There are times when I laugh so hard, I snort. I try to hold it in, because it certainly isn’t ladylike, but I just can’t help it.
Yesterday was one of those days.
We had some plumbing issues. To fix it we needed to cut open our bedroom’s closet wall to gain access to the pipes in our shower, which meant that we had to clear out everything on my side of the closet. This exposed a weakness of mine, I keep anything and everything that our kids did or made. If a project at school or at church had my child’s handprints on it, I saved it.
David nicely, sweetly, gently encouraged me to purge some things from my four drawer cart that I keep all the kids keepsakes; one drawer for each kid. But, as I went through the drawers it brought back a flood of memories.
One of the keepsakes I found was from Kendall sharing her strengths when she was in elementary school. It listed out 28 things she thought she was good at. It started out fine: “I’m good at baking, school, making people laugh…” But, then she said things that really did make me laugh: “I’m good at watching TV, thinking, eating food.”
Then I read the next one on the list and the snort laugh came out…
“I’m good at breathing.”
She sure is! She doesn’t even have to think about it! (Though, ‘thinking’ is a strength of hers!) She is that good at it!!
At my work we have been going through our strengths to see how God made us and how we can be more effective as a team. I have found this fascinating as I see how God has made me. While I have done personality tests before, this test, I feel, was spot on about how I am wired. It was a confirmation to me about my college degree, why I like to work with certain personalities and why I love and feel called to work at a church.
Yet, on this Autism journey, I feel like in my humanness I am weak. People have said to me, “God gave you Sarah because He knows you can handle a special needs child; I know I couldn’t.”
While I know that is compliment, I don’t feel like I am strong. There are days that I feel like in my own power, I am very, very weak.
It reminds me of a very low point on this journey. I had had it. The weariness and weight of life, the constant screaming of Sarah, her poop smearing on walls, the financial burden of the cost of her care all became too much. I was walking into the living room and heard a crash in the kitchen. I knew Sarah had gotten into something. (It turned out she swiped plastic cups and plates off the counter unto the floor.)
“Really?” My heart sank, tears welled up in my eyes as I sighed and started to drag myself into the kitchen to see what she had done.
Just then my knee buckled from my weariness and I thought I was going to fall. I felt someone behind me, catching me, picking me up from under my arms and putting me back on my feet. I quickly turned around to see who was behind me, but I was by myself. I will never forget that moment. It truly was,
“…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
“For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
That day will ever be on my heart as a reminder that Christ is my best strength over anything I face! I don’t need a personality test to know that. He continues to infuse me with His strength and remind me He is always there!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Philippians 4:13