The Gratitude Breakthrough

I talk to many people from all over the world about their children with autism and neuro-immune dysfunction (PANDAS/PANS/Lyme Disease). It has become a universal issue. They are from different races, religions, economic statuses and political persuasions. Some are employed; some work at home. Despite all of these differences, and the uniqueness of each child, I see several things in common. The complete overwhelm with living life as it is presently, a desire for their children to reach their fullest potential, and the inability to readily access appropriate healthcare and related services to make recovery possible. These are the ties that bind us. No matter what turmoil is going on in the world today, if you put us all in a room together, we would bond instantly because of the love for our children and the fervent need to help them. The commonality of our experience creates a connection. Although we may approach our children's challenges differently with medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy and different therapy modalities (ABA, Son-Rise, RDI, etc.), we are really more alike than different. We are parents who want our children to grow up to have happy, healthy, productive lives. But due to the nature of the diagnoses, and the poor understanding of the underlying illnesses, we find ourselves constantly searching for what we don't have. The breakthrough.

It is easy to become consumed with undesirable behaviors, delays, and missed milestones. Instead of frustration and disappointment over what is missing, can we pause and give thanks for what we DO have? Gratitude costs us nothing. It is the recognition that our children and our situations are more than what we can see at this moment. They are the gift that must be unwrapped. Gratitude is for the glimpses you see, of the potential still to be unlocked. Gratitude is for a smile, a look, a sound. Gratitude for small things opens the door to bigger gains. Gratitude is the positive feedback to your child, that says, "do more of this."

Gratitude begets happiness.
Gratitude begets happiness.

My prayer for all of you is that you would find the answers you are seeking. I pray that you would be strengthened for the journey. I pray that you would be encouraged, and then encourage others. You don’t see it now, but someday, you will be a light for others traveling the same path.  But don't miss the opportunities each day to be grateful for the present moment that is preparing you for more than what you can imagine today.

You see, I was once where you were, looking for someone to say, “it will be okay.” Back then, there was no one saying so. Attending local support groups was like going to a wake. Misery. I had to get my comfort from God, and in the beginning, it seemed my prayers were just bouncing off the ceiling back to the floor covered with toys. It wasn’t until I asked God to show me his will, and he did*, that things began to truly change for the better. Over fifteen years later, I see that the deepest sufferings can turn into blessings and goodness. Keep your hope alive.

Where there is life, there is hope.

*1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 was revealed to me and became my life verse. This is why I post so frequently about having an #attitude of #gratitude. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.