we've had several sweet, quiet play times here lately.
thoughtfully squishing playdoh into little plastic molds.
removing dust jackets from almost every book in the house,
then putting each one back. upside down.
the click click of a red and blue transformer, over and over again.
my personal favorite is watching elijah line up his little cars, planes or people:
he's meticulous and sometimes holds his breath. his focus won't be broken, he doesn't even see me there.
i watch him as long as he plays, sometimes even joining in beside him with my own little figures.
these quiet times are not commonplace. most often our tone is more rambunctious around here.
beautiful, (mostly)joyful hyperactivity, you've likely never seen before.
and i'm learning to love that, too. the difficult part is, when we need to take this party elsewhere.
i'm still learning so much.
this new life, parenting with autism, i'm adjusting, but it won't happen overnight.
grocery shopping, post office visits, the library, the drugstore,
even getting to school and therapies are rough...anywhere is a huge challenge.
so i most often only go when i am able to go alone. or if patrick can come along, too.
it's easiest for elijah, and easiest for us this way. for now.
we're so hopeful for smoother trips in the future. we are all learning more and more about elijah,
and we seem to be getting better and better with the "going out" business! praise jesus!
this season though, right now. makes for loneliness like i've never known.
the most difficult place for our family to ever be?
is the church.
i have a secret.
i haven't been to church in nearly six months.
let that sink in for a moment.
if you are a regular church attender,
thriving on corporate worship and gospel proclamation every sunday,
then you can guess the weight of this pain.
in this season, of learning our boy and ourselves and figuring out how to make this work, i am hurting.
the churches here are simply ill-equipped for our needs(or any special needs family for that matter).
where does your church stand? is your body embracing families with autism?
do you even know what that looks like?
i do not. yet.
i've been so convicted and broken over this. for my own oversight of others that are different than i am.
thinking of other families struggling in this way. saddens me. i want to make it all right!
a typical sunday school class, a typical nursery? not necessarily going to fly with families who aren't typical.
it sure as heck hasn't worked at all for our family.
as my eyes have been opened to this, i've been praying and seeking how to fix this.
and guess what? i will not be the one who fixes it.
the void of fellowship with other believers, the feeling of a sunday...you know, it's a different day, the lord's day! incredibly hard to treat it as such. when you are at home, where it feels like every other day. even listening to online sermons, podcasts, worship music, trying to make it "churchy". it is not working.
i feel like i am dying.
dramatic? you tell me.
how alive would you feel, if you just stopped doing one of your favorite things?
a life-giving thing.
worship music, corporately.
studies with other believers.
it just quit.
not because you decided,
but because it was like banging a square peg into a round hole trying to be there.
we have tried multiple scenarios, even tried other churches again.
patrick works most sundays, making it all the more impossible on my own.
easter was hard, my friends.
and every sunday is hard. the enemy loves this detachment of our hearts from the body of christ.
he is on the prowl here daily, but especially fervent on the lord's day.
this is hard.
this is painful.
this is lonely.
this is humbling.
i miss the church.
i miss community.
i'm so thankful that jesus is here with me, in this season at home.
and i am trusting that he is making a way for us to be a part of his church body once again.
we have hope in him.
and i covet your prayers.