These days when I look at my wedding picture, there is the wistful desire to return to a simpler place and time. Life had been always so good to us both, that, at the time, I had no reason to think that life would not go on being good. I had my Jesus, my healthy, happy parents and siblings, an Ivy League education, and my own Top-Gun-officer-pilot on my arm.
I often wonder why Autism devastated us so much. Perhaps it was the regressive nature of it, and the way it stole into our world and confiscated everything we thought we had. Perhaps it was the “dream deferred” that Langston Hughes wrote about – you may not realize the dreams you’ve dreamed for your children until those dreams are shattered. Perhaps it was the slow and steady realization that the autism was severe and was not going to simply be outgrown or out-drugged (- that fact was more painful than the initial diagnosis).
For two and a half years, I felt like I was the aim of Bamm-Bamm Rubble’s club. IEP meetings, special schools, hospital stays, therapy sessions and registration with the Department of Mental Retardation were never in my plans for her life, for our life. I was caught in a cycle of grief, and I was angry, bitter and so very disappointed in God.
All throughout, however, I could hear a whisper:
God is faithful.
Finally one day I whispered back: God is faithful? That used to be my theme song, but now I feel forsaken.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Heb 10:23. The Greek word for “faithful” in that verse is pistos and it means trustworthy, sure, or true. It resonated with me that God is trustworthy – worthy of my trust. Surely He had been faithful up until the point that trials came my way, surely He would continue. And even though I felt abandoned by Him, I remembered I could trust Him. So I said, “O.K., God. I’m giving her up. I’m trusting you even if she does not get better. I’m trusting you with her life.” As I write this, it seems so simple, but it was oh so hard to do. But since I did it, I have felt an incredible, liberating peace.
God is faithful. Faithful to His Word, faithful to the promises in His Word, and ever faithful to us. In Revelation – in the final analysis – His very name is “Faithful and True”.
Have we ever had the shadow of a reason to doubt our Father’s goodness? Have not His lovingkindnesses been marvellous? Has He once failed to justify our trust? Ah, no! our God has not left us at any time. We have had dark nights, but the star of love has shone forth amid the blackness; we have been in stern conflicts, but over our head He has held aloft the shield of our defence. We have gone through many trials, but never to our detriment, always to our advantage; and the conclusion from our past experience is, that He who has been with us in six troubles, will not forsake us in the seventh. What we have known of our faithful God, proves that He will keep us to the end.— Charles Spurgeon
Back to my wedding picture: Nearly ten years later, we have changed. Wow, how we have changed. But God stays the same. And life is still good, and God is still faithful.
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