Mornings for Aaron are definitely the time of day that he struggles the most. It can really be hard for him to get out of his warm bed and face the day. Not every morning is difficult, but let’s just say that for Aaron the majority of mornings do not have a right side of the bed. Both sides are wrong!
Aaron realizes this about himself. Therefore, sometimes he will tell me to give him a morning reminder that will hopefully help him to be cheerful. The reminders are about something that the day will hold…something that he is looking forward to and so will encourage him to get up happily.
For instance, he loves going to Meals on Wheels on Thursday mornings but sometimes he knows on Wednesday night that he may be grouchy the next day.
“Mom,” he says, “tomorrow morning if I don’t want to get out of bed just say Buster.’’
Buster is the little dog at one of our homes that Aaron loves to see and to pet. And Buster loves seeing Aaron.
Or on Valentine’s Day, when we were going to pick up roses to take to his day group friends, he knew the night before that he might be irritated about getting up.
“Mom,” he told me, “if I start getting mad in the morning just say roses.”
I love Aaron’s plan of action. I know he truly does want to be nice in the mornings. Sometimes his plan works, and well, other times it doesn’t.
One recent evening we were watching a favorite show. Aaron was all comfy and relaxed on the couch, legs covered in his ever-present blanket, and enjoying a yummy snack. He was the picture of contentment.
Such was not the case hours earlier as we worked to get Aaron out of bed and on his way for the day. That morning he was the picture of frustration and anger.
As we sat on the couch enjoying our program, Aaron was filled with happiness. He finally looked over at me.
“I love you, Mom,” he said.
The moment was genuine and so sweet.
“I love you too, Aaron,” I replied.
Then he seemed to remember our unhappy morning.
“Tell me I said that in the morning when you’re getting me up,” he added.
His words were a stop-me-in-my-tracks moment.
How many times in my life have I been filled with contentment as things are going well? Then it’s easy to tell God that I love Him. And I mean it when I say those words to Him.
But sometimes the bottom falls out.
Gary and I had been married for five years before Aaron was born. That positive pregnancy test was SO huge to us! How thankful we were! How full of love for God and His sweet blessing in our lives!
Now here we are, 37 years later, in a place we never dreamed we would be with Aaron.
Seizures. Autism. Behaviors.
Can I still lift my eyes to God and tell Him that I love Him?
Those warm fuzzy ecstatic moments of my first pregnancy are long gone.
In their place are many moments of worry, sadness, frustration, and bone-wearying exhaustion.
But here’s the thing. I know God in a deeply personal way.
And I know that often His ways in my life are filled with heartache and pain so that I will grow to be more like Jesus.
God hasn’t changed one little bit.
But He calls me to change, and His word tells me that this change toward likeness in Christ will involve the hard things.
Sometimes I have to will myself to remember all the reasons I have told God that I love Him.
And those reasons cannot be based on my circumstances that are happy and fun.
The reasons I love God are based on WHO He is…His character and His attributes.
I cannot base my love for God on how comfortable I am.
So, like Aaron, there are times in my life when I need to look at God and ask Him to remind me that I said I love Him.
Through my tears, fears, anger, hurt…through all the questions I have about God’s reasons and logic in my life…I must not lose my love for God.
Oh God, tomorrow…when things aren’t going too well, and I feel upset…remind me that I said I love You.
Remind me that You are the same yesterday, today, and forever.
And remind me of how very much You love me, too.