I learned to give up my goals and dreams of serving God as a missionary full time on a foreign field and embrace the full time mission field ministering to my children and other special needs parents. I learned to give up the anticipation of my son hitting his normal childhood milestones and instead celebrate the small things like not having a melt down in a community outing or appropriate use of coping skills when upset about a non-preferred directive. I learned to accept that I can't enjoy the pre-teen years when your child becomes more independent while not needing constant supervision but that I can love on my son in more tangible ways and still have him be okay with mom rather than be embarrassed by her. I learned to accept that I can't relax and spend more time doing various hobbies like my friends but enjoy the satisfaction that I am doing all that I can to make my son's life just a little bit easier. I learned to give up the dream of seeing my son participate in team events and celebrate the successes of having a positive social interaction that only required a small amount of adult intervention. I learned to accept his Autism diagnosis and all of the other diagnoses that have been added throughout the years and embrace the unique and perfect way in which God made my son. I accepted all of this and gave it all to God along the way. That's enough, isn't it?
Sadly, over the last 2 months of many set backs and discouraging battles, as the few rays of hope have started to diminish, God had to uncover yet another thing I needed to give up: my son's future: his spiritual walk, the outcome of his teen years and progression into adulthood, his happiness, his struggles.
The last 3 years, I have worked relentlessly to make my son's future and development as successful as possible. I've stayed current with all of the latest research, behavioral interventions, and natural solutions to give him the best future possible. We have made so much progress and paved the way for the best outcome possible. I even got to the point that I once again had a glimmer of hope that he could even get married some day.
Then, it all came crashing down! Puberty raised its evil head wrecking havoc on his body and causing many hardships and setbacks just as the doctors had predicted. We coasted through the beginning thinking we were going to skip our way past the foreboding warnings of the doctors. It looks like we won't be so lucky after all.
As my son struggles to maintain control of all circumstances in his life even if it means fighting his way into more and more consequences and lost opportunities, I am struggling to give up the control of my son's future. As he was formed in my womb, God had his days numbered and his course set. I can't control how God gets a hold of his hurting and fragile heart. I can't control whether his teen years are easy or frighteningly difficult. I have no control because I am not God. This has become a frightening reality to me the last couple of weeks. It is so hard to give up control. To sit back and let God be God and do as He sees fit in my son's life and heart. It's not that I don't trust God and His sovereignty. It's the fear of HOW God will accomplish His purposes. My son has already had so many hurdles to cross, and I don't want to see him struggle anymore. God doesn't promise that life will be easy but that He will work all things for good. That has to be enough.
Once again, I find myself learning and battling to let go. Just as I have let go of the other things, I have to do that with my son's future. It's just a whole lot harder than I had expected. Abraham had to give up all control of his son Isaac's life and be willing to sacrifice him in obedience to God. Hannah gave up control of her son Samuel's life to give him to the ministry in the temple. Mary had to give up all control of her son Jesus' life and let him to his Heavenly Father's work even if it meant going to the cross. It's time I learn to follow in their footsteps and give up all control of my son's life and his future. It won't be easy, but it is necessary. Once I do, the rays of light will break through again because the only place for my son to be is in the good hands of the Shepherd of my son's heart. If I can do that, it won't be all doom and gloom, right?