Let me just say that of all the gifts God has bestowed upon me, patience is not one of them. I might be good at things like scrapbooking, crocheting, cross stitching, computers, and even writing. But I have such a low threshold for being patient. Don’t get me wrong, man do I wish it was better. I have come to accept this lack of quality as it is. It is something I have to work on on a day in and day out basis.
I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with Mari. It was June 12, 1999, only two days before Keith and I were set to go on vacation to Florida.
That day changed my life. Keith and I had been told we couldn’t get pregnant the old-fashioned way, that it would only happen through IVF. Well, God had different plans. I had a smile plastered to my face that day I thought would never go away.
My pregnancy was anything but easy. Once Mari was born, everything seemed to move forward like it should. Only she didn’t. As new parents we didn’t realize anything could be different about our precious baby girl, but there was.
By the time Mari was 2 her delays were really starting to show. Within that next year we found out our sweet little girl with a smile that could light up a room had autism. On February 5, 2003, she was officially diagnosed with severe classic autism. Never in the comprehension of my mind did I have any idea what raising a child with autism would entail.
Talk about a person’s patience being test. I think it became a daily battle. From the lofty training, or lack there of, to the meltdowns in a store to her very limited diet of the foods she would eat. No one can truly prepare you for what raising a child with autism, or any disability for that matter, will be like. You just have to learn as you go along.
The ironic part to all of this is that God must have some sense of humorous. Seriously, putting a child with severe autism with a parent who has no patience. It definitely was a test of patience so many time. However, through that experience what little patience I had seemed to slowly grow over time. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not Job. However, God’s plan for my life was slowly but surely coming to fruition in my life.
Then on July 1, 2008, Mari got sick with diarrhea. Those next 16 days would permanently change my life. Talk about patience. I had to patiently await God’s answer as to whether He would let our little girl live. Think about that a moment. I wasn’t asking for my daughter to do good in school. To better communicate with us. Or even to allow her to live a more typical life-like other children. I prayed from the very depths of my soul to allow my daughter to live. I would have given anything for this to happen.
God gave us His answer on July 16, 2008, at 12:30 on a crystal clear Chicago summer day when He told us His answer. No. That night around 8 o’clock our daughter went to be with Jesus. Even as I sit here writing this, and it has been four and half years since she passed, the tears are steadily flowing down my face.
As human beings do we always agree with God’s answers? Of course not. That’s just it. We are human and can only see and understand what is in our world. But God sees and knows everything. Think about that a minute. Everything. So in other words, His ultimate plan is much bigger than we could possibly try to understand.
What does this all mean? It means we all have to be patient as God has some great things in store for us all. We just have to wait for them to come.