Jessica was one of the people who offered to help me clean my house when I was down and out during my "chemo days." I will always be grateful to her for helping me with a task that had once seemed so simple, but at the time, was impossible for me to do on my own.
We CAN do hard things and we can do those hard things when we allow our family and friends to lift us, to help us, and to love us through the storms of life.
I Can Do Hard Things- Jessica Andrews Wuebkes
As I organized my thoughts of what to share I had narrowed it down to two topics. The first and maybe the most interesting; being a young widow. The second; PTSD. As I knelt in prayer for guidance and inspiration another topic came to mind in big capital letters. AUTISM.
My son Jonah was born a healthy baby in November 2007. After many bouts of RSV and other lung crippling diseases my little J was on life support for many weeks fighting for his life. The machines were not working. I sat many hours at the bedside of my 13 week old baby watching his body fight as hard as it could. His body grew tired and started to shut down. After much fasting and prayers offered we saw a miracle. Jonah's health turned around in a matter of days. All of a sudden his body started to respond to medications and therapies given. Blood cultures were coming back in the more normal range of numbers. After 3 months of hospital living my son was coming home.
Not that life was dandy after this episode, we had a lot of medical stuff to learn. Jonah's lungs are permanently damaged. With this comes lots of doctors visits, ongoing hospitalizations, oxygen equipment, and chest x-rays. The machines that saved his life have also caused great damage to his lungs. Jonah will live with chronic lung disease his whole life. I learned this new lifestyle quickly and I felt confident in my new title as a "Medical Mommy".
I bowed my head and begged that Heavenly Father would show mercy and make this all go away.
Well, that didn't happen. My son, now 8 still has autism. Heavenly Father did not take it all away. However, he did and continues to show mercy and love to this situation and journey that has helped me grow into my role of being a mommy of a child with Autism and medical disabilities.
Through the years, life with Autism has gotten better. I can and will continue to be his voice. I now know what will set him off. I have learned to be patient and be in the moment. Jonah's behavior has become more of that of a typical peer and he is reading at a kindergarten level. He spends most of his school time in special ed and is making huge strides. We have been able to cut most therapies from his schedule. As a family we live a more calm lifestyle then years past. Much has changed in our life due to the challenges set before us. I am grateful for the heartache, the struggle, and the humility for I have found inner strength, a voice, and a love that is so much deeper then I would have ever known or experienced without the hard things. I have learned to kneel a little faster and pray a little longer. I have much to be grateful for.