The Power of Hope

There was a time in my life when it seemed Hope was Lost. I struggled with my faith. I asked God “Why?”. When I heard the words “Your child Has Autism” it was a devastating Blow. Dreams were torn from me. I was surrounded by negativity. Statements like “He may never talk, or have friends, play sports, or live a “Normal” Life” . When He was 4 years old, For the first time in His life, I heard Him say “Mommy” and It is truly the most beautiful word. I Learned to look for the GOOD things,  to bask in those tiny moments.  God has reminded me that He IS with me on this Journey.

As I sat in church last Sunday listening to the sermon, Pastor read John 10:10. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Plain as Day, I heard in my heart ” Rachel, Autism seems to steal and destroy, but when you chose to LOOK for the blessings and lean on ME, to stop wishing for things to be different and be thankful, to bloom where I have planted you, you will have life, and have it more abundantly”. It is a daily battle, to CHOSE Hope, to LOOK for the blessings and not focus on the negatives. Some days are harder than others.

The other thing that Jumped at me out of Last weeks message was Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” In Raising a child with Autism, I have gained Unconditional Love, I have Gained Joy, I have Gained Peace, I have Gained Patience, I have gained Kindness, I have Gained Goodness, I have Gained Faithfulness, I have Gained Gentleness, I have Gained self Control. I have only gained each of thee because I DAILY have to ASK God for them. I have to CHOSE Life and Hope, and not despair and death.

As we approach Easter Sunday, I am reminded of a song I have known since Childhood, and it fits here so well, so I will leave you with it…..

“God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives.
But greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

And then one day I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain.
And then as death gives way to victory,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone!
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives!”

Words: Bill & Gloria Gaither

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