"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

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How I do it...

Not a month or even a week goes by where I don't hear, "I don't know how you do it."  I honestly don't ever know how to respond to this.  I usually say that I'm just doing what any good mother would do for her children, but I never feel confident in that response.   I'm now writing this in honest response to all of those who have asked me in the past, "How do you do it?"  It has taken me a while to get to the point where I could answer this question, but I feel I'm at the point where I have my answer.  I can answer in one word....God.  Sound crazy?  Maybe to some.  God is more amazing than any word I could ever put to paper.  If you know Him, I mean truly know Him, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.  I'm not talking about knowing about God, I mean knowing God...having a personal relationship with Him.  I could NEVER do what I do every day, without Him.  I know with God there is nothing I can't handle.

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it" 1 Corinthians 10:13 New International Version (NIV)

I was saved before I was married or had children, and I thought I knew God, but now that I look back on it I really didn't know God like I do today.  Once a person is saved it really is a slow and steady process of growth.  Some days you find yourself closer to him than others.  It can be pretty confusing.  The first big turning point for me was when I was pregnant with Peanut.  At 23 weeks, they found something "wrong".  After a higher level ultrasound we discovered that our little baby boy had a blockage that was not allowing urine to pass and it was backing into his kidneys.  He was at risk for kidney failure and the doctor was preparing us for the thought of intrauterine surgery to correct the issue.  We also were told that there was a risk that he might be born with Down Syndrome.  There was nothing we could do except to wait, and pray.  On that day we had 2 choices.  We could cry and wallow in our sorrows, or we could muster up strength and faith and pray for our child. So we prayed, our church prayed, our family prayed, and our friends prayed.  One morning I was driving home from work (I worked 3rd shift as a nurse), I was praying again about Peanut and his health issues and I was suddenly overcome with an overwhelming sense of peace.  I called my husband and told him that Peanut was okay and we didn't need to worry anymore.  I knew God was with us and Peanut was healed.  A week later, we went back in to see the neonatologist to have a follow up visit to decide what needed to be done.  After an ultrasound, the doctor came in to talk to us about the results.  He said, "What ever it is that you are doing keep it up!  I can't see any evidence that there was ever even a blockage!"  My baby boy was healed by God through faith and prayer and on August 21, 2007 he was born a perfect and healthy little baby boy.

 Fast forward to December 9, 2009.  Things weren't right with Peanut and his development.  He was delayed in most areas despite a year of early intervention therapy.  We drove 2 hours north to a specialist in Developmental Neurology.  We sat in his exam room while he examined Peanut, asked us questions and played with him. That day, our perfect little child was diagnosed with Autism.  The doctor also believed that Peanuts staring spells were seizures and in 1 month he would have to be admitted to the hospital for a 24 hour EEG. (A test to see if someone is having seizures).  My husband and I walked to the car with Peanut in silence.  After we were all buckled into our seats I turned to my husband and said, "So what do you think about all of this?"  He turned back and said, "I don't know."  I didn't begin to cry until I finally uttered the words, "He has Autism.".  I then cried the rest of the way home, and for the next week after that.  For a while I strayed from God and even stopped praying all together.

" for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"  Romans 3:23 New International Version (NIV)

We began to research what we could do to help out child. We put Peanut on a gluten free diet and his staring episodes stopped completely.  He began to make eye contact and speak functionally.  Thankfully his 24 hour EEG was negative for seizure activity.  When a child is diagnosed with Autism, the family goes through the stages of grief, and we did.  It was a slow process, but we eventually healed and were again ready for the battle that lay ahead.  I slowly began to put my faith in God again and the more I did this, the more I noticed something interesting.  When I ignored God and didn't pray before making a decision about Peanut and his treatments, it would be something that just wouldn't work.  If I took the time to pray about it and lean on God to lead me in to the correct direction, then it would work so incredibly it would seem almost miraculous!  I got the hint and began again to lean on God more and more.

By June 2011 we were finally getting comfortable with our "new lives" with Autism on our plates.  We didn't stay comfortable for long, and on April 20, 2011, Sassy was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome (a form of Autism).  Again, 2 choices.  Wallow in sorrow or lean on our faith.  We again, chose faith.  It didn't take a year to heal, or even an evening.  That night I blogged about how I felt, as simply as could. (The post was titled: My Goliath)  I wasn't going to let my faith waiver this time, no matter how hard it was, I was going to stay strong in God.  Autism was now my "Goliath" and with God on my side I was going to fight this giant and I was going to win!

'But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.' 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 New International Version (NIV)

This was another turning point for me. I began to pray more and began to listen to God.  It dawned on me that instead of saying, "Why us?", I should ask, "Why not us?"  This journey thus far has transformed me into a person I never thought I could be.  It has given me a strength and determination I have never experienced before.  My faith is stronger than ever, and I am closer to God now more than ever.  Our experience has shown us what really matters in our life, and more importantly what should really matter to me.  Our experience has made me who I am today.  I would never wish Autism on anyone, and I would never hope for it to burden our lives, but it is the journey that God has chosen for us and so I will accept it and move forward with God by our side.
"The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures,he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths

for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." 

Psalm 23 New International Version (NIV)

I am not thankful for my children having Autism, but I am thankful for the blessings we have received that would not have occurred if we were not struggling with Autism.  I am thankful for the closer relationship I have with God.  Without Him I would be nothing.  I am thankful for the strength this has given my marriage.  I am thankful that I don't take any little word spoken by our children or any little hug or snuggle for granted. I am thankful for the improved health we have as a result of the diet we have chosen for our children.  I am thankful for all of the wonderful people we have met who have touched our lives.  I am thankful for the ability to take all we have learned and share it with others who may need it.  I am thankful for the ability to look upon our lives in a positive light and not a negative one. I am thankful that our struggles have made me the woman I am today.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—" Ephesians 2:8 New International Version (NIV)

So how do I do it? GOD

Now I am going to turn it around and ask you, how do you do it?  How do you get through the day to day struggles we all have?  Do you know God too, or do you just know of Him?  If you don't have God in your life, I need to tell you this...find Him, hold on to Him and never let go.  I guarantee you won't regret it and it will change your life for the better without a doubt.

"he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."  Titus 3:5-7 New International Version (NIV)

How do you do that? Pray to Him.  Ask for His presence in your life.  Ask for forgiveness for your past and your sins.  Take that leap of faith and believe in him.  Read about Him. Get to know God for who he really is through His word.

 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16 New International Version (NIV)

 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 10:13 New International Version (NIV)

Sin and shame.  Guilt and pain.  Pride and your conceit.  Here and now.  Lay them down.  At the Savior's feet
What have you got to lose? What have you got to lose? And tell me why you're so afraid.  What have you got to lose?  What have you got to lose?  Think of all you have to gain.  Hope and dreams.  And all the things.  That you have ever made.  It don't mean much if in the end, you have lost your way.  What have you got to lose? What have you got to lose? And tell me why you're so afraid.  What have you got to lose?  What have you got to lose?  Think of all you have to gain.

Let go of all you know.  Only then can life be found.  Surrender all you hold.  Lay it down, lay it down, lay it down
What have you got to lose? What have you got to lose? And tell me why you're so afraid.  What have you got to lose?  What have you got to lose?  Think of all you have to gain.

God Bless
Mommy Provost

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