She knew


A couple weeks ago we visited a friend who has two adult daughters with autism. We’d met on a few occasions over the years, but never had a chance to spend time together until this visit.

Some describe themselves/their children as “lightly brushed” with autism. When Rhema was younger I so wanted to believe that description fit her. I convinced myself and told others she was “mild” as if I were talking about salsa. But my visions of a small paintbrush gradually gave way to a large bucket of bold paint being dumped over her head. This realization was far more devastating and painful for me than the day she was diagnosed.

There are times when I feel I cannot relate to some of the struggles of other autism mama’s – our journeys seem so different.

I looked forward to time with this new friend and her not-lightly-brushed daughters, knowing they could relate to our flavor of autism.

We had a great time. It’s a relief to be in a place where you really don’t need to worry about a thing, because everyone really gets it.

But there was a quiet thoughtfulness, maybe even heaviness? inside me, a sobering. And it stayed with me in the days that followed. I found myself reviewing my life, all my days up until it all changed forever when I became a mother. I wondered at God’s plan, the unexpected. I began doing the thing that I try so hard not to do:  freaking out about the future — how does life work for my girl twenty years from now?

Later my friend wrote that the visit had been bittersweet for her and guessed it was for me. She told me she identified with my many concerns for Rhema at 8 years old, and how she remembered the stress and uncertainty of those years. Her daughters are in their 20’s now and she still has some of the same issues, but she believes that life is overall easier now than when they were 8. Then she wrote what my heart needed to hear, “I’m sure it’s a little disconcerting to see that [my daughters’] lives remain so circumspect. On the other hand, they’re happy and well loved. And I hope that’s reassuring.”

Happy and well loved, I thought of her words as I walked with Rhema, held her hand. In this moment God has given, her girls, my girls, they are happy and well loved. This moment works. This moment is enough. This moment is good.

I don’t know what tomorrow looks like, but I’m learning to trust Him for all of her moments to come.

Anyway, this friend, she knew. Better than anyone could know, she just knew.

9 thoughts on “She knew

  1. I know too. (I know you know that but just wanted to remind you that I’m always here. I would do just about anything for you, sweet friend.. )

    And yours remains the blog that I always, always read, because I know you understand. Truly.

  2. The support we receive from friends in the same position is immeasurable. I know that my only concern is what is going to happen when I am gone…. everything else I can cope with….. *happy and well loved* is a great mantra.

  3. From one mother to another, I can only imagine how you feel. What a consolation to know that God is always going to be watching over Rhema, holding her hand every step of the way. He blessed Rhema with you as a mother and He is going to continue to bless her during her life.

  4. Oh, yes. I know…I had a moment a few nights ago when I woke in the night. I kept wondering about my brother, my son, the years down the road, would they be okay? How would it all work? All I could remember is Beth Moore saying God gives the grace for what we’re dealing with at this moment. I don’t need the answers or even the peace yet because I’m not in the then, yet. Thank God he understands our weaknesses and our fears…

  5. Rejoicing and trusting God with you. Hold on to those moments of hope and small assurances, and praise God for a godly man to go through this with. I will pray for her gagging. Love you bunches!

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