Driving Out Fear

Driving Out Fear

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.

 

 

A Persistent Pursuit and a Rambunctious Kid

 

Persistant Pursuit 2

The other day I was going through piles of clutter that has accumulated over the years, trying to purge more of the bullying junk that threatens to overtake our home.  As I was looking through a particular pile of what seemed to be scrap paper, I saw that it was actually tiny torn pieces of construction paper that had stick-figure drawings on them.  

"I love you, Mommy & Daddy!" was written on one of the cards Hope made. Hope must have been around six at the time of it's creation. The next card in the pile I found was a line drawing of her and her twin brother Sage holding hands. 

I called Hope over to show her the treasure I found, and Sage darted over to see it too.  When he saw the picture, he assumed the position on the card and sat by Hope, taking her hand.  

Now, you need to understand that Sage and Hope are 2 weeks shy of being 12 year old twins. Hope does not appreciate her brothers affections one bit.  She does not want him to touch her, sit near her, breathe on her... She doesn't want him to look at her, write notes to her or talk to her.

So when Sage reached over to hold her hand as was drawn, Hope was filled with disgust, and bolts up shouting, "Get away from me, Sage!"

But he doesn't budge. This is his torture of choice for his sister: gushing admiration.

  • He sits beside her, at every chance. 
  • He tells her he loves her, constantly.
  • He draws, "Sage Loves Hope!" on notebooks and shows her his "work".
  • He gives full disclosure of his intent to "Kiss" her.

 

Certain he has cooties, she wishes he was mean like all her friends brothers, and that he would leave her alone!

Sage's pursuit of Hope is exactly like Jesus's pursuit of us: relentless, persistent, not easily swayed.

Irritation toward Him by His children does not separate us from His love; He presses on.

I recently read Jennifer Leigh Allison's new book, Confessions of a Rambunctious Kid: a quest for self-discovery and the meaning of life.  Her life story illustrates God's pursuit of us beautifully.  

She grew up in the 70's and 80's, and her undiagnosed Sensory Processing Disorder caused her to be misunderstood more often than not. She ended up addicted to drugs and alcohol to escape her raging emotions and the turmoil in her body. She wanted nothing to do with God, despite her Christian upbringing.  But God wanted something to do with her.  He pursued her relentlessly while her devoted mom fervently prayed for God to reach her, and for her to find Him.  

Jennifer recalls many instance when God strategically intervened in her life, clearly pursuing her to win her heart and save her life. 

She says, "God, why would you want to give me what I don't deserve? If you're so great, why do you pursue ME of all people? I am nothing, nobody. I have squandered my life and lived in completed defiance. I have broken every promise I made to you. I disobeyed you and my parents over and over and over again. I'm broken, worthless, used, abused, filthy, and impure. Don't you know what's happened to me? Don't you know what I've done? What would the God of the universe want from little ole messed up me?  

Then, like a soft, warm blanket taken right out of the dryer, I felt God's incredible love come over me. He said, "I have plans for you." (p177)  

Jennifer's story will bring you to tears as you laugh with her as well as when you cry with her. Her book is a beautiful testimony of God's passionate, unrelenting love for us.

To connect with Jennifer, you can find her at her website: http://jenniferleighallison.com

or on Facebook by clicking here: Rambunctious Kid

Click here to purchase her book!

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