"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
I remember my son’s tiny little hands and how he would move them in the air as though he was conducting an orchestra. I remember how he would sway back and forth in his excersaucer and how cute we thought it was that he was “dancing”. I remember his far-off smiles and giggles at nothing. I remember waiting for him to look me in the eyes or smile at me. I remember how precious it was how he would rub his little hands against the skin on my arm for long periods of time. I remember noticing that my son did not respond to things the way that other babies did. I remember the heaviness in my heart as I told my husband for the first time that I believed something was “different” about our child.
I remember the gut wrenching prayers, sleepless nights, and endless searches on Google. I remember the doctor’s visits. I remember having to fight for my child to have the attention he needed from specialists. I remember the waiting… I remember one particular doctor telling me not to come back and that my son was “fine”. I remember tests and scans and paperwork. I remember the waiting…I remember being given the young-mother-who-is-just-paranoid-about-her-son treatment. I remember waiting for the doctors to finally come to the conclusion that my husband and I had long since come to grips with- our son has Autism.
Our son was given an actual diagnosis of Autism (at age two). Even after all of the waiting, all of the already knowing in our hearts what the outcome would be, and even after feeling well “informed” about Autism, the final diagnosis hit us like a ton of bricks. It seems that no matter how prepared you are or how much you already think you know, a final diagnosis can break your heart. It was a final word and a “new beginning” of sorts. That season of waiting had ended and a new one began.
Now we are waiting…waiting on Ezra to connect, waiting to see a glimpse of his sweet personality, waiting for words, waiting for milestones to be crossed. Each day brings forth an element of waiting. We wait to see if Ezra will have a “good day” or a “bad day”. We wait to see if (just maybe) he will want to touch or snuggle. We wait expectantly for his eyes to meet ours. Even though Ezra has been making more and more eye contact lately, our hearts cannot help but skip a beat each time he looks at us because it is something we have longed for for so long. As the parents of a special needs child, we are no strangers to waiting…
I have learned that it is what you do while you are “in the waiting” that matters most. Waiting can be excruciatingly painful. Waiting can bring forth doubts, fears, and questions. But waiting can be a different kind of beautiful. Waiting can also cause you to dig deep, pray more fervently, and can truly reveal the condition of your heart.
Waiting is never easy because (generally) if you are waiting for something it means that there is an element of the unknown in your life. We don’t have all the answers. We don’t always know what the diagnosis will be. We don’t know what tomorrow will hold. We don’t always have control of our circumstances…it can be hard when you are “in the waiting.”
When I am “in the waiting” I must remember that although I am waiting for an answer, or a breakthrough, a diagnosis, or a solution, my God is in control. Nothing takes Him by surprise. How quickly I seem to forget that the same God who set the world in motion, holds me in the palm of His hand. He goes before me, He walks beside me, and He hears me when I call His name.
There can be peace “in the waiting” for us believers! Do not let your hearts be troubled! Waiting is never easy. May our faith never be so weak that we are unable to remember that our sovereign God loves us with a complete, unconditional, and sacrificial love. He did not give up His one and only son to die for our sins just to leave us on our own in a world of unknowns and waiting. Be encouraged! Our heavenly Father loves us and does not leave us “in the waiting”, by ourselves. He is ever-present and longs for us to cling to Him and His promises. I can find peace “in the waiting”. I am able to praise Him in the midst of the unknown.
Thank you Lord, that you hold my topsy-turvy world in Your hands. While I am waiting, You already know. While I am trusting, draw me closer to Your side. Thank You that you are with me “in the waiting.”