stories of the Mix family lovin' the country life

Monday, February 20, 2012

"...Fear not; I will help thee."

Yesterday, our pastor preached a message titled "What to Do When Everything Falls In."  It encouraged my heart so much, and I've decided it's time to share something very personal with you.

Now I don't really feel that my whole world is falling in.  I have so many blessings that come every day.  I am very thankful for God's love and peace, and I appreciate all the good things that He has provided.  However, there is a part of my life that is very stressful and hard, and parents of autistic children know what I mean. 

There.  I said it.  That word that I have avoided saying for about a year.  The word that's been in my mind for a couple of years, but I always pushed it away with, "She can't have autism.  She talks so well."  But she talks too well, like an adult in a four-year-old body.  And sometimes the things she says are so extremely proper, that she sounds ridiculous.  And when she doesn't understand something, her mind turns off and she screams horrible things and breaks things. 

For a long time, I kept thinking that she was just extremely rebellious.  People would tell me that I just have to be firm and eventually she would calm down.  Eventually.  I got advice from older Christians who raised good families.  I read good parenting books.  I tried eliminating things from her diet.  More time passed.  Instead of outgrowing her screaming and her strange sense of order and her need for certain routines, it all got worse.  I started researching other possibilities.  I found a good description for Asperger syndrome, and it described so much of what she does.  Now our family doctor is helping us to get her officially diagnosed before she starts school this fall. 

There's so much that this involves.  It's hard to share all the frustrations.  Everyday things like going to the store can take a lot of time.  She insists on brushing her teeth, but screams when I brush her hair.  Sometimes it takes a long time to persuade her to wear the right kind of clothes.  "Today's a cold day; you have to wear a coat instead of a sweater," doesn't make any sense to her; but when summer comes, it will be hard to get her to give up her coat.  Sometimes her food is confusing to her.  I have to break it down into bites and show her which one to eat first.  Even just writing this, I've had to stop so many times to stop her from doing something or to get her something.  And every time it's a huge emotional ordeal for her.

Sometimes I wonder how much she really understands.  Does she just memorize words and sentences and responses?  Then when she runs out of memorized material, is that why she has a meltdown?

I'm trying to learn.  I'm making social stories and comic strips.  I'm trying to find out what works.  I've learned that pictures work better than speaking.  I also know there's a long road ahead.  I'd like to share some of what I was reminded of in our pastor's message yesterday morning from 1 Samuel 30.

  • We are inadequate, on our own, to handle our problems.  David clung to God, and he was strengthened and encouraged.  "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."  (Phillippians 4:13)  "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."  (Phillippians 4:19
  • Don't assume.  During times of stress, it's easy to just assume what you should be doing.  Always pray and follow the Lord's leading.  Don't just make your decisions based on what "makes sense."  "Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass."
  • Don't faint.  Go all the way through this trial.  After the tenth or twentieth problem of the day, I still need to be patient and have the right attitude. 
  • David recovered everything.  God can work wondrous things in this situation. 
Now, you can see a part of my heart.  In future posts, I probably won't talk very much about it, but if I mention that a particular day has been hard, you'll know there has probably been a lot of tears, battles, and seemingly futile efforts.  Pray for us.  We really need it.

God is so good, isn't He?  I love the verse in Isaiah 41 that says, "For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."

"...Fear not; I will help thee."

I just love that.



  1. Oh, Hannah, sweet friend! I am convinced now more than ever that you are a wonderful person since God CHOSE you to bear this burden. God gave you a beautiful daughter with very special needs, and He chose YOU to care for His little flower. :-)

    Praying for you!

  2. Hannah, PLEASE know that I am praying for you!!! I have worked with three such autistic children (high functioning or asbergers) and have a glimpse of what your life is like. I love you. - Tinyla

  3. Hannah, you are on my heart as I know that you must face each new day with God upholding you. BJ and I have been praying together for you, Dear Friend, and for Abbey. May He give you His strength for every moment. We love you and your family.

  4. hannah, you are a very special woman, so full of life... i pray that you will know that you ARE strong .. that you have the ultimate helper, and i pray that his presence will be with you and over you.. I know that you will find the strength in the saviour and i know that God wants to crawl up in his lap so to speeak and rest and cry and just heal from the stress.. as he does me when James acts out .. maybe he's not autistic, but he sure likes to push my buttons and it's very stressful.. i am here for you and you know that i am only a phone call away and that i love you so much and if you need a break please call me <3 <3 <3

  5. Praying for you, Hannah. Praying for grace, wisdom and strength. You've always been such an example to me. :)

  6. I love you :) It's nice to see your heart through your posts. I know it's not easy to share such personal things, but I believe you are an encouragement and blessing to all those around you. The beautiful thing is you don't even realize it. You always have a sweet composure about you and you seem to rise above your battles and heartaches at least on the outside. :) You are one of the most beautiful women I know inside and out. I love you and pray daily for strength and wisdom. One day, one battle at a time with God. You can do it! :)