I get a lot of undeserved credit. Because I am so transparent with our battles with autism and the insanity that comes with advocating for The Captain, people tell me they have no idea how I do it. I often remind them that they would do the exact same thing in my shoes. This is just the battle we were placed in.
This morning I was reading my devotion for special needs parents, and God let me do a passage on abilities. Yesterday, we received some test scores that are supposed to measure The Captain's abilities, but I know they don't tell the whole story. I assumed that God wanted me to study and read what HE has to say about my boy's abilities. He had a different reminder for me.
Instead, God wanted to talk to me today about my abilities. See, like every parent out there worth a grain of salt, I have moments when I don't feel like I am measuring up. Or, I have moments where the weight of measuring up feels like more than I can bear. Sometimes I think the number one sign of the best parents out there is just how often they question if they are even good at this parenting thing.
I fight a lot of battles for my kid, just like most parents, especially special needs parents. Every day is a new fight for rights, understanding, medication, therapy, advocacy, and acceptance. Let alone the internal fights of living with different issues day to day.
So for the ones who have no idea how I do this, I want to tell you how I fight my battles. Plus, this is how you can fight your battles, too.
[Isa 40:30-31 NASB20] Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up [with] wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
I get tired. I get real tired. Even the strongest and most capable people have a limit. It is when that limit is hit that I (and you) can tap into the reserve tank. The good stuff. The real tank. Think of it as watching Fast and the Furious (any of them...because good grief they made too many....I digress) When it looks like the race can't possibly be won with my factory settings, I can hit the nitro. Yes, I just compared to the strength that comes from God to a nitrous oxide button....When Isaiah was written they didn't have Vin Diesel, so wings like eagles had to suffice.
[Eph 2:9 NASB20] not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
I can't do this on my own, and that is a humbling realization to come to. I have said before, I would have been an awesome neurotypical mom. I would have done all the pinteresty things and I would have nailed it, all by myself. God knew I knew it, too. He also knew that I could do so much more than have all the perfect birthday party favors made. He knew that with him, I could handle the challenges that don't require a new pinterest board, but only with Him. Without God, I would just be a mess of "what-ifs" and "should have beens". When I reach the end of my ability, God takes over, and that is when a calling is answered. I was called to be an autism mom, and I am qualified to do it only because God fills in my gaps.
[Phl 4:7 NASB20] And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
And ya know what? When I remember that, I have peace. Correction: when my flesh becomes a spazz and the Holy Spirit calms me down with that truth, I have peace. I have access to peace in the storm, because the One who controls the storm is always with me. This kind of peace doesn't make sense to the world. This kind of strength and advocacy doesn't make sense to the world. It is beyond comprehension, and results in statements like, "I don't know how you do it." I can do it because my heart and mind is guarded by Christ, and that is the only reason I can. Not my own ability, my own determination, and certainly not my own strength and knowledge. Let us all remember I dropped my special education dual major in college because I didn't want to teach special education when I graduated. Like I said to a friend just yesterday, we tell God our plans and He laughs...then gives us exceedingly and abundantly more than we ever thought possible with our little "plans". (Ephesians 3:20)
[1Pe 3:15 NASB20] but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always [being] ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect;
So, here I am, ready to give an answer to the statement I have heard countless times. How do I do this? Because I have a strength that is beyond my abilities. I have peace that transcends understanding. I have hope because I know God's promises are yes and amen (2 Corinthians 1:20) and He doesn't make mistakes. I have all this, and God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:28, 34–35). That means you can have it too.
[Mat 28:20 NASB20] teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
In every situation, in every season, in every place...Jesus is with us always. He is just waiting for you to invite Him in on the journey so that He can show you that this life is so much more than what you expected it to be.
[Psa 120:1 NASB20] I cried to the LORD in my trouble, And He answered me.
I have cried a great many tears throughout the last eleven years on behalf of The Captain, the vast majority of those tears in the last three months. When I cry out, the tears are not in vain. God hears my cries, and He answers me. He answers me with the strength I need for that moment and the faith to know there is more where that came from.
That is how I do this. This is how I fight my battles.