I realized today how sheltered Ethan is and I like that way. This world is full of cruel people who don’t understand things. For example, going to the dentist today. Ethan was jumping and flapping in the waiting room and people were staring.
I’m certain they weren’t happy that Ethan was screaming at the top of his lungs while their child was getting their teeth clean.
Ethan goes to school, therapy appointments, and church…and he fits in. Sometimes I feel that it’s the rest of the world who doesn’t fit in. I would like to move to Autism Island .
I listened to a sermon at church last week. It was about works of the law vs. faith. Until last Sunday I thought I understood that concept that Christ died for our sins. Nothing we can do on this planet can help us “earn ” our way to heaven. It is only through faith. I get that.
But what I didn’t realize is that I have been searching for the “reason” why Ethan is autistic.
His autism consumes me. It feels overwhelming. A burden. A punishment. And until I “get it” (whatever God is trying to teach me from this), Ethan won’t be healed, cured or whatever you want to call it .
I get mad at God for using my precious boy as a learning tool for whatever His plan is.
That thought makes my relationship with God conditional. That’s where I am relying on “the law.”
I think if I were just good enough or kind enough or patient enough or loving others enough ( you fill in the blank) that God will “fix” Ethan.
That would be my “heaven.”
I have read the story so many times of the woman who had so much faith that she crawled through the mob of people just to touch the robe of Jesus. I wish that He were physically present so I could crawl and drag Ethan so that he could touch His robe and be healed.
Then I start playing another game. The one where I must not have enough faith, because if I did, Ethan would be healed of autism.
I have made my worth and my identity on this planet wrapped and intertwined with the hope that something I did must have caused my son’s autism.
Because then I can fix it. And If I can’t then what’s the point of anything?
Our pastor asked us after the Aurora movie theater massacre to not search for an easy answer to a tragedy. An easy answer he said “Is like a band aid it will help you sleep at night but it doesn’t fix the heart of the problem.”
And when something difficult comes up in the future, he added, “That damage that was there before and was never really healed will come back to the surface and will only add to your heartache.”
He suggested that sometimes the answer is to wait , listen and pray. Sometimes there is no answer vs. making a false one to help you heal in the short term. It’s so hard! I look for purpose in this life to know that there is one.
I know that God has a purpose for Ethan.
But I worry that at the end of my life I’ll wonder if all my hard work was worth it . That right there brings me full circle. I am trying to earn through works my spot in heaven.
Did you catch what I said?
I’ll wonder if all “MY” hard work was worth it.
That brings me full circle to my struggle:
Am I trying to earn healing for my son through what “I” do?
Perhaps what I read about hidden blessings in autism was right. That even if on Ethan’s last day on this earth that his medical record chart still contains the word “Autism ” that I know in my heart that in God’s presence he will be perfect.
Autism is not on his heavenly chart for eternity.
And in that statement I will have my faith as this world is only temporary. I hope I can live up to that .
“I am the mother of two amazing kids. One of which is nonverbal with autism. His diagnosis has rocked our family and put us on a journey we could have never imagined!”
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