“Gratitude: Changing Your View Can Change Your Life” will appear in the November issue of ‘The Well’ magazine.
When our oldest was first diagnosed with autism, I felt like I was drowning. I just couldn’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that we had done everything right and ended up with a flawed child. Factor in that we had just had a daughter who had colic and a PCS and it was the perfect storm for feeling sorry for myself.
Fast forward to the spring after we moved about a year after diagnosis and I still was having trouble with my life. Sure, everyone got fed and wiped and other stuff, but I was drowning in despair. It was only the smiling faces of my children that got me out of bed in the morning. I will admit, I was less than thrilled to see my son at 0200 every morning screeching and slamming doors. He was sleep deprived (and us too) and would become physically aggressive to his sister and us. And in my sleep deprived state, I sometimes reacted very poorly. During this time, we received a note in the mail from one of my husband’s college friends. He was in his first year of seminary and asked us to pray for him. I sent him a note back pouring my heart out and asking him and all the seminarians to pray for a MIRACLE for our son.
We didn’t hear anything from him for a very long time (years passed). Finally, we received a card in the mail saying that he was being ordained in the temporary diaconate to be ordained a priest the following year. We missed the ceremony, but were travelling up there to see family and decided to pay him a visit.
By the time we saw him, the Lord had softened my heart to accept the MIRACLE he had given to us. I realized that our miracle was not that our son was cured fully of his autism. He will never be able to verbally communicate with us with any degree of fluency; he will have aggressive behaviors because he cannot communicate his needs/wants with us. I realized that the miracle was that my husband and I are still together and decided to have another child. (Who has a milder form of autism). I realized that our miracle is that I have Faith, even when it seems all is lost.
So remember, even in the direst of circumstances (yours will be different from mine), take heart in Phil 4:4-8 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
If God will bring you to it, he will bring you through it!
“Gratitude: Changing Your View Can Change Your Life” contributed by Cari Tedesco.