Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Have to Play Catch Up Now I'm Better

Tomorrow will be my catch up post. Being sick is rough! Sinus infection. Severe. Mom said she nearly fainted when they told her how much the medicine was. I said, "Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you it was the expensive medicine and we haven't met the medicine deductible yet!" Oops!! Nearly $200 for 10 pills. And I can't start them until the morning because I need to sleep! The ENT sprayed stuff in my nose and it is helping me feel better already. Smily is back!

By the way, praise God for small miracles and forgiving friends like Tom. Seriously, if I could take him with me everywhere I would! Today I transitioned again. And now I got a book to help me with that transition. My mom got it at her parent group during my social group.

Have to get dog vaccinated. Sadly late due to cost. But definitely have to do it because later this year I have to board my deaf dog and cat with megacolon so I can do a weekend camp/retreat for special needs.

Definitely planning on selling art and maybe looking at doing puppet shows on donations so I can raise money for churches and other organizations to help them establish special needs ministries for adults, particularly adults with autism like me. As soon as I finish piece number two, it will go on semi-public display and anyone who sees it can make an offer on it.

I am feeling God moving me right now. I just don't have all the specific information. I think I'm starting to understand what missionaries go through!

Keep my family in prayers. Keep my friends, especially Tom in prayers. Keep praying for the little boy in south Alabama an for my family and friends who live and work down there.



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Oh Dear, Here We Go Again

So I think we can definitely confirm one thing: when I am sick, I am cranky. Tom would probably agree with me on this, but I can be downright meaner than a skunk. But sure enough, I'm down for the count. I tried to get back into things too soon after being down this weekend.

Smily Susan=happy, bubbly, joyful, cheery, loving, encouraging. Sick Susan=cranky, mean, biting, discouraging.

I can only hope that Tom and I can still be friends. I really miss him though! But I need prayers.

Tomorrow afternoon I see the ENT. In two weeks, I see the oncologist. And this time we may be ordering the bone marrow biopsy.

Pray for my health and for the family finances. Pray for my friendships (Tom especially) and my friends. Pray for peace and rest and comfort. But I ask you not to pray specifically for healing because God might not want to heal me physically. And I have to accept that. But if God does heal me, we'll all have something to be praising Him for indeed!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

With a Broken Heart

Why is that always seems that I'm the only one who ever cares? In friendship, it seems I'm the only one who cares to make it work. The other person seems to care less, and then the friendship fails. In church, it seems like I'm the only one who understands that special needs children AND adults are just important as anyone else? God gifted them the same and intended them to serve Him just the same. Yet some churches just don't seem to get that and work ever so much harder to exclude those with special needs essentially pushing them away from church and worse, away from God. Oh dear Tom, you seem to always think I'm being "demanding," but did you ever stop to think that maybe for once it really isn't me who is being demanding but maybe rather that you're just probably not really understanding me? I have tried. But apparently I have failed. But you'd be crazy to let me push you away so easily just because we disagree. However, here's where we have a problem: I asked for boundaries which you didn't want to set then when I tried to insist on adhering so rigidly to the boundary you did set, you said you didn't mean it literally. But you forgot you are dealing with a literal thinker, thanks to the autism. So when you called me demanding-after two days of no responses whatsoever and by virtue of the FIRST boundary today is MY day, it devalued me as a person with feelings. We both need to repent and regroup and talk with each other. And we both need to re-establish with each other what our expectations are. But in the meantime, I mourn the potential loss of my FIRST and ONLY REAL friend. I am sad. I hope we're still friends, but I don't know anymore until and unless you call me again. But sadly, it now shapes up to the only time I have left this week is Friday. I am at a loss on the jar project until then.

Days 27 and 28

Dear God, teach me how to trust You and help me learn to trust that You are always with me. People, not even Tom, cannot promise that they will always be there because people, even Tom, will sometimes fail and disappoint. Lead me where I need to be right now. And if it is Your plan that Tom be my friend, fortify that and help us find time to be friends. Help him. And help me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Question: Why do we close prayers with "in Jesus' name" and "amen?" Why do we close our eyes, bow our heads and fold our hands? And how is it that I am exactly like Tom? Not that that's a bad thing for he is pretty good at modeling You God, but I am curious!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Upcoming Christian Music Events

If you love Christian music, this is an awesome year to live in Birmingham. I'm sure there are more, but here's a brief lineup:

March 17, BJCC, $10/door (they could always use volunteers):
TobyMac (YAY!) (from DCTalk fame)
Jamie Grace (YAY!)
Newsong
Jason Castro
Sidewalk Prophets
Capital Kings
Red
OBB
Royal Tailor
Matthew West

April 12-13, StadiumFest, FREE, Spain Park (another great volunteer opportunity):
Jamie Grace (again!)
Rhett Walker
Switchfoot
Britt Nicole
Building 429
Crowder (yep, from David Crowder band)
Newsboys

Can it get any better short of Jesus coming back??

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Days 25 and 26

Sit quietly with God basking in His presence as He changes you from the inside out.

Expect trouble in the world and trust God even when things seem darkest.

Trust is HARD. But trust is GOOD.

Answered prayer in redemptive friendship even in the midst of being struck ill. Still smiling (now that it doesn't hurt to smile) even though I do not feel well).

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Heaven's Door Film Review

The film is a bit of a tearjerker. Probably did not help though that I am wrestling right now because of a friend and worried that we will not be able to make things work as friends because everything has fallen apart so quickly-the boundaries, he never seems to have any time any more, we have not seen each other in a long time; how can we make it work? But this little girl has discovered that she has a gift. Riley can heal people just by touching them. But she only heals those who she is supposed to heal. She sees an angel. She thinks it is her grandpa who died. She shows her family what she experienced when she fell out of the tree but tells them that if she helps anyone there will be consequences. Unfortunately, there is a news woman who seems very adamant about getting a story about Riley and her gift. Riley's mom and dad reunite because of Riley. Riley takes every illness from people she heals. Riley's last act is a friend who is in the hospital being treated for cancer. The little girl tells Riley's parents that she knew she was supposed to go and that there were angels around Riley. A blind man also tells Riley's parents to believe. Just as Riley is declared dead, she awakens to the pleasant surprise of her parents. Riley learns though that her grandpa had nothing to do with her being saved from her fall. And her grandma realizes a new baby is coming. Riley's angel was the baby before he was born.

Essentially, this film is about renewed faith, renewed hope, and restored relationships. It is certainly what some may call a story of redemption. I would love to have enough faith to believe that the friendship will survive, but I struggle with this so much.

Dear God, please help me believe. Please renew my faith and trust. And please help my friendship with Tom survive if it's really Your will that he and I be friends. And if it's not, then help me to survive as Tom is the first real friend that I have had and the first person who truly cared enough to take the time to learn about how You created me and how it makes me different yet didn't let it get in the way of pursuing friendship with me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Days 23 and 24

It's okay to be human. Even if you momentarily think about God and say a simple thank you to Him, it is still worship.

Expect trouble in the world. God's peace is powerful. God already overcame the troubles of the world.

Deuteronomy 31:6-"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Dear God, Thank You. Thank You for still being there even when I can't "feel" You there. And thank You. Thank You for my friend Tom. And for my other friends. And thank You that I have permission to just be me-who You created me to be and how You created me. Thank You. And please heal my mom so she can go back to work so we can pay the bills. The dog is late getting in for her annual, the medical bills are high and continue to pile up as we have to reach the deductible again, utilities, car insurance, home warranty, and we still need an iPad for therapy and a way to pay for my autism therapy. As well as food and gas. I am in the wait on many fronts. I worry about Tom too. Protect our friendship while we are in a period of time where time doesn't permit us to see each other in person right now even though we live somewhat close. Help me not forget that he will also still be there and that he really is just a phone call away if I really need him just like You're only a prayer away (even if I haven't quite mastered hearing You yet). Help me still think positive about him. And me. God, I'm scared. Help me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Days 21 and 22

Depend solely on God and trust God through everything.

Personally, these two things are two of the hardest things to do right now.

Trust. Trust God even in areas of anxiety.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:39) Trust in the Lord with all your heart. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

I never saw those areas of anxiety as being opportunities for growth before!

May I be frank? Well, honest because my name isn't frank?

I agree that God may be the ONLY ONE we can fully depend upon and we should be moving toward that, but when you come from a background in which your trust has literally been tested to the point where you have become skeptical about everything, I think it's okay to have those key people in your life who you have established trust with AS LONG AS they take that and use it as a valuable tool to point you back to God.

Do you have someone in your life like that who always finds a way to point you back to God and then hits the ground running right alongside of you cheering you on? If not, it might help.

Tom has been a point person for me lately. Today, I literally woke up with a heart full of gratitude because of the fact that God put him in my world as a friend and that through his actions and words, I am slowly, but surely, starting to reach up toward God. Don't get me wrong, I still need him and other friends to help me in this race called life, and God most certainly expects us to be in relationship with other believers who will be there with us and for us. But God uses these people to help spur us onward and upward.

Thank You God. Keep teaching me to trust You. Thank you for my friends and for Tom who spur me toward You in this race of life. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Monday, January 21, 2013

I Have a Dream

So as the nation reflects upon the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I want to say that we are still not all treated as equal.

Equality extends beyond race. Equality also extends to ability (disabled people, and non-disabled people).

In the past few years, an important law was passed, called the Affordable Care Act. This law ends unlawful discrimination against people who have "pre-existing conditions." It ended people being dropped from insurance because they got sick. It was an important step in truly equalizing access to healthcare for all citizens. Yet there are those who oppose the measure. The thing I have observed though? The majority of those who oppose the measure are offended that they will be taxed for not having insurance. To me, it is reasonable to tax them for CHOOSING NOT to get insured while they are healthy and might not NEED it. After all, those of us who are insured have been paying for their care when they have an emergency as well as our own care. The uninsured tend to be the biggest "drain" in the healthcare industry. Also, the opposition hurts those who have "pre-existing conditions" because of the principles outlined in Matthew 25 regarding the least of these.

Let's bring that to modern day. Jesus is a man and He gets sick. Do we treat Him or do we say, "oops, sorry, no insurance, forget it?" Or treat Him and then stick Him with a bill for $50,000 because He couldn't get insurance because He was born with a heart condition that He didn't know about until it acted up and He needed treatment? Because that's what has been happening.

If we were to assume that how we treat others equates to how we treat Jesus, how much would life change for everyone?

Dr. King had a great dream. And so do I. And we are definitely not done yet. Until EVERY person is treated equally. His words still ring true today.

And so do the Words of God.

Let us not forget,

Days 15-20 Peace That Passes Understanding

I am so behind on my daily reading posts! It was a BUSY week for me!

Overall, the running theme in these six days was peace that passes understanding.

Day 15

God is still present even in our troubles. He will keep us safe and give us peace that passes understanding.

Day 16

Joshua 1:9 - "Be strong and courageous." Stop rehearsing the problems of the day. Matthew 11:28-30 - Go to Jesus and He will give you rest.

Day 17

Philippians 4:6-7 - "Do not worry about anything." God will give us peace that passes understanding. He will take care of all of our needs, big or small.

Day 18

Don't try to take shortcuts to where God is leading you. God will use the difficulties you face to bless you with courage and strength.

Day 19

Seek God.

Philippians 4:7 - "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (ESV)

Day 20

God is in control.

Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." (ESV) Some versions read "plans to prosper you and not to harm you."

Isaiah 55:9-11 - God's ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts. His words will not return to Him empty and will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He sent it.

God, forgive me for my disbelief and my doubt. Forgive me for sometimes letting the circumstances of the day cause me to lose sight of You. Help me to seek You always and to not lose sight of You. And thank You for friends, like Tom, who genuinely care about me and care for me and genuinely want the best for me. Thank You for friends, like Tom, who care enough to redirect me and point me back toward You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

God, please help Tom get through the next few weeks of BUSY-ness. And please, if it's Your will, allow us to have a special time to be able to sit down and talk in person again soon. Thank You for putting him in my life as a friend, and thank You for his willingness to learn what it takes to be friends with an autistic person. Thank You for growing both of us in You and in friendship. Help him to know that he holds a special place and to be more confident that he is doing a great job. Thank You for allowing people, even if only a few right now, to serve as a reflection of Your grace and Your love. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

God in the Snow?

Snow is almost magical in nature. You can be having the worst day ever and when it snows, you have to cheer up. The magic and innocence of snow. One of God's special treats.







Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

Days 13 and 14

First, a confession. I REALLY miss my friend Tom right now. Like yesterday, I really wanted to send him a text to let him know when I would have my new church membership vows and to ask him if he could come. I would be honored if he can come as my friend to support me as I move into the new chapter in my life. But I resisted and set it in my calendar to make sure to text him when he is back. Or after church next Sunday. I am at odds with myself right now as I struggle to honor and respect him and his time with his new granddaughter and his older granddaughter an his family.

Now about my readings today (I am behind so I read yesterday and today). Yesterday was about seeing each day as an adventure. Basically expecting a dynamic life! Wow! How quickly some forget that life itself is dynamic when in the name of an activity being "dynamic," they choose instead to exclude someone because she has autism and might unknowingly an unintentionally hurt someone by her actions or words. What little they know when they never give her a chance to start with! What little they know.

Today was a bigger lesson though. We can look good on the outside but still be broken on the inside and we don't need to put on a facade with God. A safe church is a church that not only realizes how broken we all really are, autism or no autism, and embraces everyone regardless of who or what they are or do. A safe church is a church where people can really put away the facade and not have to worry about being punished for it. They don't have to worry about being punished for being honest, even if it hurts someone. They don't have to worry about punished for how God created them. They don't have to worry about being excluded because the church finds out that they have sin in their life or that they have autism. After all, if the church is a safe church, they know that everyone is broken and they embrace the reality of grace as they show it to EVERYONE equally across the board, autism or not.

Today's lesson helped me feel more "normal." And the scripture: Romans 8:38-39. Nothing can separate me from God. Not my autism and not what some church or some people in some church did to hurt me.

Knowing that, I am going to trust that God is still with me as I move into this new chapter in my life. I am scared, but God knows exactly what He's doing for me. And He isn't letting me go that easily.

So now I know what Tom has been actively demonstrating to me by being a friend to me through this time! Whoo hoo!!! Milestone!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Days 11 and 12

Let go and let God is essentially my take home from these two readings. Supposed to trust God and pray to Him throughout the day.

It has been a very challenging day today. Words exchanged in the household, not all positive. My friend Tom is going to be gone for about a week to finally get to spend time with family and see his newest granddaughter! Yay! And I'm excited for him. I'll miss him though. But I'm more excited because when he's back, we'll have so much to talk about!

This week while he's gone, it's going to be challenging to not initiate contact with him. I am just glad that my new member's class will be keeping me busy. Sunday class, Tuesday official diagnosis review, Tuesday social group class, Wednesday assimilation meeting, Wednesday visit orchestra, Friday member class, Saturday member class, Sunday member class. Then once the sign language class starts up, that will be Wednesday nights. And I will be moving toward volunteering until a job opens up and I have proven ready for a job (learned some essential basics for getting a job).

Okay, so maybe God knows where I'm heading and what my time schedule is, but sometimes I sure wish I knew. It's so hard to just let go and let God in this!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thank You God

Thank You God for an answered prayer tonight. And for redeeming the relationship.

I was reading Ephesians 4:26. Thinking, well, the sun already went down, now what? Guess I have to wait until tomorrow.

Phone call.

I had entered prayer that my friend could forgive me for being so demanding today. For being, well, mean.

And that's part of what the call was.

My heart rests easier now though because he reassured me what I already knew. I defended him well. No one tries to judge my friends without knowing them personally.

Ah. Turns out I am so much like he is. How we manage to get along, I will never fully understand, but I am not complaining. As long as I know he's there and that he isn't going to give up on me, that's all that matters.

Turns out he really is a pretty good human model of what God is like. I know, God must be a thousand times better them because God is God and my friend is only human. Humans mess up. A lot. I know I sure do. And not just because I have autism, although that may make things exceptionally magnified?!?

But see, today something else happened. I was frustrated with my friend because I felt neglected. Several reasons. But I didn't throw his slips from the jar into a bag like I did Sunday because of some relatively harsh words. I kept them in there because I had hope today that somehow God would redeem the situation of today.

Funny. I guess in some ways I did exactly what my day 10 devotional said to do: trust God even when it isn't easy. So my little teeny tiny trust in God was returned a thousandfold by an answered prayer? By a redeemed relationship? Okay, God. What's the next challenge You can get me through? My trust just grew another size.

Days 9 and 10

God is with you and trust in God.

Whew! Big issues for me.

Slow down and wait on God to help in the journey.

Trust God in the good times and the bad.

When in the midst of a battle, I can't seem to grasp God's presence. More often than not, it feels like He's not even there. Like today. I feel neglected by my friend. Is God really still there? If my friend isn't there when he's supposed to be, how do I KNOW that God is there? Especially when my friend said he wasn't going anywhere?

I'm scared to just trust God.

What Happens When Your Expectations Are Already Low?

Last week, I wrote about dealing with disappointment. And I did end up lowering expectations based on a pattern. But I'm at a point now where I lower the expectations anymore, there won't be any friendship with this person.

We both have repeatedly messed up, but consistently, I am left feeling neglected by this person.

First, I am going to speak in his defense based on repeated conversations. Yes, he is married and although I would not technically call his wife a friend right now, I can relate to her and if she chose to be a friend with me, I am definitely all for that. But because of technicalities that existed before, this was something that would have been a guarded area. So I honestly don't know how to define her right now.

As to friendship with him, based on countless conversations, neither of us are worried about anything inappropriate coming up. Matter of fact, I think that may be the advantage of autism.

But to some people, they think he is in the wrong. Because of the autism.

I am actually defending him right now. Nothing has happened not will anything happen. I trust him better than I would trust my biological father. So by comparison on that fact alone, I know I don't need to worry about him.

However, as to the friendship, I have felt neglected. He does always SEEM to be distracted when he talks with me on the phone or I feel like I'm just an afterthought. Maybe he doesn't mean to do this, but I just don't know anymore.

His "every other day" boundary is simply not working very well at all. There are days that are supposed to be my days on which he is apparently TOO busy to even bother to take two minutes to talk.

The other day, he commented how it seems I never feel like we're done talking and therefore cannot seem to end the conversation without feeling like I have something else to say. But wouldn't you if every time you talked with someone, you never really got to actually finish a conversation because the other person was so distracted?

He's about to be gone for a week. I want to respect and honor him during that time, but if I already feel neglected because yet again on one of MY days, he's TOO busy for me, how can I trust that anything can be settled before he leaves? I had something I needed to give him before he leaves and it appears as if that will definitely not happen.

I have tried repeatedly to tell him that I would rather talk a few minutes by phone every day than to have any text messages. I have tried to tell him repeatedly that I am scared of losing him as a friend because I mess up. I have tried to tell him repeatedly that I just need reassurance. But it seems everything has fallen on deaf ears with him.

However, I know he can "hear" me better when I communicate in the way I communicate best: my writing. So that's why I am writing this.

And let me just say that where things stand now, the threat of losing him as a friend seems even greater now than ever before. And I'm SCARED.

So now what? Remember that extra TLC I mentioned needing last week? Yeah. I could use that.

Oh, and if he is reading this, I'm sorry and will you forgive me?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Jar Project

What is this jar project I keep mentioning?

Well, let me say this: Mason jars are great multiuse objects. Look at Pinterest if you don't believe me.

I got the idea from something else.

I have two jars. One is a personal milestone jar and the other is for my friend Tom.

Rule 1: Write at least ONE positive thing every day! This be scripture verses, milestones, compliments, anything. Today it was that there is excitement over a new baby for me and Tom is a papa again. And I put a date on it. I don't always date them though.

Rule 2: Never take the slips out of the jar even at the risk of the same thing going in more than once. I broke rule 2 the other day when some words were exchanged and I misunderstood the words that were said. Tom only said it out of frustration. We both are clearly going to challenge each other quite a bit as we transition and grow into a more natural friendship. But that's part of growing! And growing we are! But I was so hurt, I actually dumped his jar into a paper sack while I was crying. The good news is that the next moment I celebrated forgiving him by putting the slips back in his jar.

Let me explain one of the purposes of the jars, the main purpose: To serve as a visual aid to help me develop a new habit: thinking more positively! ABA works! YAY!!

Day 7 and 8

Okay I'm sure about thanking God in the middle of a problem! Sometimes when the world seems to be crashing down all around me, the blinders go up. That was the message of day 7 though.

Day 8 hit me as I saw evidences in THREE things: 1. God brought baby Winnie into the world! 2. My fever broke without any medicine. 3. Tom is still there even when I mess up. So if Tom, a HUMAN, is still there even if I mess up, then how much more there is God? But the message of day 8, that God is still with me even when others leave me feeling worthless and alone? It's fresh and painful.

Of the two days, Psalm 46:1 probably stuck out the most.

By the way, I am aware that some people think that the Jesus Calling books border on putting words in Jesus' mouth, but the Bible is the Word of God, and if it takes the Jesus Calling devotionals to help jump start my own personal and daily study of the Bible, does it matter? Essentially, the messages on the pages are an expounded version of what is in that day's scriptures.

God Is Great God Is Good

I am not going to bless this food because I have no food in front of me, but yay! for Tom Patton and his family as they welcomed to the world a perfect little miracle from God. (Finally!!) Baby Winnie came into the world today. Excited and thrilled for them! Congratulations to the second time grandpa!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Dear Autism

You have so vehemently stolen away most of my chance at a "normal" life for I will never be quite "normal."

And though you're not as cruel to me as Alzheimer's was to my grandpa, you're still wicked evil at times.

However, I am fighting to overcome your challenges. For I will sure as heck not let you win!

I have a brain and I am blessed to be so painfully smart.

Even though you stole my ability to connect normally with my friends, and God bless every friend who has actually stayed by my side despite of you for they will later laugh and say to those who didn't that they knew better and they teach me about love and grace and reflect God in ways I may never truly be able to grasp on my own, but even though you stole that, I still have more.

I am creative in both performing and visual arts. I love music, dance, puppetry, sign language, Spanish, French, reading, and films. I am still quite innocent as the world has not stolen away all of my innocence yet. My ability to connect with children is beyond amazing! I am learning to paint even though you make me afraid of slimy textures. And above all, I LOVE life and I LOVE people, especially my SAFE PEOPLE.

Tonight I thank God and apologize as well, but I thank God for my friends like Tom who take the time to learn about me and who in spite of the worst I could ever do STILL love me and stay by my side. And I guess if that's what grace is like, then maybe God is that much better.

So dear Autism, you can try all you want to steal my chance at a "normal" life away, but you will NOT steal my essence or me away with it.

Sincerely,
Essie, SES

The Angel

There's this angel I see a lot. Well, not exactly, but she's so bright and so fast that I couldn't describe her very well if you asked me. But her name is Gertie. She takes care of babies and sick people. There are a lot of angels who do that, but Gertie is special. Her people that she helps tend to be special as well. Gertie visited me briefly today and told me to paint her as best as I can so a special family can have the privilege of seeing her as well. Gertie flew down to Florida today as soon as she heard my friend, Tom's granddaughter might need her. Gertie said I was going to be okay and that things would get worked out with Tom an other stuff. She said I didn't need her so much right now, so she had to go be with the baby Winnie. But she said to paint her as best as I could so they can see her later as well. I don't know why this angel visits me so much or why she came today, but I'm honored to get to be the one that paints her for that family. Gertie will be with that baby until she arrives in this world. And even for a little after. Because that's what she does.

Where Is God in the Practice of Medicine?

I discovered that the antibiotic I was on this weekend can cause mood disruption. Let's just say that I decided it is for the best of everyone to STOP taking the medicine and just deal with the possible infection until I can follow up with my regular doctors or get a new physician. I realize that it may tax my immune system, but I am also trusting that I can manage. After all, if it's a viral thing, the antibiotic will not help anyway. As I asked, where is God in the practice of medicine? Isn't He called the Great Physician?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Days 5 and 6

Dear God, I cannot see how You can grow me through my mistakes or how Your power could be possibly be at work in my life right now. Tom just said something that was so much more hurtful than the worst thing I could ever say to anyone. For His words mirrored exactly the negative words I heard from the church since they sent me for testing and got back the autism diagnosis. And those words are that I will NEVER be able to.... Never be able to do.... Never be able to have.... Never be able to be.... Right now I hate how You created me and I hate having autism. If Tom gives up on me, I don't feel comfortable continuing in relationship with You God because I am absolutely honestly afraid You will do the same thing. I'm sorry God. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

I Wish I Could Give Up

I asked for boundaries but when I asked, he didn't want to establish them. I have autism. I don't get the intricacies of relationships. Or so others have told me. So I need help.

He finally set some boundaries but he unreasonably established them with NO prior discussion or chance to ask questions or to clarify or to make alternative solutions should he be unable to uphold his end.

I got frustrated. I lashed out. I pointed out we also need consistency. So if I'm only ALLOWED to communicate every other day, then I also reasonably expect at least one response. And now he threatens to just end everything?!? Seriously?!?

I will make one promise in this post. If he quits me, I will quit God. Because God is more scary than he is. And I CANNOT SEE OR HEAR GOD like I can him.

The problem is that so many transitions are taking place all at once. And now I can no longer SEE ANY of my friends unless special arrangements are made. And that's NOT fair.

What that church did, the way they hurt me, the fact they used the autism against me after they paid for the testing and them the professional help to begin addressing it which they then ignored the recommendations from, was wrong. Yet I am the one who suffers the most. I had to quit that church because of the oppression. And apparently I am also going to suffer because it seems I am still going to lose my friends anyway.

It's not fair. I don't think I can handle it anymore. And well, if he quits me because of this and his accusation which mirrors EVERYTHING I EVER heard from the people from THAT church, the only thing I can promise as a direct consequence is that I will quit God. Because right now, God is NOT safe for me if this "friend" is no longer a safe person.

I hate having autism sometimes. And right now is one of those times.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Flulike Bugs and God's Design

So, here I am with a flulike bug. It is wreaking havoc on my gut! But the good news? The fever is down. For now. But it also means I cannot attend church this weekend. But I see Psalm 139:14 at work now. God so intricately wove every last component of my deficient immune system together that my body is working hard to fight this infection. And that's what's important.

Dear God, if you would, I first ask that You help me feel better soon! And second, please bring Tom's granddaughter, baby Winnie, into the world without them needing to do any procedures. She's due tomorrow, but even if she's just one day late, it's okay, but everyone is waiting for her arrival. And keep Tom safe and calm as he readies to travel to see the beautiful little baby You have been perfecting and allow him and lady Diana to be reunited soon. Give his daughter patience and comfort as she awaits her miracle and prepare the family for the many changes they face this year. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Day Four

Jesus Calling day 4. Title in the kids version: "A New Habit." Learn to trust Jesus in everything that happens and say it aloud.

Wow. New year. New transitions. New things. New situations. New new new. But yes, make it a new habit to say, "I trust You, Jesus" no matter what? Even in the midst of hardship?

Okay, this is getting intensely scary. Focal passages Isaiah 40:11 and Psalms 63:2 and 139:7-10.

The passage that struck me the most today? Psalm 139:7-10. This is the same chapter where the psalmist declares that God made him and knew him, even in the womb. "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."

This verse reminds me of the Avalon song, "Hide My Soul," featured on the Left Behind film soundtrack. It also reminds me of another song. Rebecca St. James "Universe" which actually quotes some of this passage.

Dear God, help me to know You are always there and can be trusted even when others seem to fail me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Another prayer today:

Dear God, help Tom and his family know that even if the baby does not come on her due date, You are still in control. You know EXACTLY what YOU are doing and are in control. The baby You are forming right now IS fearfully and wonderfully made. She will be perfectly created by Your hands. Regardless of the timing. We are often rigid in our thinking and timing. But we quickly forget that YOU are the ultimate timekeeper. Please if you would, allow the baby to come on her own. Allow her not to be TOO late. Get her ready to come out into this world so she can meet her anxiously excited family. Move her into a position so she will come out. Everyone is ready to meet her. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

God's Peace

Today's Jesus Calling kids and teen versions talk about God's Peace. I love the title in the kids version: "I Am Bigger Than the World." It almost reminds me of the VeggieTales song, "God is bigger than the bogeyman."

God's peace is compared to diving into a cool pool on a hot summer day. The reminder is that God is always there and has already overcome the problems we will face in the world. - John 16:33

Dear God, As I face the newness associated with this new year, grant me the peace that You have promised. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Extra TLC Needed

Yes, as autistic, I can seem more "demanding." I don't mean to be. I don't mean to push people away or be overbearing. These are traits I can't control. I don't always understand social graces or etiquette. But I'm trying.

When I am going through a rapid fire transition time, like I am now: new church, new activities, new friends among old friends, new everything really, I get scared.

Like right now, and I have to apologize to Tom, but we are transitioning from what may have been a strained relationship because it seemed forced and it was restricted. Now we are more free to be friends. But I don't know what to do. And I'm scared. I'm afraid of doing something to lose him because I never really learned how to be a friend to someone.

So I asked for boundaries because I need safety in the transition so it will be successful. But I think it made him snap and it feels like he is angry with me now. Because now we went from one extreme, too loose, to the other, too restricted.

But right now, since I can't talk to him until Friday, I'm stuck.

But in the meantime, I could really use some extra TLC if you don't mind.

First Two Days of 2013

I started Jesus Calling for kids and for youth yesterday. The language is so simplistic. Next year I will advance to the actual Jesus Calling. And sometime this year I want to get the Jesus Calling Bible Storybook.

Anyway, yesterday started with Jeremiah 29:13 as the introduction to January. The title of the first devotion in the kids version? "Get Ready for the Adventure!" Focal verse? Jeremiah 29:11.

Hold the brakes! The devotion actually SPOKE to me EXACTLY where I am at in life NOW. How? I'm being asked to come to God with a changeable heart.

Today was not much different. I ran into Matthew 7:7 which is like Jeremiah 29:13. In Jesus Calling, it was "Choose Me." Relax in God's presence.

Why is that so hard to do?

Maybe it goes back to expectations?

Tom, why did you have to throw me a teaching moment today?

I do vaguely recall a sermon from Bob on Luke 10:39-42. Martha got reprimanded for being BUSY BUSY BUSY while Mary sat and listened.

Are we TOO BUSY to slow down and notice when a friend is hurting or in need? Are we TOO BUSY to truly LISTEN? Are we TOO BUSY?

Yes, some friends may "demand" more time than others, but if you're TOO BUSY to listen, you may miss out on the deeper reason that may hold all the answers you need.

So here we are two days in the new year and we have:
Come to God willing to change
and
Relax in God's presence.

Not sure the lessons get bigger than that, but if they do, I may be in trouble!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Dealing with Disappointment

I won't say that it's easy because it isn't easy. But maybe instead of being disappointed in another person, we should evaluate ourselves and our expectations.

I made a decision. I cannot undo what led to the decision or even the decision itself. I won't. Because in some ways, I feel I was right. In many ways, what led to the decision, the way I was treated and made to feel, was wrong.

Stubbornness, lack of information and awareness, foolishness all cloud judgment. I got burned. Bad.

But I cannot undo what happened. All I can do is either learn what I can and change or hope they learn what they can and change.

In the meantime, all I can do is move forward. So that's what I'm going to do. New day, new year, clean slate. I'm moving on. You can go with me or you can stay where you are. But I'm not going to let you or anyone else keep me from reaching my potential and taking flight.

Happy New Year!
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