(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 21, My behavior may be wrong, but it's not my fault Wilderness Mentality #6 of Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well. Feel free to leave a comment, question and/or scripture in the comment section below this post. Let's join together and fight this battle.)
Do you ever find yourself using autism as a reason for not doing what God needs you to do? I know that's a pretty bold question but really stop and think if you do. Autism is not easy and is definitely a struggle for not only our children but for us as well. So, I'm not saying that autism is an excuse. What I am saying is that I believe that sometimes we can all be guilty of using it as a reason for not doing what God needs us to do out of fear. Think back to Chapter 21 where Joyce lists the "if's" and let's think of it more in our world....
If only my child didn't have autism, then I'd volunteer more.
If only my child would go outside and play with the other children, then I would tell my neighbors more about Christ.
If only autism didn't financially drain us, then I would tithe to the church more.
If only my child wouldn't have autism, then I'd spend more time with my husband.
If autism wasn't so hard, then I'd have the energy to take care of myself and exercise.
If only my child would have a good day today, then I could go spread the word about autism and how others can help.
Joyce also takes us to the "but's" as well. This is when we see where God wants us, BUT we find something there that we feel is too big for us to handle.
I know I should take the time to meet other families with autism, BUT what if they don't like me.
I know I need to take the time to really play and connect with my child, BUT it seems too hard and my child doesn't seem to like to play with me.
I know my child will talk one day, BUT what if he doesn't.
Joyce tells us on page 240....'If' and 'but' are two of the most deceptive words that Satan ever plants in our heads. Satan knows that if he can cause doubt in our heads, we will be to frightened to move. If he can keep us from reaching out to other parents, keep us from tithing to our church, keep us from spending quality time with our spouses, then he can keep us in the Wilderness. Joyce reminds us that we need to keep our eyes on God and not on our problems or potential problems. One of the reasons our problems defeat us is because we think they are bigger than God. (p. 240 Joyce Meyer) Is it? Is autism bigger than God? I can tell you very quickly that it's not. Nothing is too big for God. He can handle and will handle everything. We just have to face the truth about ourselves. Joyce called this our inner self. On page 241, Joyce writes...God desires truth "in the inner being". That means that if we want to receive God's blessings, we must be honest with Him about ourselves and our sins. We do this through confession. God already knows everything about us. He just wants us to come to him, confess, ask for forgiveness and move forward. It's so easy for us to do however it's one of the most difficult things for us to do as well. We have to remember what Joyce says on page 242....God is quick to forgive us if we truly repent, but we cannot truly repent if we will not face and acknowledge the truth about what we have done. Joyce continues on page 243...Satan wants to keep things hidden in darkness, but the Holy Spirit wants to bring them into the light and deal with them, so you and I can be truly and genuinely free. Jesus said it was truth that would set us free. (John 8:32)
I believe the more honest we are with God, the more we seek his guidance, help and wisdom, the happier and more peaceful our lives will be. We have a choice to continue on in this mindset of letting autism hold not only our children back, but us back as well or we can fully trust in God to help our children and us through autism. We do this by listening to not only what therapies, treatments, supplements that God may want us to do but also where else he needs us to be. Who he needs us to reach out to. We have to remember that this life is so minute compared to eternity. God has a much bigger plan in place and we need to be certain we are doing our parts in helping out. We start by revealing the truth inside of us, confessing to God, accepting his forgiveness and then hearing where and what he wants us to do next. Please know that I am not by any means saying that autism is not difficult. I know how difficult it is. In fact, today was one of those very difficult days for us in our home. However, I believe our attitudes and faith in God will make these days so much easier. I could have very easily said...if only Sean didn't have a so many behaviors today, then I could write in this blog. I could have also said...I know I need to write my post today BUT I'm scared no one is going to like. I could blame autism and believe me I am just as guilty at times for doing so.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that this kind of Wilderness Mentality is so easy to fall into and so hard to get out of. I know it's kept me in the Wilderness much longer than I should have been. God has a plan for us. We need to try our hardest to listen to the Holy Spirit and do what we need to do to get out of the Wilderness as quickly as possible.
I love what Joyce writes on page 244 and I'm going to close this post with it...
You don't have to spend forty years wandering in the wilderness. Or if you have already spend forty years or more out there because you didn't know that "wilderness mentalities" were keeping you there, today can be your day of decision. Ask God to start showing you the truth about yourself. When He does, hang on! It won't be easy, but remember, He has promised, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' Hebrews 13:5"
Thank you for teaching us how to come to you to find the truth about ourselves. I pray that you show each and every one of us the truth of our inner beings and that we embrace this truth and move forward.
In Your Name we pray,
Then, you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free. -John 8:32