Tonight we held our first Autism Support Group meeting. What I thought would be a pretty routine evening for me turned into a roller coaster of emotions.
As I sat & listened to 2 Mom's talk about their struggle with the fresh diagnosis, my mind went right back to where we were almost 4 years ago. I could feel the pain they were going through right now. So many unknowns, so many fears about what life might be like. I wanted so badly to fast forward their life 4 years ahead to where we are right now & show them it will be OK. But the truth is, even though we are in a good place right now, those fears still live within me. I'm scared to think about what life might be like for Cole as he gets older. All that I can hold onto is God's promise to me that he has big plans for Cole's life. I know this, I feel it, I believe it.
We survived these last 4 years holding onto the promise that God has put a call on Cole's life. Yes, we did all the "right" things. Therapies, Therapies, Therapies. But, I can assure you - no amount of therapy in this world can heal what He can. Dr's told us not to send Cole to school - he now functions well in a typical Kindergarten classroom! We consider it a blessing the extra help he gets at school because of his diagnosis. The Lord has put gifted, knowledgeable professionals in our life to support Cole throughout this journey. (not to mention support Mom!)
If I could say anything to those Mom's right now, it would be...Don't. Give. Up.
Work Hard - but remember to play harder :) These years go by far too fast to forget that they are children, and, the greatest work they have is play.
Educate yourself. Don't rely on Dr's or Therapists only. Read, Read, Read. If you don't understand it - keep looking until you do. Form your own opinions. Follow your gut! Remember, God gave these children to us, because He knew we were the perfect Mom for them. Don't forget that!
Let go of the Guilt. You are the best person for the job of mothering your child. No. Matter. What.
Pray. The most profound thing in the world to me is simply this.. God loves my child more than I do. I can't fathom it, but, it's true. He wants you to tell him what you need. Pray for healing, pray for financial support, pray for emotional support. Just pray. Everyday. Even when all you can muster up is "God, help". Just do it. He's there, He knows, He will help.
Stay strong. Have Faith. This is the most rewarding thing you will ever do.