As I walked out of the office, I could still hear her voice.
“Your son is most certainly on the autism spectrum. He needs help immediately.”
The developmental pediatrician’s words swirled around in my head, over and over.
It all made sense. For the first time in my son’s young life, it all added up.
I was sad, to be sure. But sadness wasn’t my primary emotion.
I was angry that I had listened to so many other people, instead of my own heart. But anger wasn’t my primary emotion.
I was worried about what this meant for the future. But worry wasn’t my primary emotion.
The emotion that I felt the strongest in those first moments post diagnosis was a resolved peace. There was a sort of settling that happened in me in that moment.
“OK, it’s autism,” I thought. “We have options now. We can figure this out. We can get help.”
I left the office with a list of resources and therapies. I also left with the Bible verse that this site is named after, swirling in my brain.
Remember not the former things nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
When I sat down in the car, the silence enveloping me, I had one overriding thought, over and over again.
My little boy is going to be OK.
The next day, I looked up the verse first thing in the morning, before anyone was awake. I knew this verse, but I wasn’t sure how. The words were planted somewhere deep down inside, from a long forgotten bible reading or study.
I finally found it. (I didn’t remember it was in Isaiah, so I had to google the words I remembered first.)
There it was, highlighted.
Remember not the former things….
And a dated note in the margin next to it.
My past doesn’t define my future.
I had highlighted it in my first year as a new follower of Jesus.
… as I struggled with the shame of so many wrong choices.
… as I worked through the pain of years of abuse.
… as I searched for other women in the church to see the new me, and not judge the old.
… as I cried out to God to save me and my children in the midst of a horrible divorce.
It had been years since I had last read it.
And yet, in the midst of my son’s diagnosis, it meant even more.
That morning, the very day after hearing the words “autism spectrum” applied to my son for the first time, I read on.
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19b
And I began to cry.
We were in the wilderness – stumbling, scared, alone.
I was so very thirsty in the desert of my child’s pain and suffering.
But for the first time, I understood that it was not up to me to solve it all, to find therapies for it all, to research it all, to fix it all. For the first time, I caught of glimpse of my small place in all of this.
I will make a way.
God promises in this verse that He makes the way.
And He has.
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.