Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Reach up and trust in Him

(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 1 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!)

Wow...what a great week of reading. Chapter 1 of Just Enough Light for the Step I'm On by Stormie Omartian was so empowering to me.

Brief re-cap...

In Chapter 1, Stormie Omartian explains the importance of walking with God. Trusting Him in our lives no matter how dark they may seem. She even paints this incredible picture of literally raising up your hand and holding his hand. Chapter 1 also reminds us of Abraham and how he had to walk in faith. Stormie put in a wonderful verse pertaining to Abraham that really touched me. "...he went out, not knowing where he was going." This just spoke volumes to me. Abraham didn't know what was ahead of him. But he did know to trust in God. Which made me ask myself, how can I walk like Abraham and fully trust where God is taking us with autism?

As I'm reading this chapter, a song kept popping in my head. I couldn't stop singing it.

Jesus Take The Wheel by Carrie Underwood

Jesus take the wheel (God, I can't control autism as much as I think I can...)

Take it from my hands (I don't know what to do next, please help me...)

Cause I can't do this on my own (I'm scared about what it will be like in the future...)

I'm letting go (I'm reaching out for you and will do what you need for me to do...)

So give me one chance (I promise I'll take a hold of your hand and hold on...)

To save me from this road I'm on (When I try to do this on my own, I struggle more and more...)

Jesus take the wheel (I trust in you Jesus. Whatever you need for me to do with my life, you're in control.)

Too often I'm praying for a healing but never taking the time to listen for what He needs for me to do during this time. I'm not walking with God through autism. I'm trying to do it by myself. I spend countless hours worrying....worrying what supplements we haven't tried, worrying if we should try a new therapy, worrying if my son is ever going to be healed. Am I not praying right? I go to church. What else can I do? This chapter has shown me that I'm not walking with God through all of this. I'm doing it on my own. Sure I pray about things. God, please let him stop scripting. God, should we try this new supplement. But, then guess what I do? I don't wait for His answer. I make my own decisions and fly with it. Then after I've done this for as long as I can, I crash. I give up.

I believe that what God wants us to do is reach up our hands to Him before we even get on that rope! Grab hold of His hands and listen to where He needs for us to go. Listen to what He needs for us to do. He'll place the right things and people into our lives to help our children. He wants the best for us and will provide us with all of our needs. But we need to trust in Him. Trust in Him that no matter how dark autism may seem, there is a greater purpose in this. Trust in Him that even when we feel like no good has come out of our day, that blessings are right around the corner. God wants to bless us. He loves us. But how can He bless us if we're not ready to receive?
Today, I encourage you all to join me. Let's reach up our hands, grab His hand, try to never let go, and trust in Him every day with our children. I'm going to trust in God every day that my son has autism. Whether it's a month. A year. Or the rest of his life. I trust that there is something so much bigger to this than we can see. I'll keep providing him with every thing he needs. I'll keep researching the therapies, supplements and diets. I'll pray about all of this and see which direction He needs for us to walk. I'm going to grab his hand and never let go.

Dear Lord,
I thank you so much for allowing us all to find each other, lean on each other and lift each other up. Lord, I reach out my hand to you today. I trust in you. I trust that no matter how rough of a day it is, there's a greater purpose. I trust that you will show me the way to go. I pray that you keep us all desiring to walk with you as we continue this difficult journey through autism. Lord, I lift up every mom reading this entry right now that needs your strength, needs to feel your love and needs to hold your hand. We trust in You. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.


Jessica said...

Nicole, I was able to relate so much to all of these thoughts. I find that I'm better if I remain focused on one piece of our puzzle at a time (the one He is shedding the light on) and get so overwhelmed and easily discouraged if I put myself in the position of needing to solve everything right now. My human nature inclines me to do this, but with God to lead me it doesn't have to be this way and I am so grateful. Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful prayer at the end also, no doubt it will bless us all.

It's funny one of the things I thought of when I read this chapter is The Shack by William P. Young. Stormie contrasts the differences in how we teach our children to walk and how God wants us to walk with him. We teach our children with the goal of independence and He teaches us with the goal of increasing dependence. I have a bit of a psychology background and my first thoughts were more along the lines of personality disorders, co-dependency, etc. but God really wants this to be our freedom. At one point in The Shack, God shares with Mack (the main character) that true freedom is not in our own independence but in fully and completely trusting in the goodness of God. Then we don't feel the need to be God in every area of our lives and can be free of worry and anxiety. We can be at peace and hear God's still, small voice leading the way.

For some reason, this really helped me understand this point alot better and helps me to reconcile things that I don't understand or know the ending to.

Chrissy said...

Nicole, thank you for sharing your thoughts. This is an important lesson for all of us.

I'd like to add one thing. I think many of us perceive asking for help as a sign of weakness. I am guilty of this myself. The fact is, asking for help when you need it is a sign of strength and wisdom. May we all remember that as we continue our journeys along the spectrum.

Sherri said...

I am enjoying reading all of these comments. I check in daily for a moment but I haven't had time to sit down yet and post my thoughts. I have to run out to church tonight. We have a special Maundy Thursday service. I'm hoping to come back and spend some time sharing my thoughts on the first chapter.

Nicole Collins said...

See...I love this! I got so much more out of this one chapter by reading what everyone else has written. Sherri, I look forward to reading yours as well!

Jessica said...

Chrissy- thanks for adding that it is a sign of strength and wisdom to ask for help. I needed to hear that! I have a hard time doing this too, but it really does open doors for us.

Sherri- so glad you are enjoying this! Please do share your thoughts also! :)

Nianya said...

I waited for my book all day today and grabbed it to read the first chapter as soon as it arrived.

I have always been a very independent person, even after I married dh; even after we had our first child, now 13, despite her early illnesses and terrible twos, threes etc...(which we now know were ASD related).

Then along came ds, IVF, premature, multiple health problems, you name it. I asked god for a second child and he gave me ds.

Still I tried to remain independent, through all ds' early health issues until he was hospitalized at 18 mos. with croup right after I had major oral surgery.

I hit rock bottom the seoncd night in the hospital having had no sleep in 48 hrs and refusing to let dh stay instead. I struggled to hold my tiny child in my arms while he struggled to breathe.

At that point, God took my hand by force and never let go.

With 2 autistic kids, I rarely take more than 1 step forward without 2 steps back and I can't see the path ahead of me, but I can deal with each puzzle piece, one at a time.


Nicole Collins said...

I agree...taking one piece at a time seems like I can do this. It's when I try to look at everything and figure it all out at one time that I feel so overwhelmed.
Thanks for the reminder!

Jessica said...

Nianya-thanks so much for sharing this. We have been dealing multiple health problems with my younger son for three years and I am learning more and more to take every step with God too. It really helped me to see your thoughts on this, thanks again.

Lovesgarlic said...


I just wanted to let people know I am here! I have read the chapter and just haven't gotten a moment to compose my thoughts on it. I am going to try and grab a quiet moment tonight and write something down.

Thanks for all the thoughts!


Sherri said...

Okay, I have a few moments before I have to run out again. I am personally coming out of a recent place of hopelessness. I hit rock bottom in February and fell into a major depression. There were definitely a combination of things that contributed to my crash, financial issues, marital issues, Joshua's autism, etc. I felt like the weight of the world was bearing down. I felt so lost. With support and help of my friends and really good meds ;), I've come out of that place of darkness. This book is perfect for me right now. I may be out of the darkness but I'm still not strong spiritually.

The passage that spoke most to me was page 13 "...I had been crying out for love, acceptance, purpose, fulfillment, peace, and joy, and that these things could only be found in one place."

My mind knows this to be true. The problem I have is how do I apply this to my life to make it a reality for me. I feel like I reach out to God and constantly fall and stumble. I know that I need to trust in God wholeheartedly and let him lead the way but I don't know how to do it 100%.

Speaking of songs, (btw, Jesus hold the wheel has been in my head all week), the song that comes to mind for me is Jars of Clay, Two Hands. I feel like I'm constantly pulling God closer while pushing him away. It's an awesome song if you haven't heard it yet. Anyways, that's all I got for now. Looking forward to reading more.

Jessica said...

Sherri-thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts on this chapter. It is clear to me that you are a very brave soul. I love how Stormie's struggle paints the picture of so many of our lives. I just heard "Two Hands" for the first time the other day and it really made me think of how I do this too.

Nicole Collins said...

I think it's great that you realize that you stumble and fall and then you still get up and reach out for God. I do the same thing. I pray about things, give it to God and then take it back and worry for a while, pray again, give it God, it's like a vicious cycle. That's where I am right now...trusting Him 100% of the time and not taking it back.
By the way, love Jars of Clay!

Nicole Collins said...

Sorry...I meant to say....

"trying to trust God 100% of the time." I wish I could be at that place where I can just let it go and trust in Him. It will happen.

Lovesgarlic said...

Hi Ladies,

I too really struggle with how dark it can be in dealing with autism (and all of the other life stresses piled on top). Sherri covered it well: finances, marriage, illness, autism, exhaustion.

The visual of holding on to Jesus' hand is a good one. It is helping me to finally get my mind around the idea that He is with me, experiencing this all with me. Oddly enough as well, it is helping me separate the darkness from the sorrow, if that makes sense. That the sorrow is there and changes as I grieve. But the darkness and despair is pushed back away from me. I never realized before that they were different things - darkness/despair and sorrow.


Jessica said...

Heather-I love what you shared about holding on to Jesus' hand through this and how it helps you separate the darkness from the sorrow. I never thought of it that way before either and it makes alot of sense to me-I commented about your observation under Chapter 2 also because I thought it fit in well with that chapter too-thanks for sharing this!