"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion & the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) A daily devotional especially intended to offer compassion to other challenged parents of kids with special needs. Visit our home page at www.snappin.org!
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? Is. 43:19a (NLT)
No, I have to admit I can’t.It’s the same thing every day.If
you have a child with autism, you understand routines.The wakeup routine: come to the door and collect
all items of clothing, then shoes, get dressed, then use the bathroom.The breakfast routine:ask for water, drink it, ask for the glass to
be taken back to the kitchen, wait at the kitchen door for the smoothie to be
made, drink it, ask for water.
The boring things don’t change.The hard things don’t change.Impulse control blips.Potty training struggles.OCD issues...The list goes on.I hate it when
people ask, “How’s Jaedon doing?”What
am I to say?No milestones, no markers,
no new words.
Part of coping with autism has been to develop routines of
my own.I know him, so I have thought, emotional and behavior patterns
that create my autistic routine.I
prevent catastrophes with these routines, I keep myself and my family
coping.Routines are funny things,
though.They limit your view of
life.This is part of why we work so
hard to help our kids be flexible.So
they can experience more, and learn more as a result.
Part of my autistic routine with Jaedon has been that I
don’t take him out with me into the public by myself.When puberty hit, I noticed that he became
stronger and faster than I was.That
realization, plus mood swings, plus a couple incidents of running down the sidewalk
in the Bronx, and running into the street in Connecticut,prompted my new routine.It’s a good routine.It’s kept my blood pressure from skyrocketing
while assuring my other 2 little ones that we’re doing our best to reduce scary
occurrences!These are the
perks of this routine: predictability and safety.I try not to look at the flipside: a huge
limitation of our experiences together as a family.
It’s interesting that God asked Isaiah if he could see the
new thing that He was doing.That
suggests a difficulty seeing.Though it
may be obvious to God, probably not so much to Isaiah.God had to get specific.It’s springing up here.Look over there… Could recognition be part of
our problem?Are there special glasses
to help us recognize the new things God is going?I need a pair!
Mommy, you were considering taking Jaedon to the park
yesterday right? Could we go to the park today?
Sometimes recognizing the new thing that God is doing starts with a
shove in the direction of changing my routine.
That was the voice of my 13 year old daughter, who had been having a
little bit of a down day. In her
question, I heard her thought, “Maybe being in the park would help me feel
better” My desire to help her in any way
I could, interrupted my automatic answer to questions like those.
I had noticed that Jaedon seemed calmer.He is staying in his seat more while we
drive, even without his harness.He’s
more responsive to my direction around the house.I have been asking God for more opportunities
to be together, for Jaedon’s continued healing, for healing for our
family.God’s word says these issues
concern Him too.Could I believe this for
I won’t give you all the details, but we went to the park and
had a great time.As Jaedon monopolized
the swing, I took the opportunity to inventory all the new things.This was the first time in 3 years that I was
the only responsible adult in an external recreational space with all 3 kids.Jaedon got to take many looong walks.He responded to all my redirections and
gave some of his own. He held my hand when requested, and stayed by my side when
he wasn’t holding my hand. He took my hand often, to help me move the way he
wanted.He was regulated in a chaotic
space, moving away from moving kids and avoiding projectiles (the park was
full!).In a new space, outside our
routine, so many new things to be seen, invisible in the old routines.
The B.A.A. of Seeing the New
I want to increase my ability to see what God is doing.It must start with faith, the evidence of
things that are still invisible.Lord,
help my faith.My faith is in what
God has said.And He has said a
lot! Like, Isaiah 55:11, God’s Word always
produces fruit, accomplishing His purpose;Lamentations 3:23, His mercies are new
every morning! If I actually believe God’s word, I will anticipate
the new things that could spring up in any moment.What I anticipate and believe will show in my
Experience the new = Believe + Anticipate + Act based
Lord, Thank you for the new things you have in store for me today. Increase my heart's longing for you, so that I will look where you look. Please heal my eyes so I can see as you see. Transform my heart so that I can believe what you have said, and anticipate your presence in all the ordinary, boring, routine happenings today. Help me to see your miracles unfolding in my family's life today and energize me to let go of the old, and act based on what I believe and anticipate that you will do.