We recently had a challenge at church to do Family History and focus on the temple often for a month. So I put down the novels and picked up my laptop. But my family is all pretty into family history. And I thought it was all done. I couldn’t find records to go any further back. So I said a prayer. And I got this feeling that if I couldn’t go backward, I should go forward. So from my latest known ancestor, I started finding the siblings, spouses, and parents of everyone I could. By the time the month was over I had found 100 people! Then I put my laptop down and didn’t think about it again. Until yesterday…
As you know I have a sweet son who is on the Spectrum. That situation comes with a lot of “extras” you would not expect. For example, leaving my house is a major production. If he comes with me, he requires a LOT of coaxing. And during the outing, he will need a lot of special attention and double the time that a simple errand can take.
If I go without him, it can get so frustrating that I often give up. He will beg me to stay home, yell at me that I am not needing to go, and sometimes will plant his little self in my way to try to restrain me. It’s awful, I hate it.
At the same time, I can’t leave my little guy with just anyone. Most teenagers don’t know how to handle an Asperger’s breakdown. And some kids just don’t get along with my son. So my list of potential sitters can be counted on one hand, with some fingers left over. So you can understand why my husband and I don’t get to the Temple very often. Even though we are encouraged to go every month, it usually equates to three times a year. Even simple dating has become a stay at home experience. But something wonderful happened this weekend.
My husband and I have been married now for 15 years. And to celebrate our anniversary we decided we wanted to go to the Temple. Usually, when we make plans, I can tell by my ‘gut’ feeling if it will actually happen. This week, my gut was quiet. We found a sitter on the first try! And my little boy did not have a single meltdown. He didn’t even fight me not to leave him. The traffic was light, and the trip went quickly. And as I marveled at my luck to a sweet woman in the Temple, the answer became clear. Heaven and my ancestors had cleared the way for me!
Maybe it was because of the family history I had done for them. Maybe it was the Lord taking pity and reaching out to help us. But it was a smooth running, beautiful and uplifting day. My husband and I learned a lot in the Temple and even figured out some solutions to problems we had been having with our son. I am so grateful that we went. I want to go again next week!
As a Special Needs Mom, I often feel alone. Most of my friends don’t get what it’s like. When I take my son out in public, we get funny looks. His behavior is often not socially acceptable. And my getting mad at him doesn’t do a thing to make it better. Sometimes other moms will even try to offer advice on his ‘discipline problems’. And worse yet, sometimes they will lecture or belittle as they try to ‘wake me up’ to what is going on. Believe me, I know.
This weekend, as Heaven made going to the Temple an easy and relaxing time, I realized that I am not as alone as I think I am. I have ancestors and Heavenly Helpers—seen and unseen—who are here for me. I am comforted by that thought. And I’m going to have to remember that next time I feel overwhelmed. I am sure I’m not reaching out for Heaven’s help as much as I should.
But in the meantime, I am going to do some more family history. If this is the way my ancestors thank me for helping them, then I better get to work. I need all the help from Heaven I can get!
Abby is capable and caring. She is learning more about Autism and parenthood every day. Having completed training to be an RBT (Registered Behavior Technician) for ABA therapy she is beginning to understand her son. And even though she is the first to admit she makes a lot of mistakes, she is so grateful to be on this journey. She comes from a family with many autistic members. She invites us to join her, as she shares her adventures. She wishes to emphasize that Autism is a difference not a defect. If you or a family member have autism, Abby wants you to know that the challenges can be overcome, and there are blessings in autism. You or your loved one are not sick or broken. Together we will teach the world this new language.