I was at a conference recently and sat on the parent panel. After the event my brother-in-law who streamed the event online said something to me which made me pause. He said I inspire him. He has watched me grow from when I got my son’s diagnosis to navigating the curve balls and how I emerged gracefully into this confident woman who openly advocate about autism and uplift others along the way.
Many times we are so engrossed in running the race , we don’t take time to just pause and look how far we have come on the journey. We need to learn to live in the present. Learn to let go and let God for He alone has the big picture and he has a plan for you. Yes we are tested from time to time but you have to remember that most times there is no testimony without a test.
I have not always been a religious person. When I was a child, I didn’t grow up in church. My parents didn’t go. For them Sundays meant spending time with friends and visit family, generally having a laid back relaxed day. I didn’t start going to church until I was about eight or nine and even then it wasn’t really about faith, more like a social function visit, where you go during easter and Christmas. When I was about eleven or twelve, my mum became more religious and consistent with church. I went with her out of duty and a bit of curiosity. I didn’t start exploring faith until I was about fourteen but even that was more about curiosity than giving your life to christ and having a relationship with God.
I didn’t start to discover my faith until I was in the university and I joined a fellowship on campus. I gave my life to christ and I started to be consistent with going to church and keeping my faith, being right with God. During that period was when I started dating my husband who I always refer to as my sanity line. Our friendship grew into love and it has been an amazing journey but nothing could have prepared us for the storm that came with our son’s diagnosis. My faith was tested and it came crashing down the deep tunnel buried with depression, self doubt, huge sadness and grief for loss. However in the mist of it all it was my faith in God that pulled me out of despair and shaped me to become the woman I am today. It was a defining period for me with my faith. I either had to run from God or run to God. I chose to run to God for he is my creator and he has all the answers. I learnt to lean not on my understanding but to always trust God’s plan for me for He says in the book of Isiah “your ways are not my ways”.
Autism has shaped my faith, helped me to know and believe that I am made for a purpose in life and to discover this purpose I need God directing me. There is always going to be some kind of doubt which is natural but now I always remind myself that God is in control. If I have done all that I can do, then the rest is in God’s hand. When you go through a storm, you get deeper rooted. I feel like my faith has been strengthened by the storm. From time to time, I do get sad and overwhelmed but I try not to get desired because I feel like God has called me to this journey for advocacy, awareness, inclusion and acceptance through sharing my story and uplifting people along the way.
Autism has continued and is continuing to help me with my faith. I am very grateful I have my faith. Personally, I think having faith is a key element to surviving autism.
Written by Solape Azazi #myASDstories #autismmom #faith #autism #advocacy #inclusion