The Flip Side of Disappointment

August 31, 2011

This may be obvious, but I am disappointed that my son has autism.  I think I have been in denial. Gung-ho, take on the world, face in a grimace – denial.  Not in denial that he has autism – he doesn’t talk, folks!  In denial that I am disappointed.

Most of my life, I have felt like a disappointment to my parents.  Creative and Artistic = black sheep. Intelligent and Not-Ever-Concerned-About-School = black sheep. No college degree = black sheep.  They don’t read this (gasp! Surprise!), so I feel comfortable saying that. My siblings do and I’m fairly certain they might echo my sentiments. Don’t get my wrong.

I have awesome parents.

Awesome parents with high expectations. I’m fairly certain that my own insecurity plays a large role in my ‘black sheep’ feelings. I’m also comfortable saying that.

All of this being said, I have an overwhelming fear of making my children feel that they are disappointments. Enter ‘the truth’ at stage left…

Fear is stupid and, most often, irrational. In One, Extremely Powerful and Wise Book, it is written that ‘perfect love casts out fear’. 

the Good News is that I have known Perfect Love.

Jesus, Cross, Tomb.

So back to disappointment…

Its been difficult for me to admit that I am disappointed about autism, because I was worried that it might be confused with being disappointed in Evan. So NOT THE CASE.

Evan is magnificent. He is bold, strong and courageous. He is also gentle in spirit. I could never be disappointed in him, because God made him.

Yes, God. *romantic sigh*

A few weeks ago, I was feeling discouraged about Evan and his progress. I went forward for some prayer and the woman who prayed for me just cut to the chase. She started praying for me to give my disappointment to God. Then, she hugged me and we cried together and it was very Ya-Ya Sisterhood.  While we were hugging, I just felt peace wash over me and I gave my disappointment to God.

Only to have God tell me something…

The flip side of disappointment is Appointment.

Appointment (n.) A fixed meeting or purpose; The act of appointing or designating.

Appointed (adj.) Predetermined, arranged; Provided with what is necessary.

So Evan and I, our family. Appointed. 

Insert smiley face emoticon…

To be seperated from your appointment is the essence of satan’s desire. To be connected with your appointment is the essence of God’s desire.

Sometimes I wonder what we are appointed for exactly. And then I think of God’s desire.  He made us an appointment with autism – a date with destiny.  Satan is doing everything to keep us from meeting that appointment.

When I say it like that, it plays out like a movie in my head. Of the ‘Terminator’ variety.  We are racing against time and the world to meet our ‘date with destiny’ – live or die. Queue dramatic, bass music: duh, duh, duh…  Who will win?

“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God—those whom he has called according to his plan. This is true because he already knew his people and had already appointed them to have the same form as the image of his Son. Therefore, his Son is the firstborn among many children. He also called those whom he had already appointed. He approved of those whom he had called, and he gave glory to those whom he had approved of.

What can we say about all of this? If God is for us, who can be against us?…What will separate us from the love Christ has for us? Can trouble, distress, persecution, hunger, nakedness, danger, or violent death separate us from his love?…

The one who loves us gives us an overwhelming victory in all these difficulties. I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love which Christ Jesus our Lord shows us.We can’t be separated by death or life, by angels or rulers, by anything in the present or anything in the future, by forces or powers in the world above or in the world below, or by anything else in creation.

We Win!

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2 Responses to “The Flip Side of Disappointment”

  1. Sally Haskett said

    I love reading your posts. I think you should write a book Ashley. Your son is a blessing, a precious jewel. You will learn more about patience, kindness, self-control, goodness, etc, by having him then by having 10 “normal” kids! And don’t be offended by my using that term. I read several years ago of a pastor visiting some people. They told him they wanted to show him something, but was very valuable and they didn’t show it to too many people. They took him to a beautiful room. Inside were 2 handicapped children. They said years ago everyone told them to put them in a home and just go on with life. They didn’t do that. They have had more joy from those two children than any riches or healing has ever bought them. They call them their precious jewels. And that is what Evan is.

    As parents, we do what we think is our best. I have one child that was asked in highschool, who was the hardest to please in her life? God, herself, or a parent. Well, she picked me. Said she could never please me. I expected a lot from my kids. I would alwaays tell them to redo a job if I didn’t think they did a good enough job, because someday they would have a job and their boss would expect their best and I was training them for life. I was a divorced mom raising a child by myself for 8 years, and I worked 2 jobs, changed the oil in my card, kept a clean home, was at church Wed, Sun am and Sun pm and everything else. (I would do that differently if I had it to do over again!) Anyway, I just did my best as a parent. Fast forward, she is an excellent worker, on the state Ag board(the youngest lady ever to be,) moving up in her profession and not mad at me anymore!!! But her desire is to be a mother someday and stay home and Iwill be just as proud of her then, as that was always my desire too. (Sorry I am babbling) You are a wonderful wife and mother. You will make mistakes. But you will make many more good choices, memories, and build love and character in your kids.

    • Thanks, Sally! I like what you said there at the end – we make far more good choices than bad ones. Sometimes we focus on the bad ones too much. I love you response – it is wonderful to know that there is someone out there reading all of this and being encouraged!!!! Blessings!!!

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