God's Girl

Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary

If You Feel Like Giving Up

on August 26, 2014

 

Today was a frustrating day. The sad thing is that I could see it coming. We were sitting in the waiting room, when my son began to have a meltdown. He didn’t want to work on his math worksheet. He began rubbing his face and groaning while saying, “I hate math.”  He tossed the math book down and curled into a ball in the chair. The eyes of people in the room began staring. I could feel them boring into my back as I tried to help him calm down. He was on the edge of completely losing it. It felt like I was on a stage unable to find my way behind the curtain. The spotlight was on us, yet I had a job to do. I had to forget the looks of those around me and focus completely on my child.


I have a child with high functioning autism. In his world, change is the ultimate enemy. We had not done our normal routine and now we were both paying the price. I wish I understood the way he thinks. I wish I could take a look inside his brain and be able to help him, to protect him, to comfort him. I wish I could circumvent all the world’s woes. As a mom, all I want to do is make the bad stuff go away. Not being able to do that is painful. It hurts to see him hurt. It hurts to see others not understand. It’s tough to be patient when it takes my child an hour today to do what he could have done a few days ago in five minutes. My patience wears thin at times. This only stresses my child out more, which stresses me out more. It is a relentless cycle. The perfect storm. There is nothing I can do to stop it. It will come. I can only try to understand and guide him through the next storm.
As awful as those meltdowns can be, I am thankful they are brief. In our world, they don’t happen everyday.( I know in some HFA children they occur several times a day.)  I am also thankful for what comes after the storm. Did I mention that my son has a smile that can brighten anyone’s day? The rainbow of his love shines through. It is God’s promise to me that he will be okay. My son is the most generous person I know. Last week he offered his sister all his chore money, so she could get the ipod she had been saving for. He sees things we don’t see. He loves with complete loyalty and laughs with everything he has. Our world is a mixed up place to him full of emotions that don’t make sense and people who are hard to read, yet he keeps going. He is an inspiration to me. Sometimes this world just doesn’t make sense to me either. Who understands why people riot in response to an unjust act? Who understands a government that has become corrupted by greed and selfishness? Who understands a comedian, a person gifted to make others laugh, taking his own of life? I will never understand this world. The pain it brings and the sorrow it inflicts are beyond my understanding. I am the teacher in my family, but today I think I will sit back and let my son teach me a thing or too. Today I will be the student who learns that love is worth it and tears are okay. Today I will remember the lesson of endurance. I will keep going even on the tough days because I never see him give up. Today I want to encourage you not to give up. This struggle, this uncomfortable season of your life isn’t all there is, my friend. Stop looking at it as never ending. All things must come to an end, both the good and the bad. One day we will be left with the remains. I can’t choose my struggles, but I can choose what remains in my heart. Unforgiveness, hate, and resentment lead to death, but when faith, hope and love remain in my heart I will be filled with life.

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