For several weeks in our Sunday school class, our topic of study was Spreading the Word of God. We talked about how to talk to others about our faith, our church, our Lord, etc. in ways that were not offensive or "Bible-thumping." Others in the class were talking about people in their lives that they were praying for or casual people that had crossed their path & felt led to share their faith. Well, I was (and am) a stay-at-home Mom of one child. My daily interaction with people was extinct. Who WOULD I share my faith with other than the people in my own home? My family? Well, Corey & I were raised in Christian homes, so most of the people in our families already have faith in God. Who could I tell about my loving Savior? I could think of no one. So, I began to pray for God to bring opportunities to me. Well, what God actually did was gave me a DESIRE to tell others about Him. I'm sure there were people in my life of whom I could have shared, but I wasn't READY to share my story with others. But as I began to pray for God to bring people to me, my heart began to change. Soon, my desire to tell others about what God has done in my life was ready to explode.
During this time of studying & praying, Ethan had begun his Early Intervention program. He was now participating in a 2 day a week Developmental Playgroup for a couple of hours, speech therapy once a week, and occupational therapy once every other week. My daily life was no longer just me & Ethan. Our days were filled with therapists, teachers, other kiddos, parents, and case managers, and so on.
Do you see how these are related? I didn't then, but I do now. Crazy, right?! I tell the girls in my current Bible study that God creeps me out when He does stuff like this! And I'm beginning to realize that He is constantly doing stuff like this all the time.....we just are slow to realize.....if we even realize it at all. God was pulling it all together. He was preparing my heart & preparing my path all at the same time. LOVE IT!
Now some people may try & say that God GAVE Ethan autism in order to answer my prayers. Well, I don't think that's the case. I believe that God is USING the fact that Ethan has autism to reach a group of people we would have never been able to reach. Even though I am an educator, I knew NOTHING of Early Intervention or the workings of the Special Education department in my own school district. I would have never been as involved in Easter Seals or Autism Speaks. We are able to connect to families that we would have NEVER been aware of before.....and I praise God for that. I am so thankful that He has opened up my heart & eyes to see the needs of others in similar situations. And He did it at the perfect time. I was ready for Him to direct my paths & I was ready to share my story....perfect timing. He creeps me out! And I LOVE that about Him!!!!
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Genesis 50:20