Today's post was written by Brook Hills member and Small Group Leader, Scarlet Thompson.

In our household, November 29th is known as D-Day, or diagnosis day. Eight years ago on that day, my husband and I heard the words “your son has autism.” We don’t mark the day with sadness. Instead, we celebrate our little boy who once didn’t have words but now has plenty. We remember the days he couldn’t focus or sit to learn a teacher’s lesson but now is an active participant in a typical fourth grade classroom. We enjoy his uniqueness, like the fact he can tell you the exact year movies were made if you give him the title.

Most importantly, we take the time on D-Day to reflect on how God has worked through all of it. We have formed a deeper relationship with Him, learning to lean on and trust His sovereignty. He always provides, no matter what you need.

I remember when Cade was first diagnosed. We couldn’t attend church. We were too afraid to leave him in a small group setting because of his tendency to wander. We would get up the courage to try a church here or a church there, and then he would disappear from his class. We longed to worship God in a group setting and be with others for fellowship, but we worried about our son’s safety. We did not attend church for at least two years because of our concerns. We felt alone.

As Cade matured, we decided to try again. The first time we visited The Church at Brook Hills, Cade was matched with a one-on-one buddy in his small group. It felt great to be able to go to worship– to really focus on what God was saying through His word instead of worrying our child was roaming Highway 280.

Cade has spent most of his Sundays for the past three years with his buddy Meghan. She’s an incredible young lady who is a teacher by trade. She’s always there. She’s always by his side. Meghan has been with Cade so long now that she knows how he learns best, how his behavior can be controlled, and has even embraced his obsessions just like us.

Meghan always tells me what a gift Cade is to her, but I am not quite sure she understands what a gift she is to us. She is the person that comes to my mind when I read Philippians 1:3 – “I thank my God every time I remember you.” God has worked through her to get us to church and to remove the fears of autism so we can focus on our faith. My husband and I are even members of a small group, which years ago didn’t seem to be possible.

Most of all, Meghan is a gift to Cade. God has worked through her to bring Cade closer to Him, despite his abilities. I never would have thought Cade could truly understand what it means to follow Christ, but the desire to learn more about doing so is there thanks to the diligence of Meghan. Cade’s a member of the Route 66 club and can even be heard bellowing out a hymn or reading Scripture aloud – all thanks to this sweet woman who sacrifices her time to be with him one day a week. Thank you, God, for providing Meghan as help, so we can all get closer to You. Thank you, Meghan, for serving us and, above all, serving Him.

If you are interested in serving families with special needs kids at Brook Hills, contact Kelly at kellyh@brookhills.org.

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