Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Following the True Light

(Below are Jessica's thoughts on Chapter 2 of Just Enough Light for the Step I'm On. Please know that what we all learn from a study is usually different. Therefore we ask that if you feel like it, please share in the comments section what you got out of the reading as well. We're sure you'll lift someone's spirit!)

Beginning to See the Light was a great follow-up to chapter one and really made a lot of sense to me, especially with all the competing interests pulling at me as being the best way to help my son with autism.

Brief recap…

In Chapter 2, Stormie compares the many sources of light in our lives that offer hope in our struggles but reminds us that there is only one true light that will never go out. That light comes from God. God’s light can brighten any darkness and can never be put out. Stormie give us the example of the darkness that King David went through in his life through immoral choices and bad relationships. God continued to illuminate David’s path, even in his state of darkness. God never allowed David to be destroyed because David always knew that God was the true light. Realizing that God is the one true light, how can I make sure that I am not misled by another source?

Throughout this chapter there are many comparisons of darkness and light. Though it is easy to see in our minds that light is God and darkness will lead us astray, it is not always so easy to call this in everyday life.

We experience emotions and situations that put us in a state of darkness when we are told that our child has autism. That darkness is made worse when others tell us there is no hope for our children. We desperately want to come out of that darkness and are especially vulnerable at this time. I remember feeling like someone had dropped me in the middle of the most confusing maze as I tried to figure out how to secure the right school setting, combination of therapists, doctors and other specialists. I didn’t want to miss the “one thing” that could be the missing link and felt compelled to learn as much as I could about all possible sources of help. To complicate this further, there is so much sadness and pain that it feels impossible to put one foot in front of the other.

I really like what Stormie says on page 23, “We will encounter people who fancy themselves to be our savior and want us to follow their light. But God does not have us follow a light. He has us follow Him. And He becomes our light.” I do think it is good to be well-informed and even better to have choices for our children. I believe that God wants to light our path as we find our way out of the darkness. We need to consult with Him, meditate on His words and find peace knowing that His light will guide us. Sometimes it takes a lot of faith to keep moving where God wants us to go when we can’t see the end result.

I also want to add that we have God to turn to for comfort in our sadness and despair. He wants to heal our hearts and fill us with His love so that we have the strength we need to face our challenges. He is our unfailing friend. It comforts me to know that when I stumble I can still regain my footing and find my way again because God’s light is always there. I am also greatly encouraged as I find my way in the darkness by other moms I meet who also shine God’s light on me with the compassion, insight and wisdom that their experiences have given them through autism.

Scripture verses:

“The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.”
-John 1:0

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
-John 8:12

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”
-John 12:46


Chrissy said...

This is a great post. You've tied this lesson in perfectly with what we are all struggling with as autism moms. Thanks!

Nicole Collins said...

Thanks so much for the encouraging words. I find myself too often jumping from supplement to supplement, therapy to therapy, biomed treatment to biomed treatment. But I don't feel like I'm truly following His light because I'm not taking the time to pray about it. It's so ironic how you wrote this post. I was in the panic stage of "what am I not doing?" and as soon as I find something i'm not doing I do it before I even pray about it. Thanks for showing me to stop and look for His light in all of this and not my own.

Lovesgarlic said...

This is a good post - I like what you wrote about following God's light with regard to navigating everything. We have found this to be true every time. When we stop, pray and then wait, only going forward with the thing/idea/doctor the He presents, it is right every time. I feel like we are being led through a desert when this happens. It is miraculous.

I wish I could say the same for my own feelings and sorrow over autism. That has been much harder to navigate. No books to read or endless hours searching on Google to loose myself in! Only recently, after struggling with this for two years, have I started to get a hold of the idea that God's presence with me can provide comfort.

My biggest struggle (still is in fact) is accepting what God has for me and letting go of my expectations. I thought for a long time that God would/should comfort me in a certain way. Or I should be feeling deep peace. Or perfect love. All of those christian catch-phrases that would make the deep sorrow go away! Instead, I am finding that God wants to just be with me in the sorrow - and that his presence provides comfort intermingled with the pain.

Sigh. What happened to easy-breezy Christianity? (smile).


Jessica said...

I have to remind myself to take the time to pray and wait until I have peace from God before I proceed with decisions regarding Matthew. (I usually don't automatically do this on my own) Fear of not doing enough or missing out on a breakthrough can definitely make me try things that are new too. I can always tell a difference when I take the time to bring God into my decisions and when I don't.

Heather-thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. It definitely is a miraculous thing when God opens doors for you and leads you in ways you couldn't find on your own. I'm encouraged to hear your take on this too. About the emotions, I like what you posted under Chapter 1 about letting God walk with you in your darkest moments. I definitely "get" what you mean about there being a difference between darkness and sorrow. I totally agree that letting Him walk with you doesn't keep you from feeling the sorrow but does bring you out of darkness-that's a really great way of putting it. I hadn't thought of it that way and can really appreciate this.