"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The worry that is Autism...

In the past few weeks my anxiety, stress and worry over what to do with Peanut and his treatment has slowly begun to build upon me.  In the past few weeks not a day has gone by that I haven't cried.  I'd been doing an okay job holding it all together and then it all came crashing in on me this past week.  We had Sassy's GI appointment and we received Peanuts test results from his recent testing.  I was so stressed about it all I started to neglect doing things I needed to do and liked to do.  Among those things was posting in my blog (which is why I haven't posted anything all week).  Another thing that I began to neglect was prayer. 

On Friday I was at my worst.  Peanut had been up all the night before so I was tired (more than usual) and extremely stressed to say the least.  We went to music therapy and once we were home mommy "checked out" for the day.  Of course my kids were fed and taken care of but I was so riddled with stress I couldn't do much else and so for the entire day (not typical for me) the TV was on and we did virtually nothing else. 

Saturday night my husband and I sat and talked and I was able to vent all my worries and frustrations to him.  We came up with a short term game plan to last us until Tuesday.  I felt better, and then we went to bed.  All night my sleep was restless and the worry had a hold on me again.  This morning I awoke earlier than the rest of the house and paced.  "What were we going to do?"  "How were we going to make sure we made the right decisions."  "We need to act quick or we will miss our opportunity and it will be lost to us forever!"  As a mother it's such a helpless feeling to not have the answers you need to care for your child's health and future.  Unfortunately with Autism there will always be unanswered questions.

Once everyone was up it was time to go to church.  It's rare I'm able to actually sit in a service but thankfully today I was able to sit and hear the entire message!  The message today was about prayer.  It was such a great message I wish I could post it! I don't even feel I could summarize it well enough but I'll try. Our worries and fears stand between us and God.  The more we worry, the bigger it gets until someday you can't see God as well and your relationship with him begins to diminish.  This was my problem.  Instead of focusing on God, I was focusing on Autism.  What I really need to do is focus on God and trust in him to guide us through this journey with Autism.  Basically we have a choice to make.  We can let our worries eat us up and defeat us, blocking our path to God, or we can essentially give our worries and fears to God and live in his Peace and Love. According to the Bible doing this is a 2 step process. First you need to stop worrying and second we need to pray.  This was THE message I needed to hear.  The Pastor told us that today was going to be the day we made our decision.  A large cross was brought to the front of the sanctuary and screwed onto the platform.  He had post-it notes in every pew for all of us.  He told us that if you chose to give up your worries to God then write that worry down on the post it note, bring it up to the cross and "stick it to the cross". 

I made my decision.  I was at the end of my rope and I knew I couldn't do this on my own anymore.  It was time to let the one who DID have all the answers take over.  So I took my post-it note and I wrote in big letters, "AUTISM".  I walked right up to the cross and stuck it on. We all prayed and I left feeling better.  We made our way home and continued with our plans for the day.  I had decided to go back to church that night and once I had a chance to sit and think to myself I realized fort he first time in months that I had not worried our even thought about Autism for the entire day since leaving church that morning!  Now that was a miracle!

Tonight as worship began, I literally felt I should give myself a giant dope slap!  What was my problem?  I was walking around a big ball of worry and neglecting the one being who has been there through thick and thin!  Peanut had been healed in the womb!  He was born without Downs Syndrome!  His rapid progression with therapy and biomedical treatment is a miracle in itself!  Why was I worrying?  God had taken care of him so far, why would I think that he would stop now?!  And so I began to thank God for the millions of blessings he has given to our family over the years. 
The service finished with a long period of prayer for those hundreds of post-it's stuck on the cross. One of the Pastors wives (we have 3 Pastors) came over and prayed for me.  After her prayer I felt like a new person!  I felt like the final bit of my worry was gone! (Thank-you Stephanie!) I had to leave early to get home.  My husband had to go to his other job by 8:00pm for a couple of hours and had nicely pushed back his appointment by an hour so I could get to church to begin with.  I felt so good about things on my way home and I knew if I just prayed, God would take care of the worry for me.

Once I got home, my husband left and I decided that I was going to take the time to write what i am writing now.  As I was about to sit down to type the phone rang.  It was my mother in-law.  She had been at church with me tonight and she said that she had to tell  me something.  She said that first she wanted to tell me that after I had left, the church had prayed for Jacob (which I always appreciate!).  Then she told me that Maria (another member of our church) had been looking for me.  Maria told my mother in-law that she felt that it was impressed upon her to pray for our struggles with Peanut and that as she prayed she felt very strongly that God was impressing upon her to tell me that everything is going to be just fine and it was "already taken care of." (Thank-you Maria and Lin-der!) I began to cry.  For me, this was my confirmation.  God was there for me the whole time, but the problem was, I was the one standing in the way of letting him help.  Well now I've given my worry to God and I pray that it can stay that way.  I'm sure there will be more worry down the road as there always is in life, but this time, I've got the faith in God I need to overcome it. 
Thank-you God for all our blessings, our wonderful church family, your mercy, forgiveness and salvation, for my family and my children, and thank you for breaking through my stubborness today!

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of it's own."  Matthew 6:33-34

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be open." Matthew 7:7-8

Mommy Provost

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