"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, May 15, 2011

A sliver of light in the darkness.

Our lives are still as stressful as ever.  We seem to get busier and busier with every week that goes by.  The financial costs are beginning to loom over us.  The kids are getting over yet another fever.  There is so much on our minds.  Just when I thought I might be on the verge of being weakened by the all burdens of our life, God finds a way to remind me of why we work SO hard at what we do every day of our lives. 

 My mother wonderfully offered to watch the kids (who are still sick) so I could go to church this morning.  When I returned home, my children were disasters.  Both had refused to eat (yet, were covered in soup).  Sassy had developed a terrible, deep, painful sounding cough and was miserable.  She would cough, and wince, then cry because it hurt to cough, which would then make her cough more.  I tried to make her as comfortable as possible and then set off to try to get some food into Peanut.  His new "thing" is to copy his little sister.  If she doesn't eat, then he refuses to eat.  Well, the problem is, hunger sets Peanut off into tantrums, so we definitely try to avoid that situation.  I fought with him a bit until I got a couple of chips into him and then sat on the couch, already tired.  My mind was blank and honestly I was kind of enjoying it, and then something out of the ordinary happened.

Peanut came over to me and said, "I wanna go buy a car."  I said, "Ummm, ok.  How should we do that."  He replies, "I should go to the store!"  Duh...silly me.  Peanut then goes over to the door, sits on the ground and then starts to move his hands over his feet.  "What are you doing?" I ask.  "Putting on my shoes." He says.  Then he goes over to our coat rack and starts moving his arms around as if he is putting on an invisible coat.  "Are you putting on a coat too?" I ask.  "I'm not done." he says, as he then proceeds to pretend to zip up his coat.  (At this point my eyes are filling with tears)  Peanut then goes over to the little BMW push car we have, gets on the car and drives through the dining room and into the kitchen, happily humming to himself quietly.  He stops at the play kitchen, gets off the car and grabs a shopping bag.  He turns to me and says, "I'm going shopping, bye!"  waves to me and walks down the hall.

As the tears begin to stream down my cheeks I slowly and quietly tip toe down the hall to watch.  I keep thinking I should get the video camera but don't out of fear he'll notice and stop what he's doing. (Peanut is obsessed with cameras and so it is VERY hard to catch anything spontaneous on tape.  If he sees the camera he is mesmerized, and forgets whatever else he is doing.)  I find Peanut in his room.  He is looking through his drawers and pretending to shop for cloths.  He finds a tee shirt and looks up at me.  He holds up the shirt and says, "This is it!"  He looks directly into my eyes as if to expect something of me.

"Do you want to put that shirt on?" I ask.  "Yup."  He says.  He then proceeds to take off the shirt he is wearing, and succeeds!  He throws the old shirt to the floor and puts on the new shirt!  It took everything in me to hold back the tears.  I didn't want him to see me cry.  I praise him up and down for putting on his own shirt and then he goes off to play.  I sit on the floor in amazement.  All I can think is, "What just happened here?"

Many of you reading this completely understand why all of this is a HUGE deal, while others may not. You see pretend play is something that children with Autism struggle with, and sometimes never achieve.  Pretend play is extremely important to a child's development, and parents of children with Autism work very hard to try to help their child develop this skill that everyone else takes for granted.  It's a lot of work and a big process to say the least.  Not only did Peanut pretend, but he came up with it all on his own!  He created his own scheme!  This is not just big, this is huge!

For the past year (maybe more) we have also been working on teaching Peanut to dress himself.  We have made progress, but that progress has been in baby steps.  He has never completely taken off his shirt or put on a shirt completely independently...until today.

Though all the darkness, gloom, and burden, God always finds a way to show us a glimmer of light, even if it's through the tiniest crack.  The question is, are we willing to allow ourselves to see this small light of hope through all the murkiness?  In the past few months I have been able to push through that darkness and I have been following these little lights, and today, God gave us more than a small glimmer.  He gave us a burst of that light.  A burst of hope that has again reminded me, this is why you are tired and stressed...and this is why we will keep going.  We will not give up and we will keep pushing through.

Don't give up.  Not just on your children, not just on the fight that really is Autism, but also, don't give up on HIM.  I know I couldn't do this without God.  I don't know how anyone really could.  All I do know, is that he is there holding our hand and guiding us through...and we are faithfully following.  I pray you will all do the same.

God Bless!

Mommy Provost

"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

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