A Mother’s Affirmation

It was an off-handed comment.  I just said it as I kissed her goodbye as she walked out the door to get on her bus for school.  Yesterday, both of Sarah’s pant legs were inside her socks.  What shocked me was Sarah heard me.  She was walking down the driveway, stopped and bent down and fixed her one pant leg.  When I said, “Oh, the other one, too!” she stopped and fixed the other pant leg.  I closed the door and couldn’t get over what I witnessed.  Sarah understands a lot more than I realize.

It is challenging.  It is convicting.

Later in the evening Sarah came up to hug me.  It is quite common for autistic children to shun physical contact (could be due to sensory issues), so I was thrilled to get a hug from my girl.  I remembered that morning and I whispered in her ear, “I love you, Sarah!  You are a kind girl.  You are smart, you are a good friend and I love your beautiful blue eyes.”

I felt Sarah breathe hard on my neck as she was soaking it all in.  When we broke our embrace the look on her face was one of mushy-gushy love.  She kissed me and I knew she understood.

As I lay in my bed last night, I thought more about the importance of me affirming not only Sarah, but all my children.  Then this smile came across my face as I realized my Mom did the same for me.  Yesterday, I met my mom for lunch.  She was in the area and it just worked out for us to meet.  I love my time with my Mom!  She is my sounding board and other than my beloved David, my biggest cheerleader.  She affirms me as a mom, as a wife and as a woman.  (She also corrects me when I need to be corrected and I appreciate that as well!)  Our time at lunch flew by and as I had to race to get Jack to take him to his orthodontist appointment, my Mom said, “Thanks for lunch.  I do love spending time with my girl.  It was the highlight of my day!”

No Mom….it was mine.

I Thessalonians 5:11a “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”

Great Reward

When Jim was younger, he loved birds of prey.  So much so, that we went to see the fall migration of these birds at Hawk Mountain Bird Sanctuary in Kempton, PA—twice!  We would climb Hawk Mountain and wait to see several raptors fly above our heads as they made their way south for the winter.  The things you do for love! 🙂  Actually, we never got to see a lot of birds (it rained the entire time both times), but we loved it all the same.  http://www.hawkmountain.org/

One visit, I went to the local grocery store to get food for our meals.  Our hotel room had a small refrigerator and microwave and we were making this trip on a tight budget.  While I was at the store, I saw a magazine showcasing a famous actress who had a child with autism.  Naturally, I was interested and bought the magazine.

As I sat in our little hotel room, which was quite tight with six people, I read the magazine article.  The actress spoke about her child’s condition and then she said something that hit me in stomach.   She said she prayed to God to heal her son and then she would tell everyone how she did it.

I read that sentence a couple of times.  Did I misread that?  God heals and she will tell everyone how she did it?  What?  She then talked about how well her son was doing; he truly was doing amazingly well.  All the things and therapies she was doing, we were doing, too, yet we didn’t have the ‘success story’.  We were just going tremendously in debt to pay for all of it.

I took the magazine and tossed it on the bed…well, I threw it across the bed and it hit the wall is more accurate.  I was so upset but I had nowhere to go in this little space. The only space available: the bathroom.  I told David I was going to take a shower.  As I took my shower, I sobbed about why couldn’t we have the “success story”?  Why can’t I have a “yes” to my prayers for Sarah’s healing?  I pleaded to the Lord that I loved Him and I am His child and yet why wasn’t He giving me the “yes” and healing Sarah like this actress’ son?

As I let the hot water pour on my head, in my brokenness and weariness this verse flooded my thoughts,

“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Genesis 15:1

I substituted my name for Abram and let those words, those promises sink in.  Don’t be afraid.  He is my shield; He is my great reward.  Sarah being healed is not my reward, He is.  And while in my mind, I thought Sarah’s healing is what I really wanted, I realized that it is not my prize, He is.   This life with Sarah is temporal (though sometimes it feels like eternity!) and my focus should not be on Sarah’s healing, but knowing Him more in the midst of it.  In heaven Sarah will be healed, but for now her condition causes me to fall on my knees to seek Him all the more!  I have nothing to fear because He is with me and goes before me as my shield.  How often have we known that He has protected us, gone before us, and provided us in tangible and intangible ways?

So while I don’t understand, I will walk closely behind Him (to have that shield be effective, I better be in close step behind Him!) and fixing my eye on Him…my very great reward.