I’m encouraged and inspired by my friend Katrina’s mama-bear strength and positivity. Katrina’s heart for God and others just shines, and I’m honored to share her story of living free while parenting a child with autism. Chances are, someone close to you is a parent to a little one on the autism spectrum. I hope Katrina’s perspective will encourage you to rest in God’s grace and remind you to give a little extra love to those parenting children with special needs — those you see, and those you don’t see.
When you’re pregnant or adopting, you find yourself imagining the conversations you’ll have with your little one.
I’m still longing for that.
This is my journey of living free as Zeke’s mama.
My husband and I walked a long battle with different doctors and different exams. All of them came back normal except the last one…and I’m pretty sure we both knew before we got the diagnosis. We’d talked to each other and to other medical people. Before that last meeting, I had a good long talk (okay, with a lot yelling) and crying with God. This is where God met me.
He was molding me into the mama and woman He wanted me to be — a mama who advocates for her son and a woman of God who is free to love and free to live.
Living free isn’t easy when you have a child with autism. Worrying about what outside triggers will spur on ‘The Meltdown’ or if the happy squeals he does for stimulation will kick us out of the restaurant. Wondering what the phrase he is saying over and over means but having no clue what he’s saying, because he’s speaking his own language. It’s not an easy road. But those times when I’m questioning if I’m doing anything right? That’s where God meets me, molds me, and creates the woman He knows I am to be.
Living Free is a mixture of getting those checklists done as well as being flexible to follow my son’s lead when it comes to how he’s going to learn best each day. Especially when we’re out and about, I’m figuring out what will stimulate Zeke and trying to staying true to God’s word while helping him soothe himself in the world that he truly doesn’t understand. Just like I truly don’t understand how some people are so rude with their facial expressions or their words that my son “just needs some discipline.” When that happens, I try to remember to look at my God who created me and created this “Ausome” boy for me to look after here on Earth.
I still have my moments when I question God and ask, no beg, Him for a complete healing for my Zeke. In those moments, God wraps his arms around me and shows me that He created my son. That Zeke is Fearfully, Wonderfully and Beautifully made. God reminds me to look for those little, seemingly mundane events that are so special in showing growth in Zeke.
I know God choose my son specifically for me. I know I’m far from being a perfect mama, but Zeke and I are the perfect fit. (Along with the help of my wonderful husband and our daughter, we’re the pieces to help Zeke grow.)
My son has showed me that living free is rejoicing in the little things, and always pressing for something bigger, looking to God when the world tries to drag us down. My son is amazing at drawing, loves music, is using more words, and loves cuddling and laughing. We’ve seen a lot of growth in him at school, even in the short few months he’s had. Since that diagnosis day, I feel like I’m a better mama for Zeke, and my other kids, too. As I learn more about him and what triggers him, I’m better able to help him in this world. Sometimes, it’s a struggle for me to fully live free as Zeke’s mama, but I know that for me, living free is loving without warrant every person God puts in my path. And I know to love God more than anything is key to helping me live free with an autistic son.
This part of 31 daily posts of living free. Living freely is something we do momentarily, but to fully live free? That’s a transformation — a total change not only in what we’re like, but in who we are. You can find all the 31 Days of Living Free posts here.