A child playing with friends, a little girl having a conversation with her mother, a middle school boy going to the bathroom by himself, a father and son playing catch, to some this may seem very ordinary. But to others this would be a miracle. It’s amazing what the human mind is conditioned to believe what is ordinary and what is a miracle.
Our son Connor would speak from the time of he was 1 and saying his first word, to the time he was almost 2 years old where he was a chatterbox. This was somewhat normal to us. Our other two children Cory and Courtney who are 10 and 12 years older than Connor were the same way. They talked incessantly. We thought every child did this. My son Cory at a very young age would watch a video called “Super Book” about David and Goliath. He would walk around with a plastic sword and cloth sling and proclaim as he swung his sling, “I will slay you Gowiath(Goliath) in the name of the Loward(Lord) for him is on my side!” The imaginary stone would be thrown and he would then run over and knock down a toy transformer and then pull his sword out and with a mighty swing cut off the transformers head which we had to tape back on over and over and he would then proclaim as he held the transformer’s head in his hand, “God has dewivered this Philwistine into my hand!” I don’t know how biblically correct it was but it was hilarious watching him to do this. This is normal right? Every kid does this.
Fast forward to when my son was two years old we would hear Connor say without hesitation “I love you,” then all of a sudden he said nothing. Where he would play with other kids all of a sudden he would sit in a corner and only play by himself. What at one time seemed ordinary now would become a miracle. Because for the next 3 years we would barely hear our son put two words together.
It’s interesting what we take for granted in life because it happens so naturally or is so abundant to us.
I remember the first hurricane I ever experienced after coming to Houston. When the 100 mph winds and rain finally stopped there was no electricity, no running water for multiple days. What seemed so ordinary a few days ago became in an instant so scarce.
The truth is that life is a miracle. There are miracles happening around us everyday. The very things we get used too because they seem effortless, if taken away, would become a miracle.
There is no one that understands that more than a special needs parent. When you were preparing with joy and excitement to have your new baby you must have dreamed about all the things they were going to do just like any other child. But, it didn’t turn out that way. God had a scarier, bigger plan. You thought your child would do ordinary things like others but God was going to show to you that you will see miracles no one else can see, a blind spot coming to into full view.
For instance, anyone can ask and get a drink of clean or bottled water for the most part in America. Seems ordinary right? Yet it would be a not so ordinary miracle for a child in Africa where the only water they have access to is dirty and diseased. Having a healthy child who outside of a cold or flu would seem pretty ordinary for most parents right? Yet, to my friend and fellow blogger Barb Dittrich who has seen her children in and out of hospitals for years this would be an amazing miracle. A little girl having a conversation with her mommy seems fairly ordinary for many parents don’t you think? But, for my wife Sam & I to hear one sentence from our son after years of silence would be beyond a miracle.
For 3 years we barely heard him speak. He would point to things he needed. Because he couldn’t speak he would get frustrated and act out. Sometimes it would be terrible fits, other times it would be biting or scratching his arms. I remember one day driving to work I asked God why? I wasn’t asking God why I had my son, I was asking God why is my son not able to speak? Why does he have to struggle so much in frustration?
I’ll never forget what God spoke to me in my spirit. God said, “Your child is not a burden your child is a gift.” I said, “I know what you mean God, he’s our son, we love him, of course he’s a gift, but do you see how much he’s struggling?” God said it again, “Your child is not a burden your child is a gift. You are looking at the struggle and not seeing how I can use your test and make it a testimony. I am going to use your son to reach millions of people.” I said, “are you kidding me God? How is my son going to reach millions of people, right now he can’t even ask for a drink of water?” Then God ssaid four words that he will always say to those who feel like they are in the desert, He said, DO YOU TRUST ME? I gave God a very simple and vulnerable answer. I said, “You are all we’ve got in this situation, there is no cure for Autism but you, WE TRUST YOU.” God later said to me, “thank me for the miracles I am already doing, everyday, all around you and watch me do the miracles yet to be seen. Your son is alive…that’s a miracle. There are moms and dads that can’t have children that would be so proud to have a son like Connor. Your son gives you a hug and a kiss when you ask, that’s a miracle. Many autistic children don’t do that. Thank me for the not so ordinary miracles and watch me surprise you with my goodness.”
You think it’s going to get easier after you hear God speak like that right? It didn’t. It got worse. After God speaks, many times, He is wanting to see if we will trust Him and thank Him. Praise precedes the victory. Psalm 50:14-15 says, Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
15 Then call on me when you are in trouble,
and I will rescue you,
and you will give me glory.”
About 3 months later my wife who was putting our son to bed started yelling, “Craig, Craig get up here! Hurry!” So I ran up stairs walked into my son’s room and I said, “what is the matter?’ My wife Sam said, “I was putting Connor to bed, reading a book, praying with him, and as I went to turn off the light all of a sudden he begin to speak. One word after another word, one sentence after another sentence.” I said, “you have got to be kidding me? What…what did he say?’ She walked me over to his bed and said, “Connor say it again, say it for daddy.” He lifted up his head and in broken English all of a sudden begin to speak, “This is my bible, I am what it says I am, I have what is says I have I can do what it says I can do. Tonight I will be taught the word of God. I boldly confess, my mind is alert, my heart is receptive, I will never be the same. I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, ever living seed of the Word of God. I will never be the same, never, never, never, I will never be the same in Jesus name. Amen.” Those were my son’s first sentences and paragraph we had heard him speak since he stopped speaking. To say we were overwhelmed would be an understatement. We were crying, hugging, jumping, yelling. We called everyone we knew and videotaped Connor saying This Is My Bible…and now millions of people have heard that testimony, It has been written about in 3 books, it was the inspiration to launch Champions Club developmental centers for special needs kids around the world.
God showed us something powerful through all of this. Try not to look at the burden focus on the gift. Emily Colson’s dad Chuck Colson wrote that when he had shared with close friends about his grandson being diagnosed with Autism he had a good friend send him a note that read in part, with your grandson you have been given the greatest gift. Now, you will truly understand what it means to sacrificially love.”
Celebrate what we do have not what we don’t have. We have so much to be grateful for even in spite of our challenges. There is always someone in a more challenging situation that would trade places with us in a heartbeat.
Lastly, begin to notice the not so ordinary miracles happening everyday. What one may see as ordinary another may see as their miracle. When you notice that God is doing miracles all around us the ordinary becomes extraordinary.