Let me tell you about the biggest lesson I learned in 2009: I learned that love – and God – are enough to carry us though whatever situation we face. Here is why:
In my book, “Autism’s Hidden Blessings: Discovering God’s Promises for Autistic Children and Their Families,” I wrote that “if all we had to give our son was love, then God would see to it that love was enough.” Let me tell you that I had no idea that God would put those words to the test in 2009!
Here is why: Our family was hit hard by the economic downfall of 2008 and 2009, as so many other families have been. My husband Matt is a landscape architect. With very little new development projects, work was scarce. I watched as my husband returned from work on so many days, his face clouded with the pressures of sustaining not only his business, but our family as well. Matt’s income decreased by about 50% over the past year in order to keep his business doors open, even as other firms were permanently closing their own doors at alarming rates all around us.
On the home front, this meant a drastic reduction of every expense. We cut back in every way possible: satellite television subscriptions, trips to Target, makeup, dining out, anything that wasn’t necessary was cut. All of the cutbacks hurt somewhat, but most painful was the fact we could no longer pay for my autistic son’s special medical costs, including Alec’s biomedical and dietary supplements and trips to his autism specialists. Most of these costs are not covered by our insurance.
So, from March until December, Alec did without any of his supplements or medications. I struggled with this concern all year, wondering if Alec’s progress would be lost. I wondered what God could be doing, after Alec had seen such wonderful advances in recent years. Would it all be lost? Was love really enough?
Day after day stretched on, with no guarantees that we could make it through anything but the day on hand. We didn’t know what the future held. Would be able to stay in our home? What if the car broke down? All we had was the knowledge that God had been faithful to us in the past, that and His promises to take care of our needs.
It is now 2010. We made it though 2009, still standing! Now I can see that God was proving to us that He IS completely faithful to provide for our family, and that includes caring for our autistic son Alec! Yes, it was a terribly difficult year. Yes, we continually felt that we were just one small step away from falling over a financial cliff. But on a daily basis–not weekly or monthly, but DAILY–God provided all that we needed. We are still here, still in our home, still floating, and Alec is doing well despite the months without supplements & biomedical medications. In fact, he received A’s and B’s on his first third grade report card in his typical third grade classroom. Finally in December we were able to get Alec back onto his supplements.
I am writing to tell you that we are still standing because GOD REALLY is faithful to take care of our families. The journey may seem more than we can bear, but HE IS WITH US. And so I write these words again, but this time, I write with a proven knowledge that the words are true:
“If love is all we have to give our autistic children, then God WILL see to it that love is enough.”
So keep on loving and trusting God. I promise you, He is faithful to every need! We will never know the awesome truth of God’s power until we totally let go over every artificial lifeline and throw ourselves backwards completely into His arms, trusting that He will be there to catch us.
I promise you, He will be there to catch you.