Sunday, November 10, 2013

a victory in my heart

this was supposed to be a ten on ten post. except i forgot after six photos, and now it's dark. besides, my camera is still temperamental, everything turns out blurry. i would go get it fixed, but i keep forgetting. you're noticing a pattern, yes?
you could say i have too much on my plate. really, there isn't much on my plate that hasn't always been there. it's simply that i'm feeling the weight of it all lately. and it's so overwhelming! 
i terribly miss sharing more than a few quick pics from my phone here.

so. i will write a little, and none of it has to do with these pictures :)
something amazing happened today. and i think it's the reason i forgot all about ten on ten. 
i took elijah to a birthday party. it was his first non-family party, which overjoyed and terrified me all at once. tears welled up when i saw the little dora the explorer invitation. my little amazing boy got invited to a party! someone sees him, someone thought about him. he was being included
then i cried a little harder, thinking about what it all meant. uncharted territory. new faces, birthday party manners, loud noises, too many things to touch...why on earth would i attempt such a thing on my own!? because i am crazy. and because i can't let fear  rule me.

see, i'm not yet comfortable in my special needs parenting role. i never know what to say, when to say or even if to say things. i feel painfully urged to explain everything about my son, in hopes others will accept and include him. but how do i do that? i'm accustomed to most everything in our life. and i feel like i'm settled with it. until new situations and people appear. then i see everything again for the very first time. and i truly just don't know what to do with myself. i'm still learning, and i guess i always will be. that's life for any of us.

when i called to rsvp, the mom sounded so happy that we said yes. that made me a bit more brave. we gathered gifts we loved for the sweet girl turning five. that made it feel personal. i told elijah all about his friend inviting him and explained about the party, so hopeful for him to understand. he pranced around the house, singing the girl's name into the birthday song. he talked about cake and presents. he understood. and he was excited. i felt more excited.
we arrived at the playplace, my extreme germ phobia was completely absent. i was so nervous and awkward with all the feelings, i didn't even care. we were greeted with smiles and elijah hid between tables. i encouraged him to go play and have fun, but i let him hang out until he was ready. soon enough he was climbing and following the other kids around, grinning big and looking confident. he made me more confident.

he played with other kids.
he joined everyone at the table for cake. leading off with the birthday song unprompted, right in the birthday girl's face. it was the best moment. multiple moments really, since he sang it over and over again. elijah was obviously overstimulated and overwhelmed. he was managing himself so well! oh, the things he teaches me.
for me, today was a huge day. a stressful, anxious successful day :) not just making it through the party. we stayed the entire time, and enjoyed it. that's amazing to me. but not surprising.
i know the lord orchestrated our afternoon of celebrating. i know he planned each detail and knew each emotion that waved over me and my son. he made us brave, he helped me do this difficult new thing. he showed me that he is able, even for a rowdy afternoon birthday party. he showed up for us. in the kindness of others there, in the strength he gave me to just go and celebrate a little girl. to just try it

this was a victory in our autism journey. and this was a victory in my heart. jesus won over my fear and doubt. pretty sure i'll be celebrating that for awhile.

"as for you, o lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!" psalm 40:11


  1. I do NOT fully grasp this but the verse . But it keeps coming back to me(this year,in so many situations) and this post brought it again is, "We are not given a spirit of fear but of Power, Love, and Self-Control." Thanks for sharing-I ReJoIcE with you and EG!

  2. This is awesome! Yay for Jesus! Yay for you! Yay for your little dude!

  3. WOW! Praise Jesus for an awesome day and great victory!

  4. I am doing the happy dance!!! This is so awesome and a true victory! My ASD kiddo (now 7) had the hardest time with play groups and especially birthday parties (not that we got invited to many, either) and we stopped going to them for a good long while. I LOVE a good party, but after my son turned one we had no birthday parties for him until he turned 6. He asked my hubby and I a couple months before his birthday "Can I have a birthday party this year?" and we threw that kid the most amazing party you ever did see! He had the time of his life...until his 7th birthday party a couple months ago. He talks about those parties all the time and can't wait til the next one. I am SO GLAD EG was able to enjoy it. Praise the Lord! I know how your heart was lightened!

  5. hannah... this is wonderful! i'm so glad you both enjoyed yourselves :)

  6. oh happy day!! a BIG HOORAY for progress!!
    xo, amy jupin

  7. Oh Hannah, You just bought a flood of memories back to me. I felt exactly the same way when my son BJ was invited to his first birthday party when he was 5 (he is now 15 and has been diagnosed since he was two and a half ). I often wonder what those other mums thought that day. Back then, and even sometimes now, I tended to fall in the habit of underestimating the kindness and understanding of people. I am so happy that this experience was an amazing one for you.... And I hope you have many more!

  8. Oh praise! How exciting! And such an encouragement to me!

  9. I lovelovelove this!
    You're such a great mom!
    I'm still so happy for you and your boy!

  10. Those moments are huge. So thankful for this milestone.

  11. you are my new favorite blogger and God used you to speak to me today:-)

  12. so much beauty and love in your words - your courage and faith is a gift to me and brought tears to my eyes! I love your ten on ten set my's perfect this month the prompt was "a full harvest" I would say this is a pretty full harvest indeed - God is good, praising Him with you through these victories!

  13. just came back from our pastor's staff retreat, and celebration and victory were the two words we spoke of most. there is victory in christ because of christ in both big and small ways, and we must celebrate them all!

  14. Tears of joy, Hannah. I'm so thrilled. SO THRILLED!

  15. Oh this makes me happy on so many levels! So excited to for the new journey and experience your little Elijah was gifted with...and you too! Continued blessings to you dear Hannah :)

  16. I love this so much, I went back and read it again :)

  17. Rejoicing with you!!! what a great victory, what a fun day for you all. God is good. It can only get better from now on :)