Monday, April 2, 2012

Today is autism awareness day

I knew this little girl. I worked with her in her first grade class room. She was wild and passionate and kind and generous and sweet and sensitive and loud and playful and silly and wonderful. And she had autism. I will forever be changed by that little girl. She would greet me with the greatest hug each and every day. Some days were harder for her. She would struggle and stumble and cry and disobey and make poor choices. But my love for her never stopped growing. The way she fought. The way she never gave up. She was only 6 years old, but she taught me what it meant to persevere.

Did you know that around 1 in 88 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder? Did you know that more children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined? Did you know that autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S? Autism has gripped my heart. This little girl, along with other boys and girls with autism, have captured my heart. And I will not stop praying, stop crying out to God, stop fighting, until I see autism gone. Each week at church, we read the Lord's Prayer. When we get to the part in it that says "Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" the faces of these little ones come to my mind. I beg God, I plead and cry to him to let HIS will be done in their minds. To let Heaven come in their lives. I have faith that I will see it happen. I have faith that I will see autism-free schools and playgrounds and classrooms. I have faith that Heaven will come, and it will mean no more autism. Until that day, I will spread awareness. I will talk about the kind, goofy, lovely first grader who captured my heart. I will talk about the handsome, funny, darling little boy who I see every Sunday, full of life and hope. I will keep praying.

Today is autism awareness day.

1 comment:

stuckinmypedals said...

Oh yes, I hold that same passionate, kind, sweet girl in my heart. Lately, I've been struggling with how to pray about autism. Do I pray that it is cured? Or do I pray that humanity begins to embrace and celebrate the diversity of the mind? So many incredible ideas are birthed in minds that pursue non-traditional lines of thinking. A few weeks ago I watched Temple Grandin's TED Talk. It was fascinating and one line in particular has nested inside my heart. "The world needs different kinds of minds." It rings so true for me and I can't help but wonder if God is using people with autism to create things and solve problems that my mind isn't capable of. I'm torn. And the great thing about that is I can go to God with the two sides of my prayer and leave it at his feet with a quiet, "Your will be done."

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