My son, Jack, is ten and has Macrocephaly Cutis Marmorata Telangiectasia Congenita Syndrome. He also has autism. Jack is a special soul, a gift to our family. Raising him is also the greatest challenge I have ever faced.
I have three other boys, too. And eighteen months ago, we learned that my third son Charlie, who was then five, is also on the autism spectrum and has profound anxiety. I had already done a fair amount of wrestling with The Lord in Jack’s early years, and felt that I had come to terms with Jack’s disabilities. But when Charlie was diagnosed, it came at me like a hook shot and knocked me flat. Because now there were two.
In the weeks following Charlie’s diagnosis, I wondered why God seemed to want more from me than I was able to give.
Suddenly half my children had special needs. No one around me knew what that felt like. But Jesus did.
I felt like I was in a pit, but I knew the Savior had descended below my pit and was now with me at the bottom. I didn’t feel alone.
God had also sent me this legion of angels in the form of my husband, my other sons, and dozens of dear friends. Frankly, when it comes to selfless people in my life who lift me up, my cup runneth way over. The day after the diagnosis, Chris brought me flowers and a key lime tart. Brittany brought me a raspberry chipotle chicken salad and gave me permission to cry, to which I responded “too late!” Terra texted me from Hawaii and told me she believed in me. Lacey brought me chocolate and helped me apply for an autism waiver program to help Charlie get therapy. I was serving in Laurels with Marla and Cynthia, who listened to me talk about my struggles with compassion. So did Fred and Shirley. They’re always checking in on us.
That difficult summer, I had a dream early one morning. I dreamed I was at a musical recital when one of my neighbors leaned over and whispered to me, “You don’t have to worry about the challenges you face raising your children. You’re doing a good job.” I instantly woke up and knew that it wasn’t my neighbor speaking in my dream. It was my Heavenly Father. I felt completely light—as if I were filled with light. He hadn’t left me alone.
How is this a Christmas story? Because God sent us a Savior, who was born in a stable and became our redeemer.
For me, comfort is knowing that we were before we came to earth.
Comfort is knowing that after this life, because of the Savior, we will live unencumbered by the limitations of mortality.
Comfort is knowing that no matter how hard things may be, He descended below them all. He knows how we feel and how to help us.
Christmas is comfort because when Jesus came to earth, hope came too.