Autism with a Purpose

Chris & Tori

When the twins were around one year old, I remember sitting down and looking at them, amazed at how beautiful they were.  I remember thinking that they were perfect.  Perfectly the way God wanted them to be.

Psalm 139 13-16 (NIV)
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[b]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

When I learned about Dash having autism, I was shocked. But God wasn't, He knew the entire time.  When I saw my twins as "perfect", autism was there even though I wasn't aware of it yet.  But God knew, and even so, declared him good...crafted flawlessly with His unerring hands.  His ways are higher than ours. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9

I used to hear a lot that people with disabilities, were here in this world for us to care for. It was unstated but assumed, that their purpose was mostly so that we could serve them.

I so under estimated them, and God.

Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." (NLT)

It does not say that we are Gods masterpiece if...

If we are free from disabilities.

If we are free from poverty.

If we are free from illness.

If...we are made the way society says we should be made. If we have no problems. No, we are all made in His image...all of us are His masterpiece, His work of art.  All of us were crafted with flawless hands, made with a purpose greater than we can ever imagine... Crafted with a purpose before our days began...made the way we are on purpose and for a purpose, according to His higher ways.

We were all made exactly the way He wanted us to be.

"I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God's thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and more precious thing in all thinking." George MacDonald

Autism or not, "neuro-typical" or not... God has incredible promises and purposes for us all.  None of us are perfect in the sense that we have all sinned, and we all live in a fallen world.  We all need a Savior. But God made us perfectly as He intended so we could fulfill all the good works that He prepared in advance for each one of us to do.

So rest in all God has done, all he has created and crafted, knowing it is in his ultimate wisdom and goodness...all a part of His plan.  Strive toward eternity with Him, being changed into His image, at His pace. God uses us while we are broken and crippled--either physically or emotionally, and does more than we could ever imagine!  (1 Cor 1:26-29 , Phil 3:14, Eph 3:20)

Embracing Autism

Selling everything to embrace Gods' will...I hadn't thought about it this way before reading and pondering an email devotional from Joni and Friends.  The devotional was based on  Matthew 13:44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field."   But this rang so true:  to embrace autism is to sell everything--everything we'd thought life with children would be like so we could take those "funds" and purchase the ones God gave us.  It is to find a treasure in the unlikely form of tragedy.  Once God revealed the awe-inspiring treasure of our children (with and without autism) it was not as difficult to give up "how things should be" to embrace the way things are.  The treasure was in a field of disabilities and mountains that seemed too large to climb with our out-of-shape legs that had little practice at parenting. But through prayers and time with God, studying His Word and relying on His promises, we are climbing the mountains we thought we wanted God to remove.   It certainly seems like life would be so much easier if God would have removed the mountains of autism, but if he had, I wouldn't have needed to cling to him or listen so closely to his voice of guidance and comfort...I wouldn't have known Him as deeply as I do today.  So, as Joni said in her devotional, I wouldn't trade it for the world.  God's will is perfect and loving and He desires the best for His children...and he is never done giving...never done revealing even more treasures and gifts to us.  Jeremiah 29:11-14 "1 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity."