Knowing and following the Lord has been the glue that has kept me together for years, but especially these last two years. The autism journey has been challenging, but I know it is the road I am supposed to travel. My grand-nephew Jaxon has mild to moderate autism, and I find myself in an unfamiliar place.
When I was a lot younger, I always imagined myself with six children, a loving husband, family vacations, and family gatherings around the table. Then reality set in several years later, and I married a jerk, got divorced, and raised my beautiful daughter by myself. In April 2020, my niece asked me to take her son in because she couldn’t care for him, and I agreed.
Fast forward to December 2021, and Jaxon was diagnosed with autism. My life has changed drastically over the past year, and I know more about autism now than ever before, and I still don’t know all I need to know about autism.
Autism is a journey for sure; it is not a sprint, but a marathon. Each child is different, so what works for your child may not work for mine. Your child may thrive in therapy and reach all their goals, or they may not. You may have similar struggles and find as we did, your child has yeast belly and C-Diff that need to be treated immediately. The yeast belly, or yeast beast as we like to call it, may be what’s driving their aggressive behaviors and non-verbalism. We won’t know if that is happening with my grand-nephew for several more months. In the meantime, the day-to-day is very challenging.
I am not alone though
The Lord has provided everything I need on this journey to care for Jaxon, and he has also shown me things about myself that I need to improve so I can be a better parent to Jaxon. I am learning daily what it is like to be stretched beyond my understanding. Each day brings new challenges, and unlike cliff notes, I need to read the book.
Where does my strength come from?
My strength comes from the Lord, and my go-to manual is the Bible because I am reminded that no matter what I am going through, others have been before me, and the Lord has met them where they are, and he does the same for me each day.
Many parents today are on the autism journey without God. That’s certainly their choice, but there is no way I can walk this road without God directing, providing, and teaching me each day. It’s simply too overwhelming to go this autism road alone, and frankly, why should I when the God of the universe is offering his help and love?
There’s another factor.
Experts say when a child has autism, the parent(s) need to put a team together because doing it yourself is next to impossible. Here’s what my team looks like:
- God first
- Me and other family members
- Therapists – Behavioral, Occupational, Speech
- Pediatric doctors who know about autism
- Friends who can and cannot relate
Without the Lord leading my team, I would not have everything I need for Jaxon in place today. I recognize God’s hand in our daily lives. God knew well before Jaxon came to live here we would be facing this mountain today.
The Lord knows all
God knew Jaxon needed a home to provide everything he needed for his autism. I often think about what would have happened to Jaxon had we not taken him in back then. And what would have happened to him had we not learned about his yeast belly. Had we not met those friends in church years ago and followed their journey, we would have never met our awesome therapists or integrative doctor, and we would have never sought a stool test.
You see, my friend, the Lord knows what we need before we know we need it, and he provides accordingly. I have learned the Lord does not show us everything ahead of time because, in many instances, we would not be able to handle what we see.
As I share our journey with Jaxon, my prayer is that others would seek the Lord first and ask him to show himself in their situations. Your battle may not be autism, but it feels just as weighty and out of control. Give your battle to the Lord and let Him lead the fight.
I will close today with this passage from the Bible.
Matthew 11:30, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
The Teaching Lady