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Category Archives: Faith Walk

Children turn to their shepherd in a time of need. Lead them to God through love, for they are lost and cannot find their way home.

Autism: How the Story Ends

“Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither.” (Psalm 37:1-2)

I read that in my devotional this morning, and it was so needed; for I frequently find myself full of pain and fear over the evil that is in this world.

The greed.

I guess I have known this for a long time, but the older I get, the heavier the weight it carries: capitalism feeds greed.

It isn’t even about wanting more and more, and working hard to get it. That, I suppose, is what capitalism is about: the hope that if you work hard enough, and give enough of yourself, your circumstances (will?) improve.

But that isn’t the reality for most people – and even that isn’t what bothers me most.

It is the greed that says, “I will do whatever it takes to get ahead,” and either doesn’t take into account, or doesn’t even care what it costs to others.

Like pet food companies that work for profit, and keep products on the market even when they know it is killing animals.

Like clothing companies, or toy companies, or shoe companies, or… just about everything that uses slave labour to create products at the cheapest cost to sell in richer markets for a huge profit – not caring what they are doing to the people on the bottom.

Like people who cut down rain forests to grow crops to feed animals, so people in the developed world can feel rich eating much more meat than their bodies require – while people are starving in other parts of the world, and plants and animals that should have been left alone, become extinct.

Like people who buy multi-million dollar vacation homes that are left unused much of the time while children are dying of hunger, and for lack of proper medicines and clean water.

So much evil! So much greed!

And it overwhelms me most of the time; I can’t block it out.

How could we?

How could we keep doing this year after year, and decade after decade, and think it is okay?

And I guess if it weren’t for money, people would seek power in its place – and people would be abused, and used, and killed for others to get to the top. And I ask myself, why is it so competitive? Why can’t we work in cooperation instead? Why can’t we make it better?

But the world is full of evil, and sometimes it seems that evil will win.

But evil doesn’t win – and that is what this verse reminded me of today. “In the end it will all be okay; and if it isn’t okay, it isn’t the end.”

I read the book. I know how the story ends. If only I could remember that when I look around and see how bad things are right now.

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Autism: I Long For The End

How can my life be fixed?

How can I move forward when the past continues to cry out for redemption?

Broken as I am; standing on a fine line between sanity and insanity; how can anything good, or true, or righteous come out of my existence?

I dream of things that are wrong, or impossible… and when I wake, I still desire them in part.

Even in longing to belong to God, I still desire things which God has determined are not right for me. In the battle between flesh and spirit, the flesh frequently lays the stronger claim.

“Oh wretched (person) that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24)

I am filled with a restlessness and a discontent which nothing in this evil, broken world can satisfy; and I long for escape.

Where others find joy and connection, I see a world filled with pain and despair, and feel powerless to help at all. And evil as I know I am, this overpowering desire to ease the pain and suffering (which I have carried for all of my life) only breaks me further as I come to see that my presence, and my very best attempts only serve to cause more pain.

Who am I?

Why am I here?

Will I ever make it home?

What more will I cost others along the way in my weakened attempts to serve some greater purpose, and remove just a little bit of the hurt in this broken world?

Some days I long for the end, for… “the end is where we begin,” (Captain Jack Harkness – Torchwood)

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Autism: If The World Ends

If the world ends this year, or I am taken out of it, what would happen to my girls? To my son? To my mom? Death comes to us all, and I long for a world that is good. I long for a world in which I am good, and where evil had no place. Yet I fear abandoning my loved ones to a life of loneliness, terror, torture, despair. I fear abandoning my loved ones to a life or eternity of hell. This is not what I want for them.

For not knowing God, is that the life they deserve? It is the life I deserve, and it causes me to tremble. Yet by grace I am saved, and I pray that grace to cover them, too. This life may become so much worse than the pain I have known, and I am very afraid; for there is no promise I will be spared such things. I have no illusions that I should be spared when millions before and many beside me were not.

Yet this hope remains: that however this ends, and whatever I experience, my eternal future is secure in him that gave his life that I might be welcomed home.

How should I be awarded this surety when others were denied? Am I more righteous than any of them? Truly I know that I am not. I am saved because I believed the one who saved me. Saved. By grace and grace alone. And I long for the same for a world hurting, and dying, and lost.

If I had the words, I would shout it from the mountaintop. Yet the words that tumble from my mouth are rarely understood, and frequently cause offence.

So I whisper it quietly with tears pouring down my face: “Lord, please save them too.” For if God could love me through all of my sin, shame, and failure, I am fully convinced that there is nothing another has said, or done, or failed at that would deny God’s love to them… if only they would believe.

So I pray again, “Lord soften their unbelieving hearts, teach them of your love, and save them.”

And Lord? Please come quickly.

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Autism: Fighting Demons

It was probably the nicest day of the year so far. It was a Saturday, and I had nothing pressing to do. The day before had been my cleaning day. I had my blog posts written and up to date. There was no shopping that needed to be done…

My mom and I were sitting outside, watching ‘my girls’ who had spent a while happily exploring the yard, and running around, and had moved to rest on the lawn.

I set up the hammock I had gotten from the thrift store the previous fall, and brought out my bag of papers and pencils in case I was inspired to write.

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I lay down on the hammock, and looked up into the maple tree above me, and there I stayed for maybe two hours.

The sun was filtering down through the branches, and the leaves were gently swaying in the breeze.

It was as calm and content as I have ever felt. No fears. No anxieties. No worries. Just peace. For that moment, all was right with the world.

Yet even then I felt this tug at my heart, and fought these words in my mind.

“You will be punished for this.”

Punished for feeling content. Punished for feeling good. Punished for taking time to be okay that I was not in control. Punished for making peace with all that I have lost, and all I have experienced.

And though I tried to push away the attack and fight the demons within, I was not well succeeding.

When other people in the world are so busy, or are so sick, or are living in war torn places fearful for their lives – how can I take an afternoon, and spend it laying on a hammock watching the leaves sway in the breeze.

How could I?

I tried to fight it more. After all, I am never content, like I was that afternoon. I am always fighting some battle in my head – and trying to gain control over things I have no control over – and trying to return to a past that I can’t reach – and trying to make up for things I can’t overcome…

And if I let go of the past that hurt me so many times, and took so much from me, does that mean I don’t care?

If for just one moment, or two hours on a Saturday afternoon, I can make peace with the life I was given, shouldn’t I take that opportunity?

And the demons say, “no.”

But God says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Only I am always afraid – and when I am not afraid? That scares me to. The demons I fight are very strong, and their words are familiar, and it is hard for me to stand.

 

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Autism: The Greatest Love

The other night, as I was lying in my bed reading a Christian book that I had downloaded to my tablet, I came across a chapter that brought out a strong and sudden response.

The book was non-fiction, but this chapter was about a vision which the author claimed to have experienced… as if it were real. It might have been real. I do believe that some people do experience visions – and if I hadn’t believed it was real, perhaps it wouldn’t have upset me as it did.

In the vision, the author was speaking with Jesus, and said, “some people have strange opinions on Christianity,” or something on the lines of that, “some believe they will see their dogs in heaven.”

I cried so long, and so hard, that when I woke in the morning my eyes were still heavily swollen. In one sentence, the author had re-awoken a trauma that, while it hadn’t healed, was at least not as… loud anymore. It was as if my dog had been taken from me all over again, and it hurt just as much as on the day when I unexpectedly lost him.

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“I need him, Lord,” I cried. “I need all of them.” If my animals aren’t in heaven… how could it be heaven then?

This is difficult to explain to people who don’t understand. And I know that this is something that Christians disagree on. But…

You see (and I know God knows this about me, for He put them on my heart, and He gave them to me to love) I really struggle to form connections with people. No matter how hard I try, and no matter how much I like them, I just… I am always afraid, always uncomfortable, always ashamed of who I am when I am with people.

I try to be myself, and I try to be known, and I really do try to connect – but at the end of the day, it is my ‘babies’ that I feel closest to – and they aren’t people.

All of my life, it was them. It was the animals that carried me through. It was my animals that kept me going. Even as I cried over this sentence in the book I was reading, my cat verbally questioned what was wrong (not in English, of course, but I understood him) and my girls came to lick the tears off of my face.

My husband walked by, but it was my ‘babies’ that came straight to me to ensure I was okay. I wasn’t.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love ” 1 Corinthians 13:13. God gave me my babies to love. All through my life, they have been there to love – and I have. I really, truly have. So if love remains, why wouldn’t they? I cried myself to sleep that night praying, “Please, Lord, I need them.”

The next morning I woke with this verse on my mind: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Ephesians 3:20. This verse has been used as a comfort for here, but also in heaven – and for heaven to be “abundantly more than I could ask or imagine,” my babies would have to be there.

They would have to be… wouldn’t they? The thought that they might not be there has me crying still – two days later – and has re-opened wounds that the presence of those still with me have worked to heal. “I need them, Lord. Please.”

 

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Autism: Strongholds and Addictions

This week at church my pastor spoke of something that really got me thinking. The message was about the difference between believing in God, and believing God. It was a passage about Jacob and his uncle Laban. At this point in the story, Jacob had learned to believe God, and so lived a life where he trusted God to provide for him.

Laban on the other hand, believed in God, mainly that God was with Jacob, and blessed all he did, but he was sneaky, conniving… basically all the things Jacob had been through his life, but… Jacob was listed as a great man of faith, where Laban turned towards things such as divination, and went to hell.

Divination. That was the part that left me really thinking this week. I know divination isn’t Christian, yet…

I wasn’t raised Christian, you see. I was raised in a family that, for the most part, believed in God, but that was about as far as it went. We celebrated Christmas, and my parents allowed us to go to church with neighbours if we were invited, but they never went themselves. They believed that children should be able to choose faith on their own – which sounds good, but really left me feeling lost and confused.

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The only person in my family who went to “church” was my aunt – my father’s older sister. Growing up, even having friends who were Baptist, or Mormon, or some other faith, my aunt was the most spiritual person I knew. She was especially kind, and calm, and all those wonderful things that ‘Christians’ should be (yet so often fail to live up to.)

Only my aunt wasn’t Christian. I think she believed in God – but her spirituality included Tarot cards, and plumb lines, and psychic mediums. In short, divination.

I loved my aunt. I love my aunt still. As a child, my most fond memories with this aunt were spent in these activities. Not that most of my time spent with her was involved in divination, but that some of my clearest, and most content moments with her was in this area. I believe, though I hardly talked, that she understood this about me – for of all of us cousins, it was me she wanted to take to ‘church’ most.

As a child, I did not go to church with her, but I did once in my teen years. I then went once alone after I had moved away from home, and was living just up the street from that ‘church.’ It was a church where people gave psychic readings – very different from the church I go to now, but I liked it then. The only reason I stopped going was because I was broke then, and didn’t understand the offering part of church, and therefore couldn’t afford to go.

I did go several times with my aunt, as well as with my mom at other times, during their ‘psychic fest’ and had readings done.

As for the rest of the divination activities that my aunt exposed me to when I was young – apparently I wasn’t very good at them. Rather than allowing answers, I willed them (or something like that.) But I loved them all the same. I loved doing them with my aunt, but this was also something I did a lot on my own for many years after.

You see, I live such an uncertain existence, and am afraid so often of making the wrong choice, that I really want that guidance. In fact, it was through these activities that I chose to go to college the first time, and chose to move to the city I have been living in for the past 17 years (so far from home.)

Before becoming Christian, there were many things I did that are not acceptable behaviour in the church – and many of them were things I did regularly. Yet when I turned to not just believing in God, but believing God, I put away these things. Even though they were strong addictions, the temptation was removed, and it was almost easy to let them go.

In this area, however, I have had a stronghold. I did stop using cards, or plumb lines, and such. I did stop going to psychics. I did stop these things – but even now, 17 years later, I still long for them to be allowed.

And then there is my writing. I know that many Christians pray, and listen for God’s response, and some even get answers. For me, though, I write. I write my prayers, and I write the thoughts that come during those times. Mostly I do this because in order to hear, I have to see. I have to see my thoughts to make sense of them – and if God were speaking to me (just like if I am trying to listen to what people are saying to me) I really need to write them down.

As I was sitting and listening to my pastor speak, however, I was reminded of my aunt – and the things we did together, and I wondered: “Is this divination still?”

Laban believed in God, but still he went to hell. I don’t want that for me. I don’t want that for my aunt. So the sermon scared me, as I am so often scared (mostly because in everything I have done, I have found after many years of giving all I had, that I failed – and I never fit in to begin with. If I fail at this, though, it is eternity in the balance.)

All of my other addictions were removed when I became a Christian – but this… this one is hard. For I really feel ill equipped to live life forward – and I really seek God’s hand in guiding me through it. But what if it isn’t God I hear? What if this is divination too, and all is lost for it?

Living is so hard. Knowing what is right is even harder. I wish God would speak to me, and I really hope… I hope he understands that I am trying to live for him. I am trying to not only believe in him, but believe him. I hope I don’t fail at this.

 

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Autism: What Am I Good For Anyway?

Lately I have been struggling a lot with low confidence and overwhelming depression. I have spent days… weeks even, trying to ‘see’ anything, anything that I might be good at, and coming up empty. With that, the tears flow, and the depression grows. I have no real gifts. I have no real talents. What is it I am doing here, anyway?

So as I do, I prayed. I prayed that God would reveal to me through my thoughts and writing anything that I might be good at; to answer the question: “What am I good for anyway.”

What follows is what came of that prayer. As I read it, I knew it to be true, for I do know myself – yet it is not a boast. For one of my biggest issues is that I compare myself to others, and always come up short. Other people can, I can’t – hence a lifetime filled with depression and low confidence.

The response: (By the way, I don’t hear these things, I just allow the thoughts to come.)

There are things you are good at though you do not see them. That you don’t make money for these things, and that others don’t acknowledge that these things have value, does not mean they are not worth anything, or that they aren’t gifts from God.

  • You are good with dogs.
  • You are good with cats.
  • You are good with rabbits.
  • You have a heart for animals.
  • You have a heart for the broken and hurting, stronger than most people have.
  • You have a desire to do good.
  • You have a desire to bring honour and glory to God.
  • You care deeply for your son.
  • You feel responsible towards your mother and her circumstances.
  • You are quick to forgive.
  • You are understanding of the struggles of others to do good.
  • You sincerely want other people to turn to God and be saved, even people who hurt you.
  • You cry for the lost.
  • You cry for the broken.
  • You want real peace, and real love in the world – not the fake stuff you see around you.
  • You know that you are broken, and are not deceived that you are a ‘good’ person.
  • You realize that all that is good in your life comes from God.
  • You realize that to have anything in life, it must come from God.
  • You desire a relationship with God.
  • You want to do something worthwhile with your life for the sake of others more than for yourself, as alone you would be okay where you are.
  • Your mind is able to create entire worlds, and fantasies that take you far from the pain that overtakes you.
  • When you are interested in something, you will research for hours to understand it better.
  • Though you have no talent for these things, you still want to garden, and create, and grow.

These are things that God has given to you. So you write about them, and you dream about them, and you do not get paid to do these things – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t what you are meant to be doing. God provides for you. You are to do what God lays on your heart to do – even if that is ‘just’ to adopt and love your pets. God can use you where you are.

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