We made cookies today. Because, well, what else are we supposed to do when it’s -12 degrees outside?! (I’m anti-winter by the way.)
It always sounds, in my head, like a simple and fun idea. Because I don’t factor in the clash of personalities that happens when our kids do anything together that requires cooperation. The sharing of space alone can be enough to turn the dining room into a mini war zone. But the smiles are worth it. And, if it ends in tears, hey…at least there are cookies.
It shouldn’t be so shocking to me, how different my children are from one another. I live and breathe them and yet the contrast between them still catches me off guard. The depth of who they are daily points me to God’s care as Creator. His fatherly love for us becomes more clear as I take the time to stop and look at the intricate details of my kids’ personalities. To think that the Creator of the universe hand-crafted each of us individually…”amazing” doesn’t do it justice. So, why did it feel like everything came crashing down around me when we found out that one of our children had Autism?
Because, in our fallen world, different is only embraced under certain circumstances.
On my worst days as a special needs parent, I lend a lot of my thoughts to worry…What does her future look like? How will others treat her? When they mistreat her, how will it affect her heart? Will I have the right words when that time comes? Do I treat her differently? She must feel so alone sometimes…do I make her feel alone? Will I be able to make her understand that she is perfect just the way she is?
So much of my life could be wasted away worrying about her being accepted by the outside world…or so much of my life could be spent praying about it. I have to make the choice to daily lay my worry down in exchange for the freedom to cherish her differences. To cherish the differences in all of my children.
I don’t always make this choice. In fact, if I’m being honest, I haven’t made this choice very often lately. Thankfully, one of the blessings Autism has brought us is the ability (necessity, actually) to live life moment-by-moment. Because sometimes it takes a moment-by-moment act of faith to trust that, in a situation that is totally out of my control, God is in control. We are held by a God who has the power to calm our storm. The power to reveal the true beauty and purpose in our differences.
I don’t want cookie cutter kids! I want kids who think for themselves, in their own unique ways. I want kids to aren’t afraid to be who they are, regardless of what anyone else may think. I want kids who share what’s on their hearts, without fear of judgment. I want kids who love those around them without seeing limitations or differences as negative. And I want a world for them that loves them back…Because they’re different, not in spite of it.
***All Photos Copyright of Amy Felix Photography***