I wandered down the hallway this New Year’s Eve, to the bedroom of my sweet little boy who was snuggled up and sleeping soundly in his bed. I peered in and watched his little body rise and fall with each breath. So precious. Such a blessing. Such a little puzzle. So thankful.
There have been rock bottom moments such as the time I had to lay sprawled out in the middle of the store parking lot with cars honking at us while my Ezra had a complete meltdown or my coming unglued with a lady in the grocery store (See 1 in 50: My Supermarket Story). Oh yes, there have definitely been struggles this past year. There has been a struggle to connect, physical struggles, emotional struggles, coming-to-grips-with-our-new-reality struggles, and I’m sure I could go on.
But there have been triumphs, sweet victories, and precious moments. I never want the struggles to cloud out the good in my memory. I think that’s right where the enemy wants us- remembering only the darkness and forgetting the Lord’s mercies in our lives. This past year, I was able to hear Ezra (at 3 years of age) say my name for the very first time. There is no sweeter sound than hearing your Autistic son say “Momma”. This past year, Ezra began to go to school, he rode the school bus, he began singing, began to try self-feeding, has started walking holding hands, has started to communicate his wants and needs in his own special way, has begun to connect with his sister, and again, I’m sure I could go on.
There have been many tears shed this past year; tears of joy and tears of sorrow. I can honestly say without hesitation that I am thankful for each moment. This journey of Autism has caused our family to dig deep, decide what’s most important, allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to reach out, to not be ashamed to cry, it has given us new perspective, and has taught us how to love in a different language. Without the struggles, the victories would not have been so sweet. I have found a way to be thankful for the storms and never want to take for granted this life that the Lord has blessed me with.
I have no idea what the Lord has in store for us this new year. I do not know what the future holds for Ezra. If I’m not careful, I can find myself feeling anxious for my sweet boy. That’s when I remember. I remember the Lord’s faithfulness. I remember that He does not ask us to walk this journey alone. I remember that He has a plan and a purpose for each of us. I remember His unconditional love. I remember that His mercies are new each morning.
Dear friends, as you look back at 2013, do not let the trials overshadow the triumphs. Do not overlook the blessings to only focus on the blunders. As you look forward to 2014, do not let your heart be anxious. We are not always guaranteed easy, but the Lord promises that we never walk alone. Hang on to His promises!
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share our story with you. I have so enjoyed your feedback, emails, comments, and prayers. I wasn’t sure about this whole blogging thing when I first started, but you have made it something very special. Thank you for reading and being a part of our lives this past year.
“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6