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5 steps to changing the world

on March 2, 2015

Today, my heart hurts.

Special needs families – special needs Moms – do a lot of hurting, sure. There’s a lot to face, a lot to overcome, and a lot to mourn. But as time progresses, it becomes very clear that there is also a lot to celebrate. For instance, that first time your child calls you “mommy” and means it…well, there’s no greater joy in that moment, and you tend to *live* for the chance to hear your maternal “name” being called out again by your little sweetheart. It is especially sweet in a case like mine; my son didn’t call me “Mommy” until he was probably 4 years old. (Ah, a story for another day…)

My point today is that my heart hurts like it hasn’t in a really long time. People who have been in this “boat” for a long time often remind you to pace yourself when it comes to rejoicing the good in progress. It always seemed so skeptical to me, so presumptuous when some other Autism Mom would give me the proverbial “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch” comment. It felt rude, even a little unfeeling at the time. I never understood why they felt the need to burst anyone’s bubble about overcoming triumphs!

But I understand now that their intention was not to “burst my bubble,” or rob me of my joy in a moment when my son was achieving a long-desired goal.  Their desire, their drive, came from a place in their own guarded hearts, which had been broken again and again by achievements and milestones first gained by their own children and then, sadly, lost again for a time. It took me a long time to realize that these women were not trying to be bitter or jealous of me; they were simply trying to prepare me to guard my heart against the dreaded “2 steps forward, 3 steps back” moniker that is pretty much guaranteed to occur regularly in the lifelong journey of an autistic child.

Essentially, their purpose was the exact opposite of what I had thought…these other, wiser, Moms were trying to prepare me to withstand the depression that threatens to overwhelm a young, hopeful, optimistic heart.  And so, with my best interests in mind, these caring people did their best to bring me back down to earth, with the intention of sparing me the amount of pain that had saturated their own hearts when dreams and love did not “conquer all.”

I appreciate these Moms (and Dads!) because their guidance has been vital in learning important steps I needed to take to help my son. And they were right! I had hard lessons to be learned and so many tears to be cried because I thought one particular milestone had been “conquered”…but yeah, that’s not always the way it works.

Still, I am not one of these moms. These women (and men) are strong, wise, formidable and unmoving… but I am not one of these moms.  Now, I thank the Lord God on high for these types of ladies/men, because we NEED their perspective (especially early on)…I will just simply never quite be one of them.  Why, you ask? Because I still believe in miracles. I still believe in love, God, the goodness in the world, and the fact that, though my son is categorized as “different,” he is so much more than he appears.

I believe there is a reason my son is the way he is. I believe he was sent here to change my life. I believe he was sent here to change YOUR life, and so many of those around us. I believe that, together, we can change the world.

Am I, therefore, a wimp? A pushover? Do I sit back and just hope and pray that God will “cure” my boy? No way, man. I am firm, I am determined, and if I believe my son is being wronged or misunderstood,  you better back up off me at that point because my Mama Bear personality comes out… (No really, I get a little scary). I am fighter for my cause…but I am *not* pessimistic.

Confused? Let me give you the details of my crazy heart mixed with my crazy mind…

I believe in love. I believe that good will triumph over evil in every end. I believe that “different” is NOT a bad word, but a NEW way to look at the world. I believe that our nice, comfortable, tunnel-vision belief systems need to be shaken up a bit. I think people need to know *why* they believe in something, and that the reason in which that belief system is rooted should *never* be based on simply accepting what a parent or other authority figure told you to do.

I believe in the good in people. I believe that, no matter what someone does to me, I have the capacity to forgive, because *I* have been GRACIOUSLY forgiven.

I believe that 1 person can change the world, just by *being* in it.

And I believe that 2 + 3 = 5. Sometimes the first 2 steps to making the world a better place may result in 3 steps backward. You want to know why?  Forward or backward, it’s still 5 steps toward changing the world.


One response to “5 steps to changing the world

  1. kassie says:

    Love the last paragraph.

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