Your little one has been diagnosed with Autism and you are getting used to therapy, IEPs and behavior modification strategies. You have accepted this as a part of your life and embrace your child and all that comes with living with Autism and know that God is in control…but have you really accepted this?
I have to say that I am learning something new 15 years into living with two boys on the spectrum and I wanted to share it with you so that you can be aware before 15 years passes by you too.
I have embraced my boys for who they are and love them dearly for all their unique traits from the forehead kisses to the coy looks and special interests. I even started a blog to share them with everyone else and to be a testimony of God’s grace and love for how He deals with us on a daily basis.
But…there is an ugly green monster in me that needed to be confronted. It has a few names: Jealousy, envy, but most of all it is pride.
How many times do we compare ourselves to other moms who seem to have it all together? Do we find ourselves thinking that if my friends are doing it than I should be doing it?
Do we become involved to give the impression that we are a normal mom and aren’t any different than anyone else? Do we get angry with what we perceive as pity? Are we running the whole gambit of ladies outreaches, bible studies, speaking, special music, nursery, children’s programs and conferences piling the responsibilities on recklessly?
I was all those things. I was so engrossed in wanting to be more that I was actually upset when I wasn’t included in on projects.
I had an agenda for God. To be used for His glory but when I looked at myself, really looked at myself and all my activities, I was not happy with the ministry God had given me in just being an Autism mama. Pride made me unhappy with what God wanted to do with me and I wanted to do more and be more and when I came to the root of it, what I was really seeking was a pedestal to stand on.
I read an article that really exposed something ugly in me that I kind of knew was there but had never confronted it until now. It is here if you would like to read it; Lay Aside the Weight of Prideful Comparison.
What the writer so gracefully points out is that God has a special purpose for each and every one of us. He says “the life that you have is a sacred calling” and “by the grace of God, you are what you are.”
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13
“Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches.” 1 Cor. 7:17
Know now, that this job, being the mother of children with Autism is a calling in and of itself, not that we are any more special to do this job. Pride would also tell us that we are special and our children are special but that is not what God wants us to be telling others in our actions, words or attitudes.
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
I want to encourage you to remain humble despite your unique circumstances. You will hear the phrase “I don’t know how you do it?” all the time. Don’t put on your super hero cape and puff out your chest and say “I can do anything!” but rather kneel down in prayer with an honest heart to the Lord and say in your quiet corner “I can do all things through Christ!” Submit yourself to the Lord even to just stay home and do the everyday things of taking care of a child with Autism. Listen to His urgings for you to act for Him and most of all give Him the glory in everything you do especially when you hear that phrase “I don’t know how you do it.” It is not us who are special but God’s purpose in us that is special!
letter written by Janice, you can find her at My Days With Autism
This is part of the series 31 Days of Encouragement for Mama that is running through the month of October. Check out all the posts in the series here.