Love like a hurricane
“Yet You, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, You are the Potter; We are ALL the work of Your hand” (Isaiah 64:8).
My county in Florida was expecting over one-hundred mph winds. Hurricane Irma was headed towards us in all her fury. Oh, how, I prayed. The storm made a slight turn, enough so that our maximum winds were in the seventies – enough for God to accomplish His purpose in our lives.
All kids on the spectrum are different, but if your child is on the spectrum, he or she may also struggle with OCD and religious routines. At the first sign of strong winds, we lost power, internet, and cell service. Uh Oh. Not enough money to afford a generator and under so much stress and pressure from my lack of sleep and extreme exhaustion from working with my son and helping him through his recent explosions of symptoms, I had forgotten about him needing a fan (white noise) to sleep. Storm raging, no getting a battery powered one now.
An already exacerbated kid on the spectrum, already in a season of frequent meltdowns + his routines just destroyed + his inability to get any sleep for over 24 hours = the worst meltdown of his life
My son became a danger to himself and everyone in the home. He went so out of his mind with exhaustion and had the meltdown of all meltdowns. Hours and hours of destruction. For the first time in his life, I needed to hospitalize my son. There was a hurricane both outside and inside our home.
Agony. I felt the greatest agony of my life. The ambulance and police came to our home once the winds calmed. They talked my son down. My son is fatherless, and God used those men, aware of my son’s condition, as strong voices to help him. My son miraculously allowed me to drive him to the ER where they said they couldn’t really do anything for him. So we returned home, him still sleepless and agitated.
The destruction began again. “I have to take my son to a psych hospital,” I thought. I wept and cried out to God, “Lord, I surrender my son into Your hands. Please keep him safe in this place.” I surrendered him completely in my heart, every little part of my precious child, into God’s hands. The police arrived again, calmed my son down enough for me to get him into the car. We arrived at the psych hospital. My stomach twisted inside me. My heart shattered and turned to dust – readied by God to add Living Water to it, to do a new thing in my heart. I died a great death at the door of that psych hospital. The sign on the door made the place sound more like a prison than a place of help. I was terrified and prayed the entire time in my head.
The staff arrived at the door, I explained the situation, and the strangest thing came out of the supervisor’s mouth, “I think your son would be traumatized here.” That was God.
The moment my son heard I would not be allowed to stay with him at ‘this type of hospital’ (which I was unaware of), terror washed over him. In an instant, something supernatural happened in my son and I. Both of us lumps of clay on God’s Potter wheel, He’d molded us into something new. My son was ready to let me help him – for real this time – and nothing and I mean nothing else mattered but making sure my son would be okay. I put everything on God’s altar. Many more parts of me died, more Jesus parts taking their place. He says we must die to self and that I did. My son was coming home with me. Hallelujah!
“Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”…Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide” Genesis 22:8, 13-14.
We were both different kids (of God) from that day forward. God provided a lamb that day – Jesus was there protecting us, teaching us, refining us, taking our places, changing us, making all things new.
My son professed Christ at a young age and was baptized at age seven. Of course God can work in his life, too, despite a diagnosis of autism. The Holy Spirit worked in my son that day helping him to see I was the only one in his world who’d lay my life down for him, do anything to help him, and show him my love, and the love of God.
Love like a hurricane…My once non-compliant child now allows me to help him with everything. God guides me with His wisdom at every turn and with the right words. My son allows me to comfort him, hug him, pray for him, and listens to my advice. None of this was true before the hurricane. It was only bedlam continually. He even recently said, “You’re a great mother. You really know how to help me and speak to me. You’re always right about how to help me. I love you very much.” Another miracle. My heart melted. My son not cured, but changed by God.
Also, he began to comply with taking vitamins. These are not cures, but they do take the edge off of his symptoms big time. He takes high quality B vitamins, a multivitamin called Kid Calm, fish oils, and a very clean diet – no dyes, no preservatives, very little refined sugars, and all organic.
I’ve heard it said God turns our mess into our message. Our misery into our ministry. Our tests into our testimony.
God turned bedlam into His best for me and my son.
It’s a work in progress, all still very hard every day, but God is at work, He is on the case working in our lives and showing Himself strong on our behalf.
Soon after the hurricane, I played some worship music on YouTube, auto play on, and How He Loves Us, the one by Dave Crowder came on. I wept at the words…
He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
These words will forever remind me that what looked like bedlam, utter chaos, was God at work, rearranging and reordering things into His best for us, helping us, and bringing change for our good as He says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Now one of my favorite songs: