Monday, February 13, 2012
A Distant Light
I Corinthians 13:12-13 ~ "Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love."
"Why did God make me like this?"
This is the heart-wrenching question that my son, Nathan asks from time to time. Sometimes it's spoken, other times it's unspoken but I still sense it. I see it in his tears. I hear it in his anger. It's being asked more often now, especially now that he is older and longing for things that seem to be beyond his reach.
I don't have answers for him. I often ask the same questions. I'll be honest because it's not like He doesn't know, I get angry at God. "Why?" "Why would you put so much burden on a young man?"
Autism - more specifically Pervasive-Personality Disorder, multiple learning disabilities, apraxia, Tourette's syndrome, allergies. That is a lot for a young man to deal with. Especially, a young man whose mental capabilities are such that he wants what everyone else has - a girlfriend, a regular job, an ability to go to college. He knows what is "normal" for his age, yet so much in his life isn't typical of a 20 year old.
It's also exhausting parenting a child with these needs. He doesn't always perceive others responses the right way which requires us to talk him through many, many situations that aren't a big deal to many. If someone looks at him a certain way, he may assume that they are angry with him. If a group of kids are nearby and laugh, he thinks they are laughing at him.
He is susceptible to people taking advantage of him because he wants to fit in so much. He is extremely trusting and can't understand that there are unkind people who even though seem like his friend, may not really be that way.
He has multiple motor and vocal tics. The motor tics at times are so violent that he hurts himself. He holds them in around others and in fact, most people would never even know he struggles with this. Yet, the moment he is in the house they let loose. All the time. There is no quietly sitting and watching a movie. The tics are always present. It's hard on him. It's hard on us.
He is constantly struggling with breathing through his nose or wheezing because of his allergies. Nathan is allergic to many things, including dust mites. Dust. The basic thing that never goes away. So, he sneezes and wheezes his way through life.
Apraxia. His speech is unclear. He didn't say more than 2 words until he was 4-5 years old. Even with years of speech therapy, he struggles to enunciate clearly. He is teased about this quite regularly which is upsetting to him.
Reading, writing, math. All at extremely low levels. So whatever he reads, he understands maybe 45-50% of it. Writing is non-existent. Math is a struggle.
So, I'm back to the question "Why?" Why would the Lord allow a young man to struggle with so much.
The answer...."I don't know." On this side of heaven, I'll probably never know. I do see a distant light from time to time...
► Nathan persevering through all these struggles that our thrown at him.
► His upbeat, positive attitude.
► His ability to bounce back after a period of feeling down and depressed.
► His hard work and desire to reach his goals
► His good humor
So while I don't know why the Lord has allowed this, I do know that we have faith that He is working all things out for the good of Nathan. I have hope that God has a wonderful plan for Nathan's life. I have love for this child of mine who pierces my soul so often, yet at the same time, gives me tremendous joy.
In the meantime, I'll keep my eyes on that distant light.
This week I'm thankful for blessings #861-873
♥ News that Nathan will be getting ten hours of driver's training (beginning soon) as well as job placement (beginning this summer).
♥ The fact that my husband works with students with similar disabilities as Nathan and that he helps put things in perspective for me when my expectations are higher than Nathan's abilities.
♥ The nineteen years of joy Stephen has brought us.
♥ Taking turns sharing what Stephen means to us and blessing him this way.
♥ Chocolate chip pancakes in the morning.
♥ Getting out and walking 4 days this past week. It felt good!
♥ Enchiladas, warm from the oven and part of a birthday celebration.
♥ A brand new furnace that gives us heat on demand.
♥ A friend is okay after a heart attack this week.
♥ A wonderful new small group I'm doing with the teen girls in our church.
♥ A lively discussion in our adult small group.
♥ Listening to Stephen talk with excitement about his plans for the future.
♥ God gave Nathan to Dan & me because He trusted us enough to raise this child.