One year ago today…
One year ago today, Jonah couldn’t form an original thought. Everything he said was a repetition of something he’d heard before.
One year ago today, Jonah wasn’t able to look people in the eye when they spoke to him.
One year ago today, Jonah was having six or seven daily meltdowns because he couldn’t transition between activities.
One year ago today, Jonah had no interest or awareness of others. He was locked in his own little world.
One year ago today, Jonah could not tell me he loved me and I wondered if I would ever hear those words from him.
One year ago today, Jonah was diagnosed with autism. And one year ago today, my world fell apart.
I can still remember sitting at the kitchen table, crying with Peter. I can still feel the desperation and the fear.
But thankfully, our story doesn’t end in desperation and fear.
One year ago today, I cried out to the Lord. I begged for mercy and healing and redemption and grace.
And God was so faithful to hear my cries. Whether He chooses to grant us our requests or He has different plans for our lives, He is still faithful. And I’ve learned over the past year, that the Holy Spirit knows exactly where we are. What we feel. What we fear.
Throughout 2013, I participated in a scripture memory challenge where I had to memorize two scriptures every month. The Holy Spirit led me to so many of these scriptures that I probably would not have chosen on my own. Here are just a few:
“I will remember the deeds of The Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.”
“Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember The Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your home.”
“The Lord replied, ‘I will personally go with you, and I will give you rest – everything will be fine for you.'”
“Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.”
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.”
Even before we knew that Jonah had autism, God knew. He knew about Jonah’s diagnosis and He knew that I would need reassurance. He knew that I would need to be reminded of how He had been faithful to me in the past. He knew I would need encouragement to fight for Jonah. He knew that I would need to be reminded that God fights for me. That He is always with me. He knew I would need to remember that God is good. He led me to those scriptures because He knew I would need them.
Even before I knew I would need them, He knew.
Today, Jonah can carry on short conversations.
Today, Jonah looks people in the eyes when he speaks.
Today, Jonah has six or seven meltdowns a week instead of six or seven meltdowns a day.
Today, Jonah loves to play with other children.
Today, Jonah tells me he loves me.
Today, Jonah is being healed.
Our sweet Jonah still has a long way to go, but he has come so far. He has improved in ways that I never thought possible. And honestly, I don’t know why God chose to answer my prayers in the way I wanted. I don’t know why He is healing Jonah when so many other children need healing. It’s not because I’m more faithful than other parents. Because I’m not. It’s not because our family deserves healing, because we don’t. It’s not because God loves me more than He loves others, because He doesn’t.
Maybe He’s healing Jonah so that we can share our story with others. Maybe He’s healing Jonah to remind us all, to remind me, that He is the Great Physician. That His love is miraculous. That He is merciful. Whatever His reason, I want to be found faithful in bringing Him the honor and glory. Sometimes I am just completely overwhelmed by God. By His mercy, by His grace, by His love.
One year ago today, I thought God had forgotten Jonah. Had forgotten me.
Today, I think God has big plans for Jonah.
One year ago today… May I never forget…