Today is Autism Awareness Day. And if I were to pick a topic about Autism, in which I would like to build awareness on, it would be the immense need of genuine Christian support for the entire family effected by Autism.
Personally speaking, I can see how the stressors that go along with Autism can tear families apart, drive a wedge between a husband and a wife, and can create feelings of bitterness, resentfulness, and guilty feelings in siblings. Please don’t judge me but there are so many days I fail to find anything beautiful about Autism. I try my hardest not to have myself or anyone else define or label my son by that of what he lives with, but rather to see the beautiful soul that God created him to be.
We need help and we need hope. For me, I no longer place my hope in a possible cure for Fragile X or Autism. It’s a part of our lives that will never go away. It’s a harsh reality that enables me to continue to ask for help and support from those around me, because I know that I can NOT handle this alone. God is my real hope and he has the answers in his word that I can apply to my family life to help us endure and live as best we can. He gave me Jesus and his Spirit lives in me so that I don’t have to endure alone and I know I can call on him to help me love my husband, my boys, and myself the way we need to be loved.
So how can you help? Are you able to adopt a family with Autism? What resources and gifts did God give you that you can give to others in need? Can you provide much need respite care? Can you provide a home cooked meal? Do you have children that have friends with a sibling with Autism that you can invite over for a fun day away? Can you offer your friendship, support and a listening ear? But please keep in mind that if you are compelled to help in any way it has to be without judgments, gossip, or unasked advice. It has to be out of genuine love, compassion, and care. We are just like you trying to live life as best we can with our heads just above water.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18.