Five years ago today I sat at Vanderbilt and received what I thought was the worst news of my life. My sweet 2 1/2 year old Carter was diagnosed with autism. I remember thinking the lady giving us the diagnosis seemed so cold and nonchalant about giving us the news, but I had to remind myself she was just doing her job and probably had to do this on a daily basis. I remember being unable to stop the tears from flowing as I sat there listening to everything my child would need from special education services to therapy services and all the stuff I would need to do at home. I cried the whole way home and the whole rest of the day. I was angry and grieving that God would allow this to happen to my baby and to us. I woke up the next day hoping this was a nightmare but was met with the reality that I needed to face this, and we had therapy already scheduled for the week.
After his speech therapy session a couple of days after his diagnosis, Carter was laughing in the car. I took this picture of him that day. God showed me right then that an autism diagnosis didn’t change my little boy. He was still the same happy and joyful baby He had blessed me with. He also spoke to me and said this would be a journey I would have to take for a little while, but He would never leave me.
I call these last 5 years “the blessing of a broken heart.” God has shown me what real love looks like through my child. I know God makes no mistakes, and He didn’t make a mistake with my Carter. Carter has shown me how to have such love, joy, patience, and kindness through Jesus.
I want to encourage you to never give up hope. My child was practically nonverbal 5 years ago today, and now he sings on the praise team at church. He’s not afraid to lift his little hands and dance for our Lord when he’s on stage either! God continues to do stuff right in front of our eyes. I’m amazed as I watch him at what God is doing in his life. God’s not done with him either!
God took my broken heart from 5 years ago and healed it. He showed me what a blessing this journey has been. Some days are still hard, but God will never leave us or forsake us.