(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 17 of Just Enough Light For The Step I'm On. Please know that what we all learn in a study is usually different. Therefore, we ask, if you feel like it, please leave what you got out of the reading as well. We're sure you'll lift someone's spirit.)
Chapter 17 Walking in the Midst of the Overwhelming
I don't know about you girls but the words "overwhelming" and "autism" go hand in hand. Some days I feel like I'm barely treading water. While other days I feel like I'm a champion swimmer who has this all under control. It's funny how on the days I'm that champion swimmer...those are the days I give to God. Those are the moments I totally trust Him with and do not stress over. The days where I feel I'm going under? I'm trying to do it on my own.
In Chapter 17, Stormie gives us an example of trusting God in an overwhelming circumstance...an earthquake. She talks about how everything is shaking and roaring around her. Stormie then tells us how before she was walking with the Lord, she was terrified during these earthquakes. Once she started walking with the Lord, she was still scared but then she felt God with her. After I read this, my mind immediately went to autism like it usually does after I read something. I started thinking about autism and when it gets overwhelming. I know autism is challenging, hard and down right draining at times. But after I read this I thought about the moments in autism that are so overwhelming you can literally feel everything falling to pieces around you. You worry about your child's future. You worry what you haven't done what could be healing your child. You worry about what their life is going to be like. You worry about your marriage, finances, family...What if we don't do this? What if we don't have that? Like the earthquakes, autism is rocking our world so hard we can feel our world trembling and falling to pieces. So why don't we do like Stormie says on page 147 "when we set our anchor in the Lord, we will not be carried away by the storms that threaten to overtake us." How do we do this? How do we take Stormie's advice and not be so overwhelmed in fear of what autism is bringing to the table? We do just what Stormie says she did at 3am one morning....pray. I agree with what Stormie says on page 148 "any sign of fear should always be a call to prayer." Instead of being totally scared and fearful about something, pray and give it to God. I also love how Stormie says on page 148 "don't ignore your fear, but refuse to be controlled by it. Sometimes the enemy of your soul will come upon you and in a moment show you everything you could possibly fear. When that barrage happens, don't listen to any of it. Tune out his lies and tune in to God's Word. Ask the Lord to speak to you, and He will tell you the truth." In other words, when the enemy is telling us our children will never be healed, when the enemy is putting very fearful thoughts into our heads about our children's future, we need to pray and ask God to show us the truth.
I want to back up for a moment and go back to page 147 in Chapter 17. In the middle of the page, Stormie talks about how being fearful is not a sign that you are out of God's Will, that He is not there with you or that you are not spiritually strong enough. I am so glad she included this in her book. Sometimes when I get scared I mean really scared about something, my first thought is where are You God, what have I done wrong? I just love how Stormie keeps hitting the point of "it may be a signal from the Lord to pray."
I've always been the type of person to pray when I'm thankful and to pray when I need something. Now, I'm going to strive to be that person who prays when I'm fearful, overwhelmed and scared. God will take the worry, fear and doubt out of my day so that I can concentrate on what's really important, helping my son and the living the life like God wants me to.
Thank you so much for this wonderful chapter in reminding us to give you all our worries. Thank you for helping us through these storms of life and for walking through this world of autism with us. We know that you are with us and we give you our worries, our fears and all of our moments when we feel overwhelmed.
In Your name we pray,
Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Cast your anxieties on him, for he cares for you.
- 1 Peter 5:7
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
- Revelation 21:4
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
- John 16:33
The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything.
- Philippians 4:5-6