Then there are those who choose to look past the wall. They climb up on that wall by any means necessary and peer down, demanding attention.
A few days ago I met with a couple of friends. One friend has been a constant in my life since elementary school. She and I are like two old souls. We can go weeks without seeing or speaking, but when we are together there is a peace. We have both lost children, creating a bond that will never end.
The other friend is a former co-worker who has always been a light in the darkness to me. These women know my life. They know my heartache, my worry, my unspoken pleas to God. They know that underneath this wall is a person who puts on a show every single day. They know me in a very intimate way.
I met these amazing women for lunch and we eagerly talked and caught up on our lives. One friend was in the process of moving and the other was telling us about her kids college endeavors. Autism was not discussed. Death of children was not discussed. Nothing horrible about any of our lives was spoken. We all have bad, you know. Sometimes we don't have to talk about the bad to feel understood...we just need to be with people who get it.
While catching up and trying to solve all the mysteries of the world I stopped talking and just sat there listening to my friend, Areda (the light in the darkness), speak. I have no idea how we even got on the topic of God and his plan...but when we did it was as if she and I were the only two people in that restaurant and she was speaking directly to me.
Her words, paraphrased:
"God knows the plan. No matter how hard life seems or what we go through, He knows. We are doing EXACTLY what we are supposed to be doing. You don't need a crystal ball to see what the future holds, and if you did..would you even want it? God sees and knows all. You are doing what He brought you here to do and you need to keep doing it! Life can be like a rocket ride. It is fast and scary but the destination is phenomenal. All you need to do is ride the rocket. Hold on tight and don't ever let go."
There came a point in the conversation when I knew she was speaking directly to me, about me.
When we said our goodbyes I cried all the way home. Not only for her words but for other things that happened in that hour with my friends. God spoke directly to me through one of the most cherished people I will ever know.
He told me that I was doing okay.
He told me that this was part of the plan.
He told me that he would keep me strong and brave.
I've had my God moments before. I've been down some dark paths with Him and when he speaks to me...it's big. This was no exception.
Special needs parents need encouragement, and lots of it. They need to be surrounded by confident, grounded people, who understand them. I left that restaurant feeling purposed. My faith has always been strong but honestly the last couple of years it has been difficult to juggle my faith while working hard to help my son on this autism journey. If only I had realized earlier that most of my problem came from trying to do it without Him.
It was in that moment with my friend that I knew Drake was going to be okay. No matter how autism affects him, he will be okay. I will be okay too. What a relief.
There is no therapy, medicine, doctor, or miracle that will change anything unless God allows it to happen. I believe this will all my heart. I may not know the plan, but the One who does will work it for my good. I only need to trust Him.
Thank you, Areda, for seeing through all the garbage. I love you, my friend.