…for this is the will of God…

Many years ago, I learned the value of “in everything give thanks…” But in the last 8 years, it’s been put to the test even more. My profoundly disabled son has been the circumstance in my life that doesn’t seem ‘right’ or ‘fair’ to our perceptions, where God says, “Ok, you’ve done fine on your own so far, so its time to kick life up a notch, and turn that which you say you believe into your tangible reality”. And along came Johnny. Johnny showed me that I really have no control in anything, that there are things I cannot change. He ripped the carpet from all my comfort zones, leaving me floundering in the unknown. He shattered my dreams, and I can’t do squat about it, and for this I am so grateful….for I finally broke, and fell like a lumpy mass into God’s loving arms of surrender. Breaking was always perceived as a bad thing to me, but the actual experience of it (so far anyway, she says looking to the heavens in a way that says I’m not looking for more right now, haha) has been the most liberating thing ever.

At this time, a life caring for my son doesn’t allow for much else, and it doesn’t look like things will change soon, and for this I give thanks, because I know God is using this little souldier to extract a transformation so profound, I’ve only begun to feel it.

It is in this place of admitted weakness that a quiet strength moves forward, seemingly out of nothing, and I know it was God filling the space I opened, taking a more integrated residence in my life, from the inside out.

This Power reveals Itself through my surrender of EVERYTHING!!! Not just in the the circumstances themselves, but also in my thoughts and ensuing emotions. This Strength, while it comes out of me, doesn’t come from me. This Inner Force comes only in the empty space of not knowing what to do. Surrendering your abilities, or lack thereof, completely diffuses the buttons Satan would wish to strengthen in these experiences.

This is not a passive Surrender. It is alive. Sometimes the effects are passive, and sometimes they a call to action. So far, in my life, Surrender has just been meeting moments as they are with non-judgmental and compasionate love, with agape love, to either speak or not speak, to laugh or not laugh, to cry or not cry… I have days when I fail. Horribly. And then the Surrender is directed in compassion towards myself.

And what is the peace? It’s the peace that passeth understanding, which basically has come to mean (for me anyway) no resistance to a particular moment. Not always an agreement to it, but no resistance to things as they are at that time. It doesn’t mean one might not need help physically, mentally or emotionally though.

Authentic surrender led me to immense personal freedom, even though I still get insecure and emotional at times. It also yielded a desire of service to others, by meeting each moment with compassion. And this service is not at the expense of myself, as in suppression, but as an extension of the growing Love and Presence flowering within, so much so that I begin to wonder where I end and Christ begins, and I can’t find that line of distinction, because it all feels like one Being.

In this place of complete surrender, my autistic son reveals my own spiritual autism, and how I’m really no different than he when it comes to a living interaction with Truth, compared to his ability to interact with our perceptions.  There is so much more than we see going on, and we really are all part of one extended family. What has bonded me to this is to see Christ in everyone and in everything, even if they don’t see it themselves.

I know now that no matter what God throws at me, I am no longer as deeply fearful of the unknown, and the deeper my resistance is to it, the deeper is the potential for His Living Presence and Love, if I am willing to be transformed in ways that don’t conform to my egoic wishes. And the more authentic the gratitude, as opposed to just saying the words, the deeper into the mystery of a real and intimate experience of Christ, Oneness with God, becomes, and how less of me equals more of Him, through an extension of His Love through me, from one facet of His creation to another.

I take absolutely NOTHING for granted.

I am better at finding triumph in tragedy, magic in the mundane, infinity within the finite, and extraordinary in the extra ordinary, and for this I am so grateful. It doesn’t mean I don’t also find a deeper darkness, but the inner workings of God’s Spirit act as both the wind and the wings to carry me up and out.

It is a chance to slow down and live life at Johnny’s pace. It helps me reprioritize what is actually important, and let go of what is not. It gives me a deeper sense of playfulness and simplicity in life, not to mention a more child-like wonderment as well.

Instead of filling my mind and days with more, I allow them to be emptied, and for God to fill it with what God will. I don’t always succeed at this mind you, haha.

Learning to communicate with my son requires that I stop everything and listen, not just with my ears, but with my heart, with my entire being. And God takes advantage of that open space, and I begin to feel a fuller Indwelling Presence, and profound peace. It is truly well with my soul. (most days, haha)

All of this translates into emotional freedom, and the humility of letting everyone and everything be as it is, even myself, whether or not I or others see it in the same way. I see the value in each of God’s creations, not matter what our culture deems valuable. What I’ve previously seen as disability in the eyes of man, that which cannot contribute tangibly to our society, I now see as God given abilities to contribute intangibly, or “God”tangibly.

There is a deeper sense of giving with not thought of reciprocation. I hold God’s hand deeper by extending it to another in love, just for the sake of loving, and not for the sake of being loved, or receiving anything in return. The giving is its own reward. As my son is not able to express sentiment the way I’m used to, reciprocation becomes irrelevant.

So thank you thorns in my flesh, and thank you God, and thank you my son, for teaching me to die on a daily basis, teaching me death as a way of life, that Christ may live and react to my circumstances. Thank you for pulling me through the eye of the needle.

And when I really mean all this, and persevere with gratitude, then this thankfulness prepares my heart and vision to see a deeper design, and to experience a fuller expression of the mystery of Christ, bringing me to a place where many of my beliefs in a future hope are being translated into a known reality, right here and now. Is that what Jesus meant about the Kingdom of Heaven is within you? Or at hand? It doesn’t mean I don’t go KERSPLAT!!! on my face at times, but it does mean I don’t have to stay there….And for this I give thanks, forever and always, AMEN.

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