The sanctuary was packed that night. And there from the throng of people getting ready to go home after the activities, I saw the minister coming toward us. Oh boy, did I wish for the ground to open and swallow me where I was standing out of shame! I readied myself for some good dose of rebuke. In my mind, I deserved it.
The minister was all smile when he approached me saying, “I’ve been looking for you.” All I could say was, “Sorry for my son’s behavior. It won’t happen again.” It won’t really happen again because I was thinking of not coming back for the VBS anymore. To my surprise, the rebuke failed to show up.
Rather, he said, “You looked tired. He must be a handful, huh! Thank God for your patience and understanding. Would you mind if I pray for you?” And he laid his hand on me. As the minister prayed for God to increase my love, understanding and patience, I felt the sweeping grace of God embracing me.
That night, when an overwhelming pity party threatened to crush me, the Spirit of Christ came to the rescue. His words in Psalm 139 and Isaiah 43 soothed my heart:
I will praise You, for [my son is] fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
Afternoon of the following day, I asked my husband to sit by the bedside as our boys had their nap. In tear-filled admission, I told him that I saw our youngest flapping his hands last night. All along, I was in denial of his condition.
In tears and snot, my husband and I knelt down and poured our hearts in prayer. We remembered that our son is wonderfully made and God has a purpose for our situation.
That day, I came broken before God. I came to him bare, wounded to the core, and desperate of His grace. I groaned. I cried for as long as my tear ducts could endure. I prayed for as long as I could. I cried at the thought that my son might not learn how to use the bathroom. I groaned at the thought that he would be ridiculed. I let all my guards down and let myself be a child needing his Father’s assurance that all is well. And God, in his grace and mercy, reminded me that all will work together for good, and we will not be alone as we take the journey toward special-need parenting.
A couple of weeks before he turned five in July, my youngest joined the official 100% bathroom-user club. He woke up one early morning and used the bathroom like a pro. What a joy when my husband and I found him using the bathroom on his own! It was such a je ne sais quoi experience for us. It seemed we found a treasure we’ve been looking for our whole lives. Indeed, God’s grace is sufficient for our needs. We praised and thanked Him for making our youngest so wonderfully complex!