Friday, September 11, 2015

Anxiety and Other Limps

Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved,
for you are the one I praise. 
Jer. 17:14 (NLT)

Photo Credit:
It's said that autism is 24/7 anxiety for the person with the diagnosis. Well, it's contagious in our home, enthusiastically bouncing around between adults and kiddies, regardless of diagnosis.  Around every corner, behind very door, we find something we can't control, can't deal with, and downright hate experiencing.

I'm sitting at wooden benches under a large oak tree. The breeze is gentle, the sun is only warm, birds are twittering as they fly by, with a clear blue sky overhead. My chest is tight, my breathing shallow and my throat is congested. I'm at a school that I'm considering for J, my almost 17 year old, very challenged by autism.  I just left him in the classroom and stepped outside to take a few moments... This is our third school visit, 2 schools have accepted him and he could remain at his current school. And I'm feeling intense anxiety. I can't see. I don't know what to choose. Based on what I want, it's none of the schools work. But that's nothing new... Nothing is perfect enough for my baby.

As I sat outside the school to think about my strong reaction, I realized something: the negative thoughts flew into places in my mind like bees to honey.  The buzz of criticism for everything and everyone, including myself, can be so noisy that I can't hear anything else!  It's like I'm experiencing sensory overload from negative input!

After a few moments of deep breathing, observing nature and just stopping, I started to hear the other messages.  I saw the patient face of the staff member that offered me the seat in the classroom, the rapt attention on the face of a student as he listened to the speech lesson, the steady strength emanating from the district staff member as I hurried out out of the room to have my panic attack. There is good here. The anxiety drained away to a manageable level.  Lord, help me see what you see.

Strong reactions like these remind me that I'm human, wounded and still in the aftershocks of 'the autism diagnosis of 2001'.  J isn't the only one with a long term challenge.  I'll probably have to continuously manage overreacting to experiences like these, and not just with J but with all my kids.  Autism has given me some tender, sometimes sore spots. Thankfully, although not speaking directly about autism, God anticipated my struggle, and says Don't be anxious about anything (Phil. 4:6), and mentions something about peace guarding my heart.... When I look at this injunction at face value, I feel more anxious and depressed.  I'm failing that command daily.  Bumping up against any of my tender spots can create anger, anxiety, despair, frustration.... But, I get to learn patience with myself, as God unfolds His healing in His way.  Maybe His grace is all I need, since His power works best in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). 

Lord, your abundance is everywhere and You are always more than enough. Thank You for providing all we need for healing and help, for joy and for coping with sorrow, anxiety and fear. I'm so grateful that I'm on Your agenda for healing as you continuously work in the earth to build Your kingdom here, as it is in heaven.  Help me to be patient with the incremental process of healing, when I want to experience the 'one shot miracle'. Thanks for Your peace as we take daily steps with You.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Josha, for being a listening ear in my journey and for sharing K. with me.

  2. Faith, you are my SISTER in faith and in special needs parenting. Thank you for sharing how God's word has given you courage, strength and hope.

  3. You're welcome, Susan. Praying for your courage this week.