Some days what I want are answers. I want clarity and wisdom and the ability to meet my daughter where she is; I want answers.
I want to know the why behind all of the questions and confusion I have as I try to navigate through the maze of Asperger’s and special needs and sensory issues and anxiety. I want to know where God is, yes, but even more, I want to know His why.
Trust me. I’ve heard the sermons and read the devotionals about not asking, “Why?” because that’s not the right question.
Even so, some days, like today, I find myself crying out, “Why, God?”
Why our girl?
And the questions snowball from there.
Did we do something wrong?
Did we wait too long to have our children (something at least one doctor intimated as we began the evaluation process)?
Why our girl if we don’t see Autism or Asperger’s in either of our families?
And all of those Why? questions burn inside me, building up an anger that feels justified.
It’s not and I know that. Deep in my heart, I know the anger is about the pain and the fear and the unknown I face each day. I know the anger is really grief; this isn’t how things were supposed to be.
Eventually, the anger recedes and the longing returns. The longing for hope and the longing for His presence even when my eyes are focused too much on me than on Him.
Anyone who has faced the unknown – disease, death of a loved one, job loss, bankruptcy, disability – has stood on the threshold of Why? and the threshold of anger. Fist-shaking, it’s-not-fair, anger at God.
Fortunately, for me, I know He’s big enough for my anger and my questions and my fears and for my grief. I know He’s big enough to shoulder the burdens I cannot.
When I’m standing in the midst of a life awash in the unknowns of Asperger’s, overwhelmed with the reality that I don’t know what to do to help my sweet girl, I need hope more than anger. I know this because in the last 7.5 years I’ve been angry at my daughter, my husband, myself, at circumstances, at Asperger’s, at God.
And that anger has done little to get me through unconsolable crying or through sleepless nights or through days where I long for connection in the face of isolation. But hope?
Hope has carried me through a moment I wasn’t sure I could face.
Hope has reminded me that I am exactly who my girls need me to be.
Hope has provided the light that guided me through the dark moments.
Hope has allowed me to breathe.
Oh, I wish I could tell you that it’s an easy choice to pick hope over anger, but it’s not. The Why? is so much stronger than anything. It’s stronger than the desire for hope sometimes.
God is stronger when I stumble and when I fall.
God is stronger than my grief.
God is stronger than my fear.
God is stronger.
When you find yourself walking in the shadows of life’s unknowns, hold fast to just two words: But God.
Those words won’t change your circumstances. Never once have those words stopped a meltdown or provided instant clarity in an Asperger’s moment. But those words have stopped my downward spiral into anger and darkness.
Those words have given me enough of a respite to breathe and to meet my daughter where she is. Because God meets me where I am. Because when God meets me where I am, He holds out hope. His hope.