What I did not foresee was how God intended to bless my socks off with the wonderful friendships and relationships that developed as a result of my “outlet.” THANK YOU.
Some time ago, Rhema was doing Tomatis listening therapy. She was receiving auditory stimulation by listening to Mozart and Gregorian chant at high frequencies through headphones. The idea was to improve auditory processing by re-training her hearing mechanism to receive and tolerate a full spectrum of sound.
During the listening therapy, she was receiving speech and occupational therapy (– yes, we had to wrap bands around her head in order to keep the headphones on.) At the time, a therapist explained that at the precise moment when Rhema was receiving appropriate sensory input (through OT) and increased auditory processing through the listening therapy… over time, we might see some expressive language or social interaction. It seemed like we were drilling a small hole through a thick wall in which some form of communication might slip through. I remember thinking, that’s a heck of a lot of work for one little word from Rhema.
But that’s what we do. We work at it, we pray for it, we fight for it.
We want our children to know and be known.
Never far from my mind is God’s very desire to have relationship with us. It’s a recurring theme on this blog, but I believe He is saying, now you have an inkling of how much I long to communicate with you. I’m amazed at the lengths He will go to be known by us.
The book of Hosea is a poignant allegory of God’s efforts to pursue relationship with us. To illustrate His unrelenting love for the people of Israel (and by extension, us) God instructs Hosea the prophet to marry a prostitute named Gomer. Hosea loves, protects and cares for her. But Gomer is repeatedly unfaithful to him; she leaves him and returns to her former life. God instructs the prophet to pursue and woo her again, and bring her back to home. God says to Hosea, “Go again and love this woman.”
The story reveals God’s initiating, persistent love for us, His commitment to reconciliation with us, His passion just to have relationship with us. Again and again and again.
As I strive to knock down the wall of separation that autism has imposed between my daughter and me, I think of the powerful painting above. This is said to be a portrait of deceased soldiers reaching out in consolation to a grieving comrade. In the same way, I believe God is yearning to reach out to you. me. us.
The good news is that we don’t have to do, do, do, do to have relationship with Jesus. He has already done the work. As my friend Sumi writes, we just have to be willing and available to be with Him. The walls are down. Here I am. What do you want me to know about You?
This year I’m excited about relationships – with family, friends, and God Himself. My relationship with my autistic daughter is growing sweeter by the day. It took a while, but I am finding ways to relate to her, and connect with her, and truly enjoy her.
“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us…” Eph 2:14
*If you are struggling to believe, click here for a beautiful story of Faith In the Face of Autism.