Ever hear that saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket?”
There was a twist to that saying in my mind, “Don’t put all your hope in one basket.” At least that is what I was telling myself by December 27th when I was having a momentary pity party.
My son Kyle had made a turn around in December and was feeling really well. Kyle is twenty-eight and has severe autism.
I began to really get my hopes up that we might possibly have Christmas with him. That maybe he would join us to open gifts and sit at the table for dinner. The week before Christmas was a rough one with Kyle not leaving the house. He was home every day along with the staff.
Kyle would pace back and forth in the hallway upstairs and then bang on one of the doors whenever he was anxious. Then he’d come barreling down the stairs and through the kitchen grabbing whatever his hands landed on. He’d take it all upstairs and stuff it down his fake laundry shoot.
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. –2 Corinthians 4: 16-18 NLT
Christmas Eve day was one of his worst days. Kyle’s anxiety seemed to be peaking. I went to the grocery store and came home with an enormous amount of food. As I came in with the bags and we started putting them away, Kyle came rushing down the stairs.
If Kyle gets one of the bags, there is no getting it back. If it’s raw chicken, we are all doomed. Jazmin, my daughter-in-law, starts helping me toss it all into the pantry as fast as we can. We lock the fridge also in a hurry.
I am feeling overwhelmed today with Kyle’s behaviours and a bit under-the-weather by afternoon. Kyle has tossed his new giant teddy bear he received for his birthday over the railing. It’s quite heavy so no one can sit in the love seat down below the railing in case they get whiplash.
Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. Romans 15:4 NLT
Kyle had no appetite for a few days, and we are struggling to keep food and liquid into him. But he decided a bottle of liquid iron supplements would be a tasty treat, and we fight with him to win the bottle. Some things are life and death. We didn’t realize there was a bottle hidden away in a cupboard we used to keep vitamins in. I win the fight and get the bottle of vitamins from his firm grasp. He is stronger than me, but I have enough adrenaline to win the battle.
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:12 NLT
Since it’s Christmas Eve we tell Alisha, his staff, she can go home early. She has children too, and Vance is available to take care of Kyle while I finish prepping food.
Our driveway sucks Alisha’s car into the sloped edges, and she is stuck in the lane. Vance heads outside to dig her out. The day before he came and fished me out of the ditch. The car is really deep in snow and needs to be towed by a tow truck. Alisha comes back in and waits for the tow truck and is happy and smiling. She takes everything in stride beautifully. This is why she is a good candidate for working with Kyle, she doesn’t get frazzled easily. Half an hour later the truck is here and rescues her car from our ditches.
We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.) Romans 8:25 NLT
We head to my Mom’s for the evening, and Vance stays behind with Kyle. The kids and I enjoy a delicious turkey dinner with family and friends.
Christmas morning I roll out of bed at 4 am and start getting ready for our day. First I say my yearly prayer, “God please heal my son.”
I have been excited all of December for this day. Eythan and his new wife Jazmin will spend their first Christmas with us. Our five kids and two bonus kids will be home for the day.
We open presents around 9 am, and Kyle keeps coming out of his bedroom to look over the railing into the great room but he has too much anxiety to join us. Kyle loves Christmas. He wants to join us. He just can’t. Anxiety wins instead.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NLT
More verses on hope: click here.
We bring all his presents up to his room. He stuffs them all in his laundry shoot. He wants them. He just can’t handle having anything extra in his bedroom today.
We really enjoy our time with our children as they open their presents.
We make brunch and my sister Lisa, her husband Dale, my brother Kirk, my niece and my mother all join us for Brunch. We have a lovely afternoon. I’m feeling a bit odd by afternoon but years of autism have taught me to plough through days I don’t feel great.
The board games come out, and the kids enjoy their afternoon together. Kyle stays upstairs most of the day, and we bring him food and turn on his music whenever he asks. He has bouts of anxiety throughout the day.
The one thing I ask of the Lord—
the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord’s perfections
and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Psalms 27:4-5 NLT
My mom and Vance’s mom joins us for dinner, and we have a lovely evening of just being together with our family.
I roll into bed at the end of the day and am just not feeling good at all. I stay in bed until the next day at 4 pm with a fever and chills and sweats. I have eaten nothing since the day before.
Kyle has staff today, so they stay with him while Vance and the kids go next door to his mom’s house for a family day. Devyn stays and takes care of Kyle for the evening after the staff leave, and I lay on the couch while he gets Kyle what he needs. We watch a movie with Aryanna who is also not feeling well.
For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
Zephaniah 3:17 NLT
The next day I am still under the weather, and by afternoon I am starting to feel better.
It’s been one of those Christmas seasons where I really have to open my eyes and count the blessings around me instead of focusing on what went wrong. God didn’t let me have my pity party for long.
*Five wonderful children home for the holidays.
*Two bonus kids I adore, who put up with all this chaos.
*A husband who takes care of a grown special needs child and shovels piles of snow.
*Mounds of food and no hungry bellies.
*Two healthy, elderly mothers.
*My Dad called on Christmas Day and we had a lovely chat with each other.
*A warm home.
*A puppy to make all problems temporarily disappear.
Was your Christmas all you hoped and dreamed for? I’m sure it probably wasn’t. Every family has their ups and downs.
We are not promised a Disney life.
I had put all my hope in one basket. I had tossed it in the God basket and prayed for an anxiety-free Christmas. I didn’t unwrap the Peace on Earth gift this year. I may never open it again in my lifetime.
But if I lose my hope, I’ve lost my way. Call me crazy, but I keep hoping the next year will be better. Maybe it will be the year a scientist finds a cure for autism or a new medication for anxiety and bipolar disease will be invented.
Or God will heal my son.
I chose not to believe in God for what he can do for me. I chose to believe in him for what he has already done for me. God gave me his only child so I can keep on living with hope.
Are you struggling to keep hoping when all around you is chaos and pain? Take your eyes and cast them on Christ. He came to give us hope and a beautiful future. One day all those who believe in him will live with no more sorrow, no more war, no more hunger and no more pain.
That is a promise.
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelations 21:3-4 NLT
Jesus: the reason for the season.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. –John 3:16
Believing and hoping,
This is one of my favourite song about hope from Danny Gokey’s Youtube channel. Get his full album: click here