Our neighbors across the street from us had a yard sale a couple weeks ago. Aaron loves yard sales! He REALLY loved the fact that there was a yard sale right across the street! He asked if we could go over and check it out to see if there was something he could buy. I agreed, knowing that he would end up over there anyway talking to Derek and Gina until I came to the rescue and escorted him home.
Before we left, I remembered that in my wallet was an envelope that held Aaron’s remaining Christmas gift money. I was always forgetting it was there! I looked inside and pulled out the cash. Aaron had $5.00 to spend, and he was happy.
It didn’t take Aaron long to spy exactly what he wanted. A lava lamp!! Aaron LOVES lava lamps and has been through several over the years. He has a glitter lava lamp in his room now, but this was a good old normal lava lamp. Aaron knew he had found his yard sale prize!
We looked at the sticker and guess what? It was priced at $5.00! Could it be any more perfect? We crossed the street with the “new to Aaron” lava lamp, carried it up to his room, placed it on his already crowded nightstand, plugged it in, and went about our day.
Aaron was waiting, though, for the level gunk in the lamp to begin bubbling. As he went about the remainder of the day and evening, he kept glancing at his lit lava lamp. There was no motion, however. The gunk was still.
“Mom!” Aaron finally said. “Do you think I bought something that is of no use?!”
I turned my head away so I could smile at his phrasing. He’s just so funny sometimes…so precise.
“No, not at all,” I responded. “The lamp just takes some time to heat up the goo inside.”
Gary got home and Aaron happily showed him his new lava lamp…his still not-moving lava lamp. Supper came and went, as did evening chores and Wheel of Fortune and watching our DVD show just before bed.
As Aaron got into his bed, he sighed with exasperation as he looked at his boring lit but not bubbling lava lamp.
“I think I bought something that is of no use!” he sadly repeated as he pulled his covers up. I was beginning to wonder myself if the lamp would work even as I told Aaron that it just needed more time.
No one was happier than me to walk in Aaron’s room the next morning, his coffee in hand, and see the lava lamp bubbling in all its globby glory!! YAY!!! Yay for Aaron…yay for me…and a special yay for Derek and Gina, whom I was afraid would have certainly heard all about the lava lamp that was of no use!!
Aaron was happy, happy! And every day since then, when he returns from his day group, he plugs in the lava lamp, totally enjoying the goopy bubbles in all their various shapes and sizes!
Last night, Aaron went to bed talking about how he was going out to eat lunch the next day with a group from Paradigm – his day group. There is nothing Aaron loves any more than eating out. So, this morning I wasn’t too surprised to hear him stirring early. How early? Aaron keeps a logbook like this:
This morning’s time was:
He had so much to look forward to today! He was ready to get this show on the road! He supervised me as I poured his coffee and carried it to his room, then told me he would shower and dress. I went back to my quiet time desk, but it wasn’t quiet for long.
Aaron was soon standing behind my chair, his shower completed and his impatience growing.
“Mom,” he ordered. “Take your shower and put your make-up on so it will become 9:00!”
I soon realized that Aaron’s hurried mood wasn’t going to improve until he saw me making some headway concerning my shower and make-up. But I also realized that Aaron’s eyes were very droopy, and his mood was changing even further from excitement to not feeling so well. He told me his head hurt, his stomach hurt, and that he felt like he was having a dream. We’ve learned that this often means a seizure is coming. Aaron was ready to go back to bed, and sure enough I soon heard on the baby monitor the unmistakable sound of a seizure.
I never like Aaron’s seizures, of course, but I especially detest them when they keep him from doing something that he’s looking forward to so much. No eating lunch out today for Aaron, I thought. Bless his heart!
And my heart? My mama heart takes a beating every time I watch Aaron going through this hard part of his life. He handles all this much better than I do, thankfully. But as I looked down at Aaron when I checked on him later, look what was in the background.
The lava lamp. Aaron’s lava lamp, that he worried was of no use, was performing perfectly there beside Aaron in his bed.
And it hit me. How easy it would be for me to wonder about all the why’s of Aaron’s seizures and autism…to even feel like it was all sadness and of no use. But never, never have I felt such hopeless thoughts. Even in the changed path of Aaron’s life…changed from what we thought our firstborn son’s life would be…there is the sure hope that only God can give.
You see, knowing and following Christ gives to me and to Gary and to Aaron the same hope that God gave to Jeremiah to share with the Jewish nation centuries ago.
“I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
I can claim that promise for us and for Aaron today because we know that God! We know that He has told us in Romans 8:28 that “ALL things work together for good to those that love God, who are the called according to His purpose.”
God doesn’t plan to hurt us! He plans to work for our good in order to conform us to Christ! We have a hope in Him and a future beyond anything we can imagine!
So you see, all the tough times and the sadness and the unanswered questions we may have do NOT mean that this life is of no use. Absolutely not!! This life is working perfectly, just how God intended, and in that knowledge – in God Himself – I can trust, and I can rest.