(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 21 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, 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.)
Is it just me or did the past 21 weeks just fly by? I can't believe this is our last chapter study of Just Enough Light for the Step I'm On. I don't know about you guys but I've gotten a lot out of this study. I'd like to take this week's post to share with you the main things that I'll take with me from this study.
But first, a very brief re-cap of Chapter 21....
In Chapter 21 of Just Enough Light for the Step I'm On, Stormie sums up the entire book by encouraging us to trust in God. Her two key points that I love that she makes in this chapter are....."We must never consider our future without first asking God to be in charge of it. And once we do that, we are to leave it in His hands and not lose sleep over it." (page 172) "God is not asking you to have your whole future figured out. He is asking you to trust that He has your future planned." (page 174) Stormie ends the book brilliantly with "You don't have to have your life all figured out; you only have to take one step at a time. God will give you just enough light for the step you're on, and every time you put your hand in His, you'll know you've got a solid hold on your future." (page 175)
I know there is a lot more to us than just being a mom to a child with autism. We have other stumbles in our lives, other storms to fight and other prayers to God that don't have to do with autism. However, if you're like me every thing goes right back to "autism". I can't help it. Every sermon I hear at church helps me with what we're going through at that moment with our son. Every Christian song I hear on the radio....autism. The other day, a Hannah Montana song even reminded me of our struggles with autism. (I know I know, Hannah Montana. But please don't laugh. My son who has been infatuated with Blues Clues has finally broadened his TV shows to Hannah Montana. I can't believe I'm actually going to post lyrics to a Miley Cyrus song but it really touched me. Here are a few of the lyrics from "The Climb")
I can almost see it
That dream I'm dreaming but
There's a voice inside my head sayin,
You'll never reach it,
Every step I'm taking,
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking but I
Got to keep trying
Got to keep my head held high
There's always going to be another mountain
I'm always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes I'm gonna to have to lose,
Ain't about how fast I get there,
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb
I think about my journey with autism. I think back to almost four years ago when my son received his diagnosis. I just wanted to get him over the mountain. I didn't care how quickly we got there. I pushed through. I researched therapies. We tried supplements. We saw numerous amounts of doctors. The other day I found a picture of my son when he was three. (Just after his diagnosis.) His cute little chubby cheeks. The funny things he did back then. For a brief moment, I ached to go back three years and just hold him and play with him. This was all during a time of his regression. But I wanted to be back in that moment because I feel like I missed out on truly enjoying who he is because I wanted to get over this mountain.
Stormie has taught me so much in the past 21 weeks. I'd like to share with you my top three things that has changed my life from her book. (I encourage to share yours as well in the comments section below.)
1. I need to pray and give God all of my dreams including the one of my son being healed from autism. (Chapter 11 Surrending Your Dreams)
" 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' " Jeremiah 29:11
2. Just because my prayers are not answered in my timing, doesn't mean they won't be answered. (Chapter 14 Believing It's Not Over til It's Over This is the chapter where Stormie gives us the wonderful examples of how God used Noah, Sarah Moses and Abraham later in their lives and how their dreams where answered.)
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven”-Ecclesiastes 3:1
3. I need to take slow down, enjoy life now and take life one step at a time. Whether it's something in my past or future, I need to concentrate on the step I'm on and only look a few steps ahead. While I'm taking these steps through autism, I need to trust in God that He has a wonderful life for me and enjoy what He's given me. (Chapter 20 Maintaing A Passion for The Present & Chapter 21 Moving Into Your Future)
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."Hebrews 11:1
I'd also like to take this time to thank you Jessica for all of your posts. I've gotten so much out of each of your thoughts and feelings on your chapters. I know I may not have commented each week, however, please know that each of your entries was exactly what I needed to read at exactly the right time. I feel so lucky to have done this study with all of you. Thanks for your comments, thanks for reading each week and thanks for your prayers. Thanks to Stormie for a wonderful book and for teaching us all how to find "Just Enough Light for the Step I'm On."
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."Philippians 4:13
(As a side note, next week we will post information on our next study which will begin Wednesday September 16, 2009.)