Before we ever knew about autism, when we thought our adorable twins were like all other adorable twins but cuter and ours, I took them for a little "floatation trip" to the lake. They were 8 or 9 months old at the time, and I packed up all our luggage (since luggage is needed when you go to the lake with infant twins!) and met my friend who lived nearby and loved my babies like me.
We blew up the baby flotation devices and put sunscreen all over my then bald children and carried them to the water.
In the middle of the lake, standing shoulder deep in water while holding the floats steady, the twins looked very peaceful. So at rest.
And they were. Practically asleep but not quite. Just so content.
"Look at how at peace they are in the water. They know their Momma loves them." My friend commented.
Later that month, she sent me a card with a photograph she took of them in the water. On the card she wrote, "Perfect loves casts out fear." 1 John 4:18
The moment I received that card, I knew I had misunderstood that verse my whole life and the true meaning of it overwhelmed my suddenly flooded mind and heart.
The twins were so peaceful because they were secure in my love for them. They new they were safe, not because of where they were, who they were or what their abilities were, but because they were with me. Their security came from knowing my love for them.
And our security comes from knowing God's love for us.
I finally came to realize, that if I'm afraid or anxious, it isn't for a lack of MY love, but because I'm not secure in HIS perfect love for me.
Taking the focus off of myself, off of my ability to love others and rather focus on Gods ability to love me perfectly does in fact, cast out fear.
When we are flooded with Gods perfect love for us, why would we be afraid? We'd trust Him completely with our lives and the lives of our loved ones. What will we fear if we know the God of the universe has us in the palm of His hand?
Yesterday we said goodbye to Stevie's Case Manager. She accepted a promotion and will be moving on in the company. Her words to us as she left our house for the last time, captured my attention.
She said something like, "You guys always laugh. Things that happen with Stevie that would put other families in to crisis, you all see differently. You see from a different viewpoint, and it is so refreshing. I always know when I come visit you, I will be laughing."
At first I was surprised. What had we gone through that would put others into crisis but not us? What do we see differently?
And then I realized it was our knowing that our children are secure in the hands of a God who loves them more than we can every fully grasp.
That's what makes the difference.
We know our kids have a purpose. A big one, an intentional one that is part of a great plan.
We know our kids see things differently, and we know that is a part of His Great Plan for them, for us and for the world He loves.
We can embrace the way our children are, because we know God made them in His image. God reveals a little bit more of himself in these neuro-diverse kids than was revealed before, and I don't know about you...
but I think it's beautiful.
Knowing God's perfect love for us means we don't have to fear for our kids or for ourselves.
We know God's got this.
And that makes the all difference.