It’s Autism Awareness Month, but that doesn’t mean much to you. You’re aware of autism every day. All too aware. It’s a constant source of stress, even as your heart overflows with love for this child who fills you with pride and makes you want to tear your hair out, by turns.
I’ve seen you sitting by yourself on park day, feeling out of place. While the other kids are laughing and playing on the playground, your child is wandering around solo, which breaks your heart, or he keeps wandering back to you, making it almost impossible to carry on a conversation with the other moms. You rarely try anymore.
Some days you know homeschooling is the best option for your child. The one-on-one instruction, opportunity for sensory breaks during the day, and chance to work on social skills in controlled, safe environments are critical for your child’s success and progress. Other days you question yourself, wondering if you’re really the best teacher for your child, tempted by the big yellow bus and the respite it would give you for several hours each day.
You are not alone. For every minute you’ve spent crying in the shower because you feel like you just can’t go on, for every cup of coffee you’ve had trying to summon the energy to make it through the day, for every bedtime battle you’ve survived while fighting your own need to get some sleep, there are other moms out there who have matched you second for second. For every prayer you’ve prayed for provision for your family, there are other parents who have cried out to God too—in desperation, begging Him for help and for physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and financial relief.
I’m one of those parents. I often feel like I’m on the outside looking in, like no one understands me or my child. I get tired. I doubt myself and feel desperate. I cry in the shower, sobbing my fatigue and grief to the only One who really understands, the only One with the power to do something, begging Him for help for whatever crisis we find ourselves in.
Dear mom homeschooling a child with autism, please don’t walk this journey alone. You are not alone. Cling to God with every fiber of your being. He loves you, and He saves every tear in a bottle. He is faithful. He will never leave you or forsake you. He will see you through this long, lonely season. He will provide for you and for your precious child.
Your spiritual life is critical, but you need people too. Find support through online forums, local autism support groups, play dates with the mom you always chat with in the waiting room at therapy. Don’t do this alone.
You are loved, and you do not have to walk this journey alone. Walk in that awareness this month and every month!
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35, 37-39 (NLT)
What verses do you cling to during the dark times? Where do you find much-needed fellowship and support?
Jennifer Janes lives in Arkansas with her husband and two daughters, one of whom has special needs. She spends her days homeschooling, reading her Bible, praying, sharing good books with the kids, and writing in blue ink. You can connect with her on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Google +. She also shares on Pinterest and Instagram.