Every Year with Jesus is Sweeter than the Year Before

I realized another character quality I love about Jesus. It happened when I teared up in response to a picture I saw on social media. Writing is a lonely venture. I don’t know if my words are blessing anyone enough to justify the amount of energy I expend sharing them, but I do know that if one person feels less alone because of what I’ve written, it’s worth it.


I know this because whenever I’ve hit a bottom spell in my day, week, or month, I appreciate—more than a thousand sentences could say—when someone shares something from their heart that makes my struggle feel validated, that makes me feel less alone.


Jesus promised never to abandon us or leave us. He said He would be with us forever. I’ve always wanted a forever friend. As a child and teenager, I went through a lot of friends. A. Lot. It wasn’t until I was born again that I made a couple of forever friends. One has gone to heaven, and the other one lives in another town and is busier than your average person is. But I’m a low maintenance friend because I love lots of time alone.


The only people I care to see and speak to every single day are Jesus, my husband, my children, and my grandchild. If you’re not in this group, I can get easily overwhelmed by your presence. And when I’m overwhelmed, I become overwhelming as my mouth overflows with a flood of anxiety-induced chatter. And then later, when I’m alone with my thoughts, they’re filled with chastising words at myself for being verbose and anxious.


Recently, when I saw a picture of happy people hanging out together, a familiar sadness smothered my heart with longing. I longed to feel included in a small circle of believers who are genuinely glad to see me, and I genuinely glad to see them. I don’t long for small talk. I long for a blend of silent sharing of just being together and feeling accepted as-is and mutual sharing of our personal relationship with Christ.


I long for knowing I’m not being evaluated, competed with, or giggled at. I long for a fellowship that doesn’t attempt to squeeze me into a mold that’s not meant for me. I long for unconditional love. A love that doesn’t shame me for being quirky. A love that doesn’t coerce me into conformity.


I long to be heard without the hearer raising their eyebrows and smiling knowingly because he or she thinks I’m sweet, cute, or unusual. I want to be free to be me. I want to be able to visit others without wearing a mask of pretending I’m like one of them.


There are a lot of us in the world who don’t fit into your average mold. We’re creative introverts and extroverts whose brains don’t have the same pattern of wiring that mainstream socialites do. But we often hide away more than we want to because we can’t bear the puzzled stares we get when we do engage with the neurotypical world.


This is what I love about Jesus. He engaged with the outcasts, the condemned, and the quirky. He wasn’t intimidated or repulsed by those who were different (Do you recall the short guy who climbed up in a tree?) In fact, Jesus was as different as you can get too.


What I love about Jesus is He makes me feel like I’m the only one in the room when I’m talking with Him. He doesn’t glance at the closest sundial and wonder how quickly He can get away from me. He listens closely, loves deeply, and replies sincerely.

He is a forever friend for everyone who seeks and knocks on His door because the welcome mat under it isn’t just words, it’s been bought with His own blood.


Jesus is in this for good and for keeps. And I need to offer this same open-door policy when I engage with those who are different than me too. And that’s where a mask comes in handy, because sometimes a knock comes at my door when I preferred to be alone.


Do you long for sincere fellowship?

It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask

I completed the first draft of a memoir several years ago. Since then, I have gone over it and edited the entire 80,000 words a number of times. But so many new things have come to the surface to slow down my progress of working towards publication. And that has turned out to be a good thing too.


You see, I’ve always wondered in the back of my mind if there was another huge revelation waiting for me.

Oh, yuppers, there sure was.

Actually Autistic Christian Women


One day, a few months ago, I asked God a question. It’s not often I plead for a specific answer to a specific problem. But when I do, amazing things happen. And that’s why I should probably rename my memoir: It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask.


I was tired of a sometimes, troubling aspect of my personality. It has often been used for good; however, occasionally I suffer some not-so-good consequences. My conscience has always been on the overactive side of the guilt spectrum. If I blow it, it takes me longer to forgive myself and move on.


So, the last time I experienced a meltdown in response to a perceived injustice towards someone I love, I begged God to let me know what was up with me? I asked Him to let me know the specifics of what my true struggle was. I cried for help from the deep of my despair because I was tired of trying to rein in my passion only to have it explode in my face again and again.


It’s not that being passionate about justice is wrong. It’s how one goes about it that matters. Gentleness and respect are necessary no matter how insidious a circumstance one is facing; because, two wrongs never ever make a right. Period.


I’m slow to come out of denial. It was true about eating disorders, infertility, and now this new topic I’m about to tackle on this blog. For today is my coming out of the closet about something I’ve suspected about myself for a few years now; although, for the time being, I’m choosing to do it anonymously until I feel safe enough to let my friends and family know.


Unfortunately, it is costly to get a formal diagnosis. And since it’s not something that needs to be cured (It’s not a disease—nor a deficit—anyways.), I’m not too concerned about it yet. However, just like in every community, not all members are accepting of those who don’t have the papers to prove who they are.


But as my husband said, “Don’t hang out with people who bring you down.”


Amen.


Coming out of denial involves both grief and relief. I’m relieved to know I’m not alone; however, I’m grieved I felt alone for so long. I’m grieved I wasted so many years trying to fit my unique-shaped self into the square hole of a mostly neurotypical world.


Nope. Not anymore. I’m so done with wearing a mask. I can’t create the life, the art, or the way God wants me to if I can’t see clearly. Masks are limiting. It’s tiring trying to fit in where I don’t fit.


A few days after I asked God to open my eyes, I came across some information about women on the autism spectrum that made me marvel at how fast God answers passionate prayers.


I found my family. I found my place in the world—sort of.


Now I’m searching for a Christian group of autistic women. But I know how much pressure there is to conform in the Christian community. Rarely does anyone there admit their struggles. It’s largely a place where you’re expected to put on a happy-face-mask over your hurting heart. Real people do rear their lovely selves sometimes, but it’s so rare that when it happens everyone is shocked. And then they tend to back away.


Denial is deep in churches.

I suspect that’s why I’m having trouble finding much from a Christian woman’s worldview on this topic. Perhaps I will draw some attention to the need of more information about this. Or else I will pioneer it myself. Either way, I hope the links I eventually find and share on this blog will help all of us to have a better understanding of the autism spectrum from a Christian female’s perspective.


If you know of any Christian literature or sites regarding autism in females, please comment below or send me an email me at: actuallyautisticchristianwomen@gmail.com

Here’s the link I was referring to that helped unveil my eyes: Asper Women


The Gift:
She was a peculiar child
In the eyes of a round world
For her uniqueness didn’t fit in
At recess with the other girls
She was a serious child
And laughter rang at her expense
Until she donned a mask
When she learned to pretend
She was a lonely child
Who found crowds a fright
And when she returned home
It took hours to feel alright
She was a creative child
With an imagination fierce
As she composed poetry
Whenever her heart was pierced
She was a blessed child
In that God chose to give her
The gift of seeing nature
As a place to love and prefer.

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started