Be Patient… Right Now!

I’m the type of person who identifies a problem and tries to map out a plan to solve it. I suppose this ability has played out best in the context of my job. Oftentimes on a project I can see where I need to begin and define where I’d like to end up, and then I can envision the steps I need to take to arrive at the finish line. The path isn’t always perfectly smooth, but if sheer passion, hard work and determination will get me there, I’ll push through and go after results. What do I need to DO, I ask myself, to get the best possible outcome? And then, I want to get to it and get it done.

Since dealing with my son’s autism, this type of drive has both helped me and hurt me. It’s helped me to push through for an early diagnosis, research and find the best therapy treatment, go after the biomedical help he needs, and implement tough diets that will improve his functioning. I’ve devoured the latest research and knowledge on the subject–book after book, article after article. We’re headed to an Autism One conference next week to get even more information straight from cutting-edge researchers. Then, on a spiritual level, I’ve tried to read and understand how I can stand on God’s promises, pray and believe for a miracle or healing, give first so it would be given back to us. Again, what can I DO? No matter how exhausting, I’ll do it for the sake of my family. For my precious son.

There’s an adrenaline that comes with doing. It can make you feel like you’re making progress and I think that it can even chemically lift your spirits for a time. But then there’s the down side of being a doer, and it can mess you up. It’s when you hit the proverbial red light. The waiting room. The miles in the wilderness. The fruit that’s budding but far from being ripe. The train that halts traffic. The unexpected flat tire. And the thing that’s hardest for this doer, is that when it comes to Josiah’s autism, I can’t see the finish line.

I don’t know how long it will seem this hard. There’s no map that tells me that if I follow it that I will really arrive where I’m hoping to. I can’t make Josiah’s body and mind respond by using the formula that if I do X, then Y is proven to happen. Herein enters what I believe are two of the hardest requirements of a journey that affects body, mind and soul: faith and patience.

It’s not that I have a hard time BELIEVING that God will somehow work this out, and that all of the things we’re putting in place will no doubt make a difference in Josiah’s outcome eventually. And I’m sure that through this our characters will grow, and we’ll be strong, compassionate people who have endured and will purpose to help others because of what we’ve experienced. We’ll look back some day and see how far we’ve come and reflect on the naivity of our youth.

But today, I’m hopelessly impatient. I want to wake up tomorrow morning and for everything to be okay. I want Josiah to be making such mind-blowing progress that they can’t keep up with the programs at school because he’s just breezing through them. I want a windfall of development that is an unmistakable leap forward. I want everything in my life that’s laying in pieces on the floor to be restored. I want my son to go to prom, go to college, have a family with out the restrictions that autism would try to place on him.

Why can’t I let myself be content with slow and steady? I’m good at doing. It’s what I do. I’m not so good at just resting and trusting that God is working even while it appears that I’m in a waiting period. I’m not so good at celebrating the little victories because I can feel overwhelmed by what’s left to accomplish. All I can say is God, help me to be more patient and teach me how to be content while I wait…right now. Thanks.

Be humble under God’s powerful hand so he will lift you up when the right time comes. Give all your worries to him, because he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

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One Response

  1. oh my my dear sweet friend and cousin, I so wish I could offer something to lighten the weight you are carrying right now. I finally made my way over to visit your blogs, and I love your writing and adore the pictures of Josiah. What a little doll baby.

    I wish we lived closer to share coffee or hard liquor………I love you so much my friend, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers daily.

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