He threw the glass across the kitchen this morning. At least it was a plastic glass……and at least it was empty. So began our morning. Aaron got up just in time to go out to Gary’s truck in the driveway and hug him goodbye. He was happy and I was hopeful. Yesterday was up and down with Aaron. He didn’t like me for awhile but then settled down and we had a nice evening. We watched Wheel of Fortune, and played Skip-Bo later while eating strawberries.
Simple pleasures, but not always such a simple life with Aaron.
This morning as we walked back into the house after his goodbye hug for dad, he decided that Mom was the bad guy again. He told me he wasn’t going to go to Paradigm today, and on and on.
Oh, the complexities of his mind! The challenges of autism! Physical issues I can handle so much easier because the flesh and blood of those special needs is right there to see and somehow grasp. But the workings of the autistic mind are sometimes anyone’s guess, and this morning I was in no guessing mood.
So I launched back after his verbal barrage got to a certain point. I pointed my finger at Aaron and I very firmly put him in his place. But Aaron rarely stays in the place I put him. I may feel better for a few seconds, but then he opens his mouth and his resolve is more set than ever……his resolve to win the war, even if he loses a few battles in the process. I know this about Aaron, but I sometimes act despite what I know. I act on my feelings, and I often regret it.
The rest of the morning was filled with Aaron telling me he wasn’t going to talk to me anymore, all the while talking to me to tell me that he wasn’t going to talk to me. Over and over and over. He also didn’t want me to talk, so I mostly remained silent, which actually drives him crazy. There was no winning for either of us at that point.
Aaron went to Paradigm, wanting me to come in with him so I could tell Barb to be sure he was nice……and Barb told him the same thing I had said earlier, that he was the only one who could be sure he was nice. I don’t know for sure how his day has been. I don’t know for sure that I want to know.
We’ve had lots of storms in Kansas lately. On our way back from Topeka recently, Gary and I drove through the beautiful Flint Hills. There on the horizon were storm clouds, and we were headed straight into them. There was no avoiding the storm. No matter what road we took, the drive home led into the storm.
And again yesterday, driving Aaron to his day group, we were facing storm clouds. There they were, dark and threatening.
Driving into a storm reminds me of living with Aaron. It also reminds me of Moses. I’m reading the book of Exodus, and in chapter 3 God spoke to Moses in the burning bush. He told Moses of the job He wanted him to do…..to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. And Moses said, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
The first part of God’s answer was simply this: “But I will be with you…..”
God didn’t say, “Oh come on Moses, you’re the man! You’re so great! I know you can do it!”
Moses’ sufficiency rested only in those six words that God first spoke: “But I will be with you…..”
Moses’ sufficiency rested only in God. Not in himself…..not in his family…..not in his royal connections from years past. No. The strength and wisdom and courage that Moses needed rested only in God.
I’m not proud of the times I blow it with Aaron. I’m not proud of Aaron’s behaviors on the bad days. I often feel like Moses.
“Who am I, that I can parent Aaron? Who am I, that I can have patience enough on the bad days to tolerate the behaviors?”
And God’s answer for me is just the answer He gave to Moses: “But I will be with you…..”
It’s no mistake that I am Aaron’s mother. God put me on this road because of His sovereign plan for me and also for Aaron. I may feel on some days that I can’t do this correctly, or do it at all, but this is where God has put me. God doesn’t make mistakes.
So here I am, driving on this life road and headed into yet another storm. I know I’m not alone in this. I know of others who are feeling the pressure of the dark clouds on their horizons, and are soon overcome with rain and lightning and thunder. But if you’re God’s child, He is with you. He promises you strength, wisdom for the asking, peace in your inner being, and joy deep down. Whatever your situation…..your worry……your pain…..your secret turmoil……your fear…..your failures, God’s word to Moses is God’s word for you…..for me…. “But I will be with you….”
I don’t always feel this fact. But I know this fact to be true, this fact of God being with me, and so I can rest in that knowledge even when I don’t feel it.
After I dropped Aaron off and drove home yesterday, this was my view. All the time I was driving into the storm, just behind me was the lifting of the clouds.
It’s true of my life, too. God will relieve the burden, even if the situation remains. He relieves my burden by reminding me of Who He is, like He did to Moses. And reminding me that He is with me, always.
Even when I say, “Are you sure, God? Did I take a wrong turn somewhere? And look how I’ve messed up!!” And He answers once again, “But I will be with you…..”
Dark clouds, or bright sky. Angry Aaron, or happy Aaron. God is with me.
On some days, that’s all I know. But on every day, that’s all I need to know.