an overwhelmed girl's story to finding rest when her son has autism

I spent most of my professional career before having children working with children who have special needs in the public and private school sectors. So when I saw the warning signs of my own child having Autism, I thought I was more than prepared. 

I know that the Lord put the jobs and trainings and experiences in my path before I had my son in order to prepare me for the hard times ahead. I saw other parents in support groups struggling to understand what all the different letters in a diagnosis meant or how to implement strategies they had never heard of, and I just felt so blessed to be able to help them and not have those struggles in my own journey.

But sometimes I still felt like the father who brings his son to Christ in Mark asking for a miracle cure for his son’s struggles. “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:23-24 KJV). I knew the Lord was guiding my path, but I still felt like I shouldn’t have to carry these heavy burdens, and I still struggled with my faith.

 As I searched the scriptures for comfort and guidance, I came across another verse: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 KJV). As I prayed the following weeks, I thought I could just hand my struggles off to the Lord and not have to deal with them anymore. I wanted my rest. I wanted a light burden. I sat back and waited for my miracle.

And a miracle happened, but it was not the one I was expecting. The miracle is that the Lord opened my eyes to the meaning behind those scriptures. I learned that coming unto Christ and taking His yoke upon us does not mean that we don’t have burdens anymore. It means when we follow Christ and we trust in His plan for us, our burdens don’t feel so heavy because we are no longer carrying them alone. When we work as hard as we can, but then trust the Lord will carry what is overwhelming for us, He does. When we decide that the Lord knows better than we do about what is best in our lives, then we can live joyfully.

I still get sad and long for different struggles or “easier” burdens. Somedays I see other parents with their children in the store with no sensory meltdowns and choke back tears. Sometimes I see other children having meaningful conversations with their parents and my heart aches. I still stumble in my faith some days, but I know that as I continually turn to the Lord, He will make me into a more marvelous person than the one I had planned. And I know he loves my son so much more than I even do, and He has a plan for him as well.

I know that He can do this for you as well. What burden have you been praying to have lifted in your life? How can you submit your will to the Lord’s more fully and trust in his plan and timing for your life? How can you exercise more faith in his love for you? Answering those questions is what will bring you peace and joy in the midst of struggles. 

Mary Winfield is a writer/blogger at Growing As They Grow where she blogs about raising a child with special needs and homeschooling. Her mission is to help other parents who are struggling with special needs parenting and/or homeschooling to find a safe community to rest their burdens for a while. She believes that learning and struggling and celebrating together is the only way to make it through the trials we have in our lives. You can hang out with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Keela HopeComment