The Pain & Gain of Autism

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Hannah My daughter was not born with autism. She regressed into it. It was like watching a butterfly in reverse metamorphosis. Each day the cocoon engulfed her more and more. I felt so alone and so helpless.

One minute my heart would beg God for help, “God, where are you?” The next minute I’d shake my fist at Him in rage, “God, what are You doing?”

I grieved for my sweet butterfly. An ice-cold, turbulent grief.

First Day as Sophomore in CollegeThat was 17 years ago. Today, my sweet butterfly, Hannah, is flying at heights I never imagined possible. She has her driver’s license, graduated high school, and is in her second year of college with a GPA of 3.8.

Between these times, Hannah and I learned a lot. Tons, in fact. Hannah learned everything from how to play to communication, social interaction, academics, and driving.

Me? I learned exactly where God was and what He was doing. And I learned where I was and what I was doing. It’s all contained in Ephesians 2:10 (Amp):

“For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].”

God was right there with me. What was He doing? He was carrying me. His love designed me for the “good works” of nurturing, edifying, and training my daughter by taking the paths He prepared for us Himself.

The enemy wanted me to think I was alone and helpless. He wanted me to blame God so I wouldn’t turn to Him and I would feel lost and confused. But God’s love is so amazing.

He loved me through my grief and anger. He showed me where I was: right in His heart, loved and protected.

What was I doing? The good works He designed me for. And I have a good life. Yes, there have been huge challenges, but the joy inherent in each victory has been immeasurable.

Hannah is God’s masterpiece. He has prepared paths for her and prepared her for “good works” and a “good life.”

You and your child are God’s masterpieces and carried in His heart as well. Please allow me to pray with you:

Lord Jesus,

Thank You for the privilege of being moms to these wonderful children with autism. We cherish them, Lord. You are a Master Craftsman. You have designed them with many unique gifts and talents. Thank You for giving us the work of helping them discover the treasure they are. Thank You for providing all we need to accomplish this.  It is indeed a good work and a great life. Amen.


  1. // Reply

    Excellent as always. What a testimony to show other parents they are not alone in where they are or how they feel. Blessed be to God Almighty.

    1. // Reply

      Thank you, Debbie! It always amazes me how God can use the situation that caused our darkest hours and transform it into our greatest joys.

  2. // Reply

    Oh my goodness. First of all, let me say this is pure gold as are all of posts about Hannah’s journey. But my heart leaped when I saw your scripture reference. Today I was thinking about the story of creation and how God “saw that it was good.” The phrase that we are His workmanship came to my mind and I thought, “Wow, He saw that His workmanship in creation was good. Then how much more so so His workmanship in US. When I got home I googled Ephesians 2:10 and read the whole thing. And now…WOW…I find the exact same reference here in your post. What great Mystery we are chosen to participate in.

  3. // Reply

    Glenda, I love it when God does things like that! It’s like He’s giving you a gentle reminder that He’s devoted to you!

    Thanks for following my blog. I love your input and having you along on our journey.

  4. // Reply

    Moms of children with autism need this kind of encouragement. Thank you for what you do!

  5. // Reply

    I am so inspired by what you have written here. God is working in you especially since you started this blog. You are a shining example of one who realizes that we are never alone regardless of how we may feel at any given time. Please keep writing and inspiring.

  6. // Reply

    Thank you, Susan! That means a lot to me. My hope in writing about my experiences is to help other moms see they’re not alone a little sooner than I did.

I would love to hear from you!