One day

I watch a young girl walk the aisle and join her father a few rows up from us in church. She leans over and says something to him, and they both chuckle. When the congregation stands to sing, she turns the pages in the hymnal and sings along. She is fascinating to me – with just the right dose of maturity and animation.

Several times she glances back at us curiously as Rhema’s babbling and humming pierces the quiet sanctuary. That’s when I realize they are about the same age, and for a moment it takes my breath away. Often I’m at a loss for what is age appropriate.

Oh yes, this is what it looks like, neurotypical eight.

The easy conversation. The independence. The eyes, the focused, available eyes. The sky-is-the-limit possibilities. The ability. The ability to read, do after-school sports, go potty on your own, have rich friendships.

I want it so bad. How I want it for Rhema, for me. I try hard to guard against discontentment, but it has a way of creeping in and catching me by the throat.

I close my eyes. Maybe this has all been a long, wild dream. And maybe God has shown me amazing things, taught me so much through this dream, and I am forever changed and so grateful for the lessons. But when I open my eyes the dream will be over, I’ll have my heart’s desire, I’ll know my Rhema girl with no disabilities…

But if not now. If not here. Lord, one day. I know one glorious day we will be disability-free, pain-free, sin-and-sadness-free. As my friend L wrote: ‘i cried when i imagined Rhema, who doesn’t necessarily respond at all when you call her name, rising up at Jesus’ voice calling her. i pictured her hearing him and responding, unhindered by autism. autism and epilepsy will be non-factors.’  She’ll lift her head and dance upon gold-paved streets. She will open her mouth and sing praises to her Lord forever.

I open my eyes and can almost imagine her smiling and leaning over to whisper a joke. But no, her head is bowed. She’s still happy-humming, still perfectly Rhema, and I still can’t believe I get to be her mama. And she’s still autistic.

And He is sufficient.


18 thoughts on “One day

  1. You know, when you are doing one of those preschool puzzles, where each piece is carved out whole? When you find the right piece for the right hole, and it fits perfectly…. This post is that for my heart. Everything you said _everything_ rings with perfect familiarity to me. It’s like you took the words and emotions out of my own brain and heart and penned them here, only you have a way of expression that is so much more eloquent than mine. Bless you 🙂 xx

  2. Something about what you wrote reminded me that this is all a dream. It’s like in “The Last Battle” by C.S. Lewis, when old Narnia is no more, and they step into paradise, and realize everything else was just the title page, and now they were beginning the true story that would go on forever. This often brings me comfort.

  3. So beautiful. I so get it. I often watch a girl the same age as mine and wonder the same. Heartfelt. Thanks.

  4. True words. You have captured a mother’s heart. “His grace is sufficient for me. His power is made perfect in weekness.”

  5. Yup. That’s all I can say because if I say more the tears that are welling up will surely fall. I feel the same way. The incomparable love for the child you do have but the longing for the child you imagined. You say things so beautifully.

  6. I understand. The hardest times was when I was signing my kids up for classes at homeschool co-op and that is when I realized what my son would be doing if he were typical. I would notice the kids his age. I would mourn for all that he could have been…and then I always realized that all of my kids are just where they should be, where He wants them to be, if I don’t get too much in the way. 🙂

  7. Thank you, for reminding me that He is sufficient. I am tired of IEPs, crises, battles; I am thankful that I can rest in the Lord.

  8. Oh my. That left me in a puddle on the floor, and not many things do. What a perfect way to put this. Not wanting to lose all that we have gained from the autism, but still wishing it was a dream. My son with autism is eight, too.

    I like you back.

  9. beautiful reality J. Precious reminder that blessed me today, as we slog through this messy dream – we will one day wake up! =) love from Congo

  10. Pingback: She can « Autism In a Word

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