Over the weekend I read Betsy from My Five Men when she guest posted to Chicken Scratchings: Life with Autism and was so moved by her description of what Autism means to her. If you don't read Betsy, she has 4 boys and her teenage triplets are autistic. I have read Betsy almost from my blogging beginnings. She is so calm and serene in her description of life with triplets, let alone triplets with autism. I wish I had her peace of mind to help deal with my single Asperger's tween.
In her post, Betsy described some differences in her boys and how she and her husband cope with day to day living. Each boy has different puzzle pieces that Betsy and her family are working each day to put together.
Betsy talked about the hand that God played in her life with her boys. She doesn't believe God gave her boys autism, she does believe that he knew it would happen, allowed it to happen and has given her the tools necessary to cope with it. She has great faith and courage to ask for Him for strength and grace to be able to face each and every day.
Where's this post going, you ask? Keep reading. I'm getting there.
I wasn't raised in a religious home, meaning we didn't attend church services, we didn't pray before meals or bedtime. That doesn't mean that I don't believe in God or His powers. In fact, I have not had a good relationship or view of God for a very long time. In fact, you could say I've been angry with God.
Why, you ask. I grew up thinking that God was merciful and would protect us from bad things, like cancer. Mom was diagnosed with cancer for the first time right before my senior prom. She came home from her first surgery just in time for my pre-prom festivities.
Fast forward a few years. She was diagnosed with cancer the second time right before my wedding. She was so sick and couldn't do much to help with the planning. She couldn't make my wedding dress like we planned all my teenage years. She suffered and fought this ugly disease for another 3 years, not making much progress.
Finally, when I was 5 months pregnant, she was put on Hospice to finish out her days in peace. During my pregnancy, all I wanted was Mom to be able to help me shop for the baby stuff, to plan my baby shower, to make beautiful baby clothes, to be happy for me and to look forward to the birth of her first grandchild.
But she was sick. And depressed. And miserable. I remember one night, she called me and said she wanted to die. I think I had some contractions that night. I wasn't ready to loose my mommy. I hadn't accepted the fact that she was going to die yet.
Then she died three days before Jakes was born. She never got to meet him, hold him, kiss him. I know she loved him. I know she keeps watch over us.
So, there are my selfish reasons for being angry with God. My theory (not necessarily a good one) is that if He were merciful, He would have given me at least ONE milestone that wasn't overshadowed by this horrible disease.
PLUS, Mom was in tremendous pain. The cancer started in her colon but metastasized to her sacral nerve. She lost control of one foot and had shooting pain down her butt and leg all the time. Pain meds only dulled the pain, never took it away completely.
My other theory (again, not necessarily a good one) is that if he were merciful, He wouldn't have let Mom linger so long in such pain before taking her to heaven.
All of these things combined to make me very angry with God. Praying to Him didn't and still doesn’t feel "right". Asking Him for help and guidance with Jakes didn't and still doesn't feel "appropriate".
As I said earlier, religion never played a huge part in my life so it didn't seem like an issue that I had to deal with immediately. Reading Betsy's post has made me question if my life would be so stressful if I were able to put my trust in God and ask for His help. Is it possible that with His help, would I be able to see the bigger picture, not worry so much over the small things and be content with life as it is?
Betsy points out to me that no one is promised a carefree life, life is full of ugliness, hurt and hardships. But if I had a better relationship; trust in God, would my hardships seem less significant? Would I have more strength and grace to deal with the hardships in my life?
And the biggest question I have is: Am I ready to trust in God once again?