Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
I am thankful for my son's journey.
I am thankful for how God has used little ol' me to help my son.
I am thankful God chose me to be Charlie's mom and help him in life through all his struggles and great achievements.
I am thankful that God shows me weekly how the smallest accomplishments can be so greatly celebrated.
Let me say, I am not saying it is a walk in the park. It is not simple. It can be heart-wrenching and scary. It can feel so overwhelming. It can be soul searching. Sometimes the progress being made by my son is slow and tedious. Sometimes it takes a step back, maybe even a few steps back. I keep looking to Christ for guidance and help every single day.
My son is now 15 1/2 and as we are longer on this autism journey I have more and more HOPE. It is not as much about how he is doing, but where he has come from. If I only look to the future I start to feel fear (just being honest), but if I only look back I see much progress. It may seem small to others of the steps my son has taken, but they are huge to us.
He has learned to ride a bike (age 12).
He has learned to go to the bathroom on his own (age 6).
He has learned to cook some things in the microwave (age 14).
He can now bathe himself (age 11).
He can read and comprehend (age 10).
I could go on and on, but on some days this list becomes secondary when I think of all the things that he should be doing by now on his own. That is the overwhelming part.
A few weeks ago he achieved something that I wasn't sure he could ever do. He passed all the tests to get his driver's permit. I was so proud of him. This was a day I was so grateful that he was able to achieve. He sat and answered all of the clerk's questions as his palms dripped with sweat. He was nervous and would look to me for the answers or confirmation of his answers. He did great! The clerk was very patient with him. It may take us years for him to ready for his real license but that is ok. We have all the time in the world.
God has given me HOPE over and over again as I watch my Charlie work so hard through his struggles and anxieties. I see daily how hard things can be for him. He is verbal, but when he struggles the words don't come out as easily and he will give up saying, "oh forget it!"
I have continued HOPE for progress. Hope that Jesus will keep carrying both of us through this journey. He uses ALL things for His glory, not my glory. He wants us to show others how God's grace, power, strength, courage, and patience will help us with anything. We need to lean on Him. Will you choose to have HOPE?