The day God chose me for Charlie
Psalm 139: 13-14
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
I remember early on before autism came in our world we had a beautiful daughter who did everything that she should and it was all on time. She talked, walked, and was social just the way it should be happening. Then my son Charlie entered the world beautifully (except for a little jaundice). It all looked ok. Just a month later he would be hospitalized for several days, then months later he would be there again. He seemed to be always sick in some way. He would have rashes, fevers, and shortness of breathe episodes back and forth. Then came the diagnosis of autism just days before he was 3.
Let me go back a little bit now about me. I grew up in a divorced household that brought varying stressors and things that a little girl shouldn't have experienced. I lived in fear constantly and worry. In fact, I had ulcers at 8 to show you how difficult it was. I was trying to survive in such a dysfunctional journey. I quietly was hurting, never wanting to burden anyone, just trying to make it all ok. As the teen years came (looking back now) I started to feel more insecure and the fear increased. I was able to go to college and finish even though that time was very difficult at times too. My dad in my freshman year had a few strokes and some other things were hard to walk through. The beautiful part of college was that I met my husband there and we were married just a month after I graduated. When I met my husband it all started to change for the better. I met someone who loved me unconditionally, that I felt safe with, and my life was starting to feel normal. On the inside, the fear kept creeping in. I still felt insecure. Just after a year, we were married my husband was diagnosed with cancer and they told us it was likely that we wouldn't be able to have our own children. Well God had other plans. Just about 4 years later our daughter was born. Then Charlie came 6 years after that.
I tell you all that brief history to say that when autism came in our lives I told God, "You need to find another mother for Charlie. I am a complete mess. I can't help him. He needs someone who has it all together. He needs someone who can truly help him. I am not strong enough Lord. I can't do it. I want a better mom for my boy." I prayed that exact prayer in June 2004. Just shortly after that, someone came up to me while I was raw with emotion trying to figure out even what this autism was and she said, "this autism will be such a blessing in your life!" I remember thinking how dare she say such a thing. This is horrible, this is not a good thing. Those words just kept going back and forth in my head. I kept also thinking about how I am not equipped to help my son.
About a year later, YES a year later,
I realized that God actually chose me for Charlie.
He handpicked me for Charlie.
He thought I was the best mom for Charlie.
When I realized that my whole outlook changed. I felt honored, humbled and equipped instead of sad and not enough. God is still working on me 13 years after the diagnosis to be the mom that God chose me to be. I feel so blessed to be given Charlie, no matter the struggles we have both been through.
You see I have Christ that walks with me every single day to be a great mom. I could try the hardest ever and it would never be enough, but with Christ by my side guiding and directing me every step of the way it is amazing. I talk to Him every day. I thank Him. I ask for help and strength daily. I praise Him for how he has used autism to change my outlook on life and to appreciate everything more. Charlie has made me a better mom, a better friend, and a better principal. He has grown me like nothing else in my life (including my past). I am grateful that God chose me specifically to me his mom and that I will always be thankful and humbled. God chose YOU too! He chose you specifically to be your child's mother. He is crazy about you and loves you so much!