Relationship

 

Reflections by Lee Teter

Reflections by Lee Teter

 

When I began this blog, I intended it to be a therapeutic outlet for me.  I also hoped to be an encouragement to “new” autism moms.  I think back to a couple years ago, and I felt devastated and alone.  I remember saying to my mom “If it’s 1 in 150, where are all the other 1 in 150’s?  I’m the only autism mom I know!”  I hoped to share some of the lessons I’d learned (and am still learning).

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.

In this space I have found mothers who understand how important relationship is. We share how we long for the communication that fosters relationship between two people.

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.

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9 thoughts on “Relationship

  1. That was beautiful, Jeneil! I love the ideas you connect to provoke and inspire my thoughts. I think much of life can be summed up in a wandering around longing for connection. Does someone “get” me? Does God hear me? How can I hear him? How can I feel connected to the Vine? How can I reach the thoughts of my child? How can my husband and I recover the connection of humor and joy we once had? How can I find great chemistry with those I work with, and creative synergy? Who will be that friend that I could call up at any time, or drop by unannounced, without feeling like you don’t want to inconvenience anyone? I guess it’s the communication that “easy like a Sunday morning” as Lionel would say. Why is that? I think it all starts back in the Garden of Eden. God is a God of relationship and intimacy. It’s how he created us, and since that fruit got bitten into (thanks Eve!) He’s been trying to restore it ever since.

  2. I absolutely loved this post! What a perfect picture of how our heavenly father does whatever it takes to have relationship with us…even sometimes having to strap (or hem) us in so we can benefit through the process…all the time loving us completely and desiring the absolute best for us.

    I have also always loved the story of Hosea and Gomer. No matter how many mistakes we have made; we are still worthy of love to Him. Have you ever read the book, “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers? I’m not much of a fiction reader, but it has the same theme as the story of Hosea and Gomer. I couldn’t put it down when I read it.

    Your blog is a blessing to many!! Thank you.

  3. Jeneil, what a beautiful (and heart-rending) illustration of God’s love for us!

    “For God does speak—now one way, now another— though man may not perceive it.” (Job 33:14)

  4. I can’t tell you how much this has moved me. Over the years, in dealing with the stress of meeting my daughter’s needs, I know I have neglected my relationship with God. Yet he continues to reach out to me. I know the Lord is working through you as you write, because now when I’m struggling to communicate with Becca, I’m reminded of what God continues to do in trying to bring me back to that relationship I once had with Him.

  5. Shanda, Yes! I read Redeeming Love nearly 10 years ago. It’s an unforgettable book – definitely a must-read! I enjoy all of Francine River’s books.

  6. Trish, Woohoo! Thanks so much for the DVDs!

    Lisa, Thank you. Your comment means a lot because I’m right there with you. Still trying to make my relationship with God a priority (I’m convinced everything else will get in place when I do that). But yes, I’d say that’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve gotten out of all of this — that He loves us and is constantly calling out to us for relationship.

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