Today’s guest post comes from Ruth at Connecting One Piece at a Time. She is a pastor’s wife and mother of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome. If you are blessed by her story, please check out her blog and read more!
I joined a club a few years ago. I didn’t want to join. If you are reading this, you might belong to the same club. You are a mom of a child with an autism spectrum diagnosis. This was different than the other “sororities” I belong. I’m a wife and mom. Each of these groups has lots of members. I’m a pastor’s wife. It’s a smaller community but one that causes immediate camaraderie. I gladly joined each of these groups, but autism, I joined because there was no choice.
My son, Isaac, took me into this world that at times seemed more than I bargained. At age 8, he was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. I didn’t know what to do. God knew what I needed and He was there walking every step of the way with our family.
I could tell you about all the ups and downs of life but today I want to share some joys ten years after the initial diagnosis. My son is doing well. He will graduate from a Christian High School this year and go to a local community college next fall. He’s been involved with ministries at our church. All the things that Isaac has overcome, could take days to describe. As I write this, tears come to my eyes. We are a blessed family. One of my husband’s favorite songs is Laura Story’s, “Blessings” which says:
What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy?
What if trials of this life
The rains, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise?
Trials, oh yes. It was tough. But let me share some mercies in disguise.
First of all, both of our daughters provided respite for many families. Our oldest daughter has worked in Christian ministries that serve at risk children and youth ever since college graduation. They also have volunteered in our church special needs ministry. They have great understanding of how to work with children who march to the beat of a different drum.
My husband has given leadership and vision to our local church and our denomination to develop disability ministries. Our church has made special needs ministry a priority. Isaac has influenced our lives which has influenced so many families who have found our church through our special needs ministries. They are able to come to church as a family and each member can hear God’s Word, worship and fellowship with other believers.
When I started this journey there were no discipleship, parenting, or marriage enrichment programs for the Christian dealing with special needs. As I have walked this path, God has stretched me to trust Him day by day. So what now? A new calling … yes! I desire to walk with families on the tough road of disability. It’s a lonely road … a very lonely road, at times. It is club that no parent wants to join. Though this can be a difficult, God works and blesses through this path. I know it … I’ve experienced His blessing.