Like a ship that’s tossed and driven / and battered by an angry sea / when the storms of life are raging / and the fury falls on me,/ I wonder just what I have done / that makes my race so hard to run./ Then I say to my soul, “don’t worry / the Lord will make a way somehow”.
The Lord did make a way. This is something else that I didn’t write, but these words have given me comfort down through the years. These are the words from a gospel song that I often sang to myself. I know that you are often going through storms if you are the parent of a child with autism. There are many storms in life and autism is just one of our storms. Even when it is calm, you don’t know when the next storm will appear.
It is a shame that along with other storms (financial, emotional, romantic, etc.), we still have our autism storm. We get all the other storms, the same as everyone else. There were many times when I did not think I would survive. I have a picture of a ship on my wall with the saying,
“Tis not the gale, but the set of the sail / that determines the way we go”.
I read it when I am going through an autism storm. The storms are few and far between now, but I remember the days. You will survive your storms the same way that I did. PJ is so much easier to live with now that he is in his 30s.
Autism was the first storm in my life that I could not escape from. I was good at leaving an undesirable situation, but now I felt trapped. I had to learn patience and perseverance and it was not easy, but it has made a better, healthier person of me. I used to say that PJ was my burden. Then he became my challenge. Now, he is my blessing. I say that he is a blessing because I have grown because of him. I’d thought that I was “grown” when he came along, but I had no idea how much growing I would have to do. I read somewhere that “God might not remove the irritation, but He will help you to grow past it. That’s how pearls are formed”.
I am in better shape at age 70+ than I was at age 50. I was contacted by Wayne State University to be a part of a research study on senior citizens. The study will take five years, and I had to pass the tests they gave me. You have to be over 70 and in good physical and mental health to be part of the study. I believe that if I had not endured autism all these years that I would not be as healthy as I am.
From this end of the autism spectrum, I can see that the Lord did make a way. It was not the way that I would have chosen, but we have to play the cards that we are dealt. I hope it doesn’t take you as long to grow up as it took me. Since “Inspired By Autism” came out, I have been talking to mothers of younger children with autism. I see that todays’ autism moms are strong and smart. You all are doing so much better than I was. Don’t forget what Heroes you really are.
Until next time; May you have comfort, support and love in your life.