For the past five days, our son, Ben, has been visiting us. His diagnosis on the Autism spectrum makes change a challenge. This trip counts as his second visit to our new apartment home in Huntsville. Ben usually fills his time with eating, sleeping and trips to Walmart. However, Huntsville is a new frontier for him with new things to see and do. His usual hesitancy about doing anything out of the norm was replaced with a willingness to explore his new environment…nothing short of answered prayer.
Ben was excited about a trip we had scheduled to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. It was a miracle that he did not get bogged down in the gift shop just inside the entrance of the center. Ben was not interested in the written information displayed on exhibits throughout the buildings. His interests were strictly visual and there was so much to see!
On the second pass by the rock wall, Ben paused and said he wanted to give it a try. Two very patient, kind Space Camp workers helped make this happen. Once he was in the harness, Ben shot up the wall with ease, his dad and I encouraging him every bit of the way. Ben was so very proud of himself and the accomplishment. My heart was full because he had overcome his fear to enjoy a new experience which seldom occurs.
As we prepared to leave, Ben was combing the gift shop for a t-shirt when he had a seizure, probably due to overstimulation during our time there. As usual, people stare as we explain we have the situation under control. Ben has been having seizures since he was eighteen months old. On the outside we look calm and collected as we handle the few minutes involved, which seem like twenty, but on the inside our hearts break every time.
Ben’s life limited by autism and seizures has been the object of our prayers and the prayers of countless prayer warriors. We have prayed for mental progress, for healing from seizures, for a less combative personality. Praise God the seizures have lessened, but the medications that bring that control also affect his mental acuity and impulsivity.
Doing the 29 years of Ben’s life, my emotions have ranged from anger with God, to deep despair, and now, finally, faith in God for every aspect of Ben’s life. But I am human. This doesn’t mean I have no grief and “mama’ pain in my heart, because I do. But God is sovereign, Ben is His child and He has a hope and a future for him. (Jer. 29:11) It is my job to trust and have faith in this plan.
My life experience is not unique. Each of you reading this most likely has an area in your life of pain and struggle that affects you daily, probably even more profoundly that Ben’s problems affect me. God is there for you in the very best and more importantly the very worst of times. He sees your heart, knows your needs, and provides strength for every situation you face. The choice is whether you continue to focus on the situation or on God and His power to carry you through it. When your thoughts center on Christ and His promises, you will find it easier in the even ifs to say it is well with my soul. Please turn to Him, seek His face and hold tightly His hand. Enjoy this powerful song! To God Be the Glory!