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Hi Everyone! For the next few days or so I am going to have several guest blogger posts for you to read while I am out having my little girl, and recovering. I truly hope you enjoy reading each and every one!
One evening last week, my son Jack, my daughter Kristen, and I were enjoying some carefree playtime before bed. In the midst of our fun and giggles, I scooped Jack up to tickle him. He laughed and began to wiggle free from my arms. In my attempt to catch him from falling, I lost my grip and he tumbled face first onto the floor. In mere seconds, his nose started to bleed and his lip swelled to twice its normal size. In pain and confusion he cried out for me. I held and rocked him, my eyes filling with tears as I felt his own fall on my arms.
For Jack, the world is a confusing, disconcerting, and oftentimes tormenting place. As a child on the spectrum, he struggles to process sights and sounds, is confused by emotions, and has great difficulty communicating his wants and needs. He trusts me with his whole heart to help him make his way through life, and I had failed to catch him.
As I sat there cradling my firstborn child in my arms, I wondered why God had chosen me for Jack. I am not particularly patient or calm. I am not a nurse or a teacher. I am not a caretaker or a therapist. I am not a neurologist or a scientist. I am not much of anything. I am just Katie.
Why did God choose me for Jack?
As I wrestled with this question, I brought Jack downstairs for a few well-earned popsicles to enjoy and to help with the pain. Though his mouth remained terribly swollen, his spirit lifted as he finished his third popsicle, and we journeyed back upstairs to tuck Kristen in for the night, read bedtime stories, and sing “Jesus loves me” before bed.
When we finished the final verse, Jack snuggled under his covers. Looking down at his sweet face which was marked by a painful bruise, I felt overcome with sadness and shame. In the stillness of that moment, Jack looked up at me with his beautiful blue eyes and asked if I would pray. Choking back tears, I swallowed the lump in my throat and said, “Lord, please heal Jack’s lip.” Jack paused pensively, then put his index fingers together, pointed to his heart and to mine, and said gently, “1, 2, this is true. God loves me and God loves you.”
Jack’s genuine belief in an all-loving, caring, gentle, and forgiving God radiates from his heart, and in that moment I realized God chose Jack for me. And while I may be just Katie, my love for Jack and his love for me never fails. Jack’s unwavering spirit is an instrument for God’s love and his symphony of praise will forever play in my soul.
Katie is the blessed wife of an Air Force veteran and mother of two precious children. Her oldest child, Jack, was diagnosed with autism in January 2013. Later that year, Katie felt the Lord calling her to share her family’s journey and she launched Wonderfully Made, a blog about her son, her family, and their faith. Though Jack’s special needs present many challenges, it is her family’s deepest hope and prayer that what they share at Wonderfully Made will open doors to a positive and enriching journey with your children, encouraging you to to laugh, cry, learn, accept, and rejoice in what makes them who they are – perfectly and wonderfully made by God. Follow her family’s story at www.wonderfully-made.net.