Below are Jessica's thoughts on Chapter 15 of The Power of A Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian. Please keep in mind that what we all learn from a study is usually different. We would love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well. Please share in the comment section below this post.
I have often been inspired by some of the most fascinating stories about individuals with autism who have areas of giftedness. Often, these gifts are what enables them to overcome their autism and succeed in ways they never could have imagined. Temple Grandin immediately came to mind when I read this chapter. I also have a friend whose autistic son is extremely gifted in music.
As I've mentioned previously, I have two sons, ages 6 (with autism) and 9 (with ADHD). I feel like I am still "discovering" what their gifts and talents are. This chapter was a good reminder for me to pray about and be on the lookout for whatever these gifts and talents might be. My older son has shown some precursors to athletic ability in soccer and innovation in art. He has also enjoyed playing in his school orchestra last year. He also struggles with tremendous anxiety and is prone to give up easily or lose interest quickly. My husband and I agree that his well being is most important and are doing our best to not pressure him in any one direction. This chapter helped me to see that we are the ones who need direction. I will be more mindful to first thank God for this wonderful child in whom He's placed special gifts and talents and then ask for guidance to help him develop and grow in those gifts. My younger son is the one who has autism. While he definitely has some real areas of strength (especially relative to his areas of need), we have not seen any savant-like qualities or areas of exceptional giftedness. This does not mean that he is lacking his God-given gifts and talents.
On page 113, Stormie writes,
"What gifts and talents has God planted in your child? Every child has them. They are there, whether you can see them or not. the Bible says, 'Each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that' (1 Corinthians 7:7). Sometimes it takes prayer to uncover them."(Stormie Omartian, The Power of A Praying Parent)
I try to remain thankful for and to view every step forward of progress as a precious gift from God. Whatever gifts my children have, I pray that I my eyes will be opened to see, and and that I will follow God's lead in nurturing them.
Thank you for all of our precious and wonderful children. Thank you for all of the special gifts and talents that you have placed in each and every one of them. Give us the discernment, wisdom and knowledge we need to recognize and develop these gifts as You would have us do. Give us a true and heartfelt appreciation for what you have placed in our children. Cover our children with your divine favor, so that these gifts can continue to flourish in spite of the obstacles they face. With your help, we believe that our children can and will overcome the difficulties of autism through the development of these gifts and talents. We ask this in the name of Your Son, our Lord, Jesus.