Monday, April 23, 2012

When life gets real...

Right now, as I sit with Abbey while she falls asleep, I've been thinking about today while listening to John Mayer's "Half of My Heart." If anyone who reads this isn't already aware, my daughter, Abbey, was diagnosed with Autism last fall, right around the time she turned 2.
We have been working with the local school district's early childhood education center, and Abbey has learned so much in 6 short months. Recently, the Autism specialist at school suggested to us that we take Abbey to another place in town, called The Village, who work with kids like Abbey (they offer other services as well), and after a few observations if Abbey, at school and at their center, Steph and I went to find out the results.
Now, a point of clarification here- Steph and I found out about Abbey's Autism through the school last fall. It's not like we didn't know what was in store. But we were hopeful that she would be high-functioning, or even borderline PDD-NOS (kids who show SOME but not ALL the Autism symptoms). Today, those dreams were dashed, as we were informed that Abbey shows all the symptoms of Autism (with the exception of eye contact).
For our family, it means that Abbey's chances of living a somewhat normal life go down substantially (statistically speaking).  To help put it in perspective, let me put it this way: Imagine not knowing what your child's future looks like. Not knowing what they will or won't be able to do. High School Graduation? Prom? College? Getting Married? Having a career? We just don't know. Obviously, we still cling to hope, and we look to the future, but the future is scary when you don't know what that will bring.
Obviously, it's something that Steph and I have known about, but The Village can give a medical diagnosis, which is a bigger deal than the one we got from the school. One isn't more accurate than the other, but the medical diagnosis is more formal. As we walked out of our meeting, I felt as if I had been stabbed. I felt the same way when the new CDC numbers for Autism came out. "1 in 88 children, 1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls," are the numbers I read. My first thought was: "seriously? 1 in 252" That stinks." As I have these experiences, I feel like I'm getting my heart broken all over again. I guess that's just normal for something like this.
And as Steph and I went to Target to look for a few things, "Half of My Heart," kept playing in my head: "Half of my heart's got a grip on the situation, half of my heart needs time..." Maybe it's far fetched. I don't care. But listening to this song in light of my daughter's Autism has actually helped a little bit.
To be honest, I don't really have a conclusion to this post (maybe that's a confession, I don't know).  But I do know that I love my little girl very much. Period.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday- A day of death and a day of life.

You know, this morning I got to thinking about today- how it's good Friday. I skimmed the lectionary texts on my iPod briefly as I was eating breakfast, and I was reminded of another verse in Paul's letter to the Colossian Church:
"Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.  But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips," (Colossians 3:5-8, NIV 1984).

Today, when we read the story of Jesus death on the Cross, and as he cries out to God "It is finished," our sin is covered. Jesus died an earthly death to pay for the sins of humanity. Jesus has died- and now we must wait patiently for Sunday to encounter the resurrection story.
But shouldn't we recognize today as a day of death?
Shouldn't we, too, declare today a day to "put our sin to death?" and experience the forgiveness of sins he so freely offers us as we wait for his resurrection story this Sunday?

Grace and Peace,