He encapsulates the broken-hearted, and that was certainly me. He never left my side. He whispered in my ears encouraging words.
Not only did I feel as if I was loosing my son, but I was trapped in a terribly distorted misunderstanding: I thought God broke his promise.
Looking back, I know He supplied for all my needs in caring for Sage during that time. He prepared me ahead of time too:
The year is 2006, the twins are one beautiful year old.
I see them standing in the living room, their eyes wide open, curious.
Their hair is red! I’ve always wanted children with red hair! Hope's hair is a curly spiral of deep red and Sage’s is strawberry blonde–barely visible peach fuzz. Oh how soft it is too! Their faces are more adorable than I could ever have imagined: quirky smiles, chubby cheeks, rounded faces. Their tummies lead the way when they waddle around the house like penguins.
“Oh Father, you made them just perfect!” I pray.
“Yes I did. They are perfectly the way I intended them to be.”
His reply catches me off guard. I am grounded: the heaviness of His presence keeps me from moving.
A moment in time I will never forget.
And one of the reasons for that moment, was a line of string he was weaving in His tapestry of my life. He was preparing me even then, for the discovery of Sage’s autism.
God is Holy. He doesn’t make mistakes. He knew then, that Sage has autism. He knew he has autism and he declares him perfect. He says they are just the way he wants them to be. He says:
“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
He says, “God saw all he had made, and it was very good.” vs. 31
Who am I to tell God he is wrong? Rom 9:20b “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?”
So I accept it. I accept that God knows what he is doing and has a purpose in it. I see the beauty that God crafted throughout my child with autism, because of the autism. I love him exactly the way he is.
And I give him back to God; I give him to God to fulfill his purpose in Sage’s life.
But what about Stevie? I can’t let Stevie go, too. I can’t loose both my boys! I can’t go through this again! I can’t!
Yet it happens.
It is Spring, 2007 at China Lake Retreat Center. I am on a weekend retreat with the women from my church.
I hear the testimony of a lady who has been in Pakistan as a missionary. All four of her children and her husband were there for the past year, living in terrible conditions with threats on their lives for most of the time.
She talks about how one day her husband leaves with the children to go teach at the school. They were warned to stay in hiding; that their lives were in danger. He wants to go anyway, and she is at her home alone, arguing with God. Afraid that her family will be torn away from her…her children, gone. God asks of her, “Who’s children are they?” And she knew He was asking her if she would trust Him with her children, no matter what the outcome. Did she really give them back to God? Or does she cling to them and protect them from the God who saves?
And that was the question He was asking of me. Her words, His words, speak deep into my soul, to places that until that moment, I don’t know exist.
And I realize I have not given my almost two-year old Stevie over to God like I gave Sage. I wanted to keep him. I wanted him to be mine.
But God was asking me to give Him back. To trust Him with Stevie’s life, that He knows what is best.
“Savior, He can move the mountains, He is Mighty to Save, Jesus, Mighty to Save.” We sing the song.
But He wasn’t moving the mountain of autism. He was moving the mountain in my heart.
He is able, but chose not to save Stevie from autism, to not heal him. But instead he healed me.
TO BE CONTINUED (again!)
To read part 3, click here.