Saturday, July 21, 2012

Continual Grief with Glimpses of Joy in Autism

I was at a conference listening to Nancy Guthrie speak, she is well known for her work on Grief Share. She was speaking about points of processing through grief. Grief Share is really help for the grieving process in the death of a loved one. However, I knew since I lived in a state of continual grief it would be helpful. And it was.

However, there is something permanent about death. It is something that changes you forever but it is a once and for all event. The sadness may linger but eventually people can learn to move forward. It is final. My problem is experiencing little deaths almost daily because of the disability of my daughter.

On the outside she looks perfect. You could not observe with the eye any obvious disability which makes this type of grieving a little harder because it is more lonely and isolated. Because of this I often find myself forgetting she has this brokenness. Then something happens and I remember. My heart aches and I long for our new home in Heaven and the fully abled resurrected bodies that will come with that. Come Lord Jesus.

My friend asked Mrs. Guthrie if they had any materials that addressed my issue of living a continual state of grief. I really do not think you can change this state. Every new action that shows the apparent brokenness strikes my heart with pain. And sadly there were no resources to address this kind of grief.

However, I have just started reading a book called Disability and the Gospel which so far has been insightful and helpful knowing I am not alone in this. Also, I am so thankful to God for giving us glimpses of joy. With the areas of challenge come areas of strength.

Today I got to experience the joy of seeing this. My daughter rejoiced in having autism. She said she was so glad because it was so cool. TODAY. But tomorrow new challenges will present itself. I will take today. I will take the little joys of the amazing abilities that she does have because of this. I will look at the good that will come and the joy of being constantly reminded of weakness and our need for the Savior.

I don't know if you are in this place or not of grieving quietly and continually. It is almost too much for a heart to take. Yet one day all things will be restored. Brokenness made whole. Grieving turned to joy. And until then we hold tight to God's promises in Christ. We will trust His perfect plan in allowing this life for her because He knows her best, He loves her most. That is how you walk with continual grief. You hope in the Risen Savior who loves you and is familiar with grief. Our hope is in HIM alone.

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