This past weekend I was invited to sign books at the Texas Book Festival. It was lots of fun and I got to tell many people about my book. It was an awesome experience and I loved hearing encouragement from people agreeing about the importance of teaching their children to value all people.
On the way home I had a long discussion with my sister-in-law (who so kindly took time out of her busy life with 4 kids to come with me) about Jacob and our lives. I told her that if I were writing a book about our family life and how autism has impacted us and what God has done for our family, it would include miracle after miracle. God has truly done some amazing things through this autism journey and we aren't even that far along in it. When we reflect on those things, we simply are in awe of HIM. God is so good.
However, despite all the things God has done, I keep trying to rely on myself. I always feel like I could be doing more. Life feels exhausting all the time. Why? I just know the root problem is fear. I am so fearful of losing the ones that I love. To make matters worse, I have a child who bolts, would run out of the house at full speed into the street, would dive straight in to any body of water, and who doesn't recognize danger. Not good things for any parent to try and manage, especially me or "safety patrol" as my family calls me. I am overly protective by nature and with Jacob, you could probably say I am simply ridiculous.
Why do I remain so fearful if I trust God? It really makes me think about my faith and my understanding of who God is. Often times I read those stories in the Bible: Adam and Eve, the Israelites, and I think, " I would never sin like that or choose to not trust God if I witnessed those miracles". Yet I am doing it right now in my life. Instead of trusting in the one who gives life, I am fearful. And what can my fear accomplish for me? Let's see...It steels my joy, it makes me anxious, it takes time from my life in which I could be having fun and it hinders my relationship with God. What can't the fear do? It can't stop God's plan. It can't help me. It can't add one day onto my life. It boils down to another simple choice... Trust God or trust myself. Fear and a lack of trust cannot accomplish anything good. The Holy Spirit can accomplish much when we live in surrender to Christ. So I need to surrender myself and rededicate myself to God daily. That means placing my trust in Him through any situation and allowing him to use anything in my life to glorify himself. How can I be used if I am living in fear? What witness am I if I am constantly anxious or irritable or stressed? If we are supposed to do all things for the glory of God, I know that includes my parenting and more specifically how I handle issues in regards to autism. No, I am not perfect. That makes me laugh to even write that, but I always write my heart and my desire to honor God with everything in me, but man I screw up... However, I will never stop trying to honor God in everything and I need to try to surrender all areas of my life to Christ. Sometimes I don't even realize that I am relying on myself until the burden is too heavy.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Do not be anxious 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 hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13