Thursday was an incredible day. I rustled my kids to life before the sun came up to travel to Kansas City. On our to-do list: Izaiah's official autism dx and a visit to a tourist trap. Packing all of the necessary travel items was as tedious as getting everyone clean, dressed, and fed; but thankfully, after the hectic morning-rush, we enjoyed a pleasant drive.
After the early doctor appointment, we happily left to ooh and awe at the Sea-Life Aquarium Exhibit at Crown Center. The low-lighted maze of aquatic tunnels gurgled and 'bloop-blooped' with comforting underwater noises. We were engulfed by the tranquility of graceful, southern rays ribboning around us. Overhead, sleek sharks sliced through waters containing hundreds of species of floating marine life.
My oldest autist could have established residence here for the next couple of weeks, sucking up and storing information. But the cries of my younger autist let us know he did not like the echoes of the tunnel, or the mess of strangers standing in 'his' space. Ashi and I discussed the situation, exchanged compromises, then headed for the parking garage.
|Izaiah getting a closer look|
Somehow, in my attempt to leave the city, I managed to get us lost in Missouri. Desperate for help, I neared panic mode as I couldn't seem to find a neighborhood free of tattoo-parlors or liquor stores. An hour passed. My kids were (still) absorbed by i Pad and immersed in The Wiggles, but I was in a frantic, nail-biting search for one safe person who could offer directions. Thankfully, I found a crossing guard who offered some guidance. I'd never felt so relieved to find Interstate 70!
|Izaiah touching starfish|
Backing up to Izaiah's appointment that day, I have to say it was almost uneventful. Being my 2nd time around, I'm uber sensitive to the signs and signals of autism. I already knew what the outcome would be, I wasn't surprised in the slightest.
|Starfish, Urchins, Shrimp|
|More gorgeous sea creatures|
I am keenly aware of the bizarre moments in my life when I feel ready to pack it all in and suddenly a story I read or a person will breathe new life into me, reassuring me that I am firmly on the right path and to keep on trucking. I'd had several of these moments that day. One was the reassuring doctor who refreshed and infused my spirit. A second moment was when the crossing guard gave me safe guidance. Another was at the Sealife Exhibit. Seeing my son struggle with his sensory issues and seeing my daughter able to cope with hers. A clear vision of the work to be done and the progress we will make.
Encouragement from God's Word: The irony was not lost on me that navigating the map of autism has seemed to be easier than navigating our return trip home! Being lost in an unknown city made me feel confused and defeated, even broken-hearted. For awhile I even felt the situation was impossible and I desperately needed direction. No matter what is difficult in your life, 1 Cor. 14:33 tells us that God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. Even in the midst of what appears to be totally confusing to us, if we rely on Him, we can be still and he will guide us through it.
2 Cor 4:8-9 addresses that feeling of defeat by reminding us that when our life's focus is on Christ, "even though we are troubled, we are not distressed, we are perplexed, but not in despair. We may be persecuted but we are not forsaken, cast down, but not destroyed."
Psalm 35:18-19 tells us that the Lord is close to those that are broken-hearted or crushed in spirit. "Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivereth him out of them all."
Psalm 35:22 says that none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate.
Luke 18:27, Jesus said, "the things which are impossible with men are possible with God."
Is it easy to just cast all of our cares onto the Lord? It's hard at first, but it gets easier with time. God graciously gives us all the practice we could ever want or need when he rains the blessings of autism on our homes, that is for sure!
Annie Eskeldson writes for parents of young autistic children. She provides therapy for her own kids and is a homeschooler as well. She currently has 3 published children's books about Autism that also nurture parents. You can find out more at www.ashisgift.com or at Ashi's Gift Blog at www.ashisgift.blogspot.com