By Kathia Diaz
“May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace as you trust him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
It’s February 19, 2012 as I sat in the church pew during our worship time with the Lord, I see the family sitting themselves in the pew just in front of me. I’ve seen them before; the husband sits down with his two sons a 14 year old and a 12 year old. His wife is in the choir and as always joins them after worship. I’m always full of joy when I see the family. Their 12 year old has special needs. I enjoy watching him praise God through his worship and seeing his excitement escalade and clearly visible through his body reactions. I don’t mind seeing him stim. I can relate to the family because my own son, Kyle, has special needs, he’s autistic. Today was different.
Today I saw the love of God through a 12 year old boy who happens to have a disability.
As I watched him worship and lift up his hands I can see how the Lord was pouring his love to him. But something was different today. As a lady in the choir began to sing I saw how his eyes just watched her. He would then turn to his dad and smile. He would then rock or jump with joy. I wondered at his excitement and I smiled at my husband. We both were thinking the same: how lovely the boy is. Then a few minutes after choir finished his mom sat down and I knew why he had so much excitement: his mother was in the altar praising God. She was praising God and this boy who has a special need was enjoying every moment of it. But the most things that really touched me was his older brother’s love towards him. He was always looking for moments to love on his brother. And today was clearly big brother’s day. After a handshake shared amongst the brothers, the 12 year old boy patted the older brother on the head and gave him a kiss. He continued doing this during the Word. I was overwhelmed with love and just could not keep the tears in. They weren’t tears of sadness, they were tears of love and hope and most of all peace. I know that in the midst of special needs the Lord is there giving his love and care. And this is what brings me comfort. Oh how my questions got answered in such a way that I did not expect.
Through this 12 year old boy the Lord spoke to me.
He told me how I can see pass my son’s disability and see the greatness that HE has for my son. There’s so much to see in my little boy and if I just sit and observe him the Lord with reveal to me the same like this boy I was observing. We struggle with our son at times. He’s high functioning autistic and we have lots of challenges especially in the social aspect. In the past week my son was moved from his PPCD (Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities) class into a class that is for autistic children with behavior struggles. I cried to see my son going a step back and again I questioned God this past week. Why oh why Lord am I here again? Why is this happening to us again? But now I see that my son’s autism is a struggle against a giant.
Kyle’s giant is AUTISM. He has speech difficulties, repetitive movements, but most severe is his social skills. Kyle does not like being around kids and can get pretty violent. The enemy will use this to destroy my joy, peace, and hope only if I let him. I have to accept that God has a greater purpose for my son regardless of his disability. It’s not easy to accept when the world is slapping a diagnosis in your face.
But my son is a child of God and HE will provide everything that is needed for my son. Kyle is a son of the King of Kings. Kyle has come a long way since his diagnosis when he was 26 months. He went from severe autism to high functioning autism in just 20 months. I thank all the therapist and teacher and my family for their support and help with my son to get him where he is today. But the single greatest resource responsible for Kyle’s improvement is God. I thank God for my boy, Kyle. I thank God for everything I’ve learned and am learning through Kyle. I thank God for the miracles I see in Kyle every single day. The greatest blessings are behind the biggest giants. With God’s help, giants will fall. God can work through anyone, even those with disabilities. He can take them far beyond what we might expect for them. Empowered by God, they can make a difference in the lives of others, just like this 12 year old boy made a difference in me today.
I believe it because my son is worth it. It’s all about faith, hope, and love. But the greatest is LOVE. And remember to Just Breathe today!!!
1.) Do you feel that the responsibility of caring for a child with special needs is more than you can endure?
2.) Can you trust God to give you joy, peace, and hope amidst your struggles with your special needs child?
3.) Can you take 3 minutes in your day and see the love of God pour out of your child?