Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Most Unexpected Bloom

This is my last "Blooms of Summer" posting...seeing as it is Thanksgiving Day, even in the South it is hard to push a bloom this late into the season!

For the past few years, we have had the privilege of going to the Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, for summer holiday. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world to us. (My brother in law's family has a place that they have graciously invited us to enjoy). Due to our busy schedule, we were unable to go this summer.

Because of that busy schedule, we really were desperate to get away. Both Todd and I needed time away, our kids needed it. At one point, I felt that I was crawling through sand just to get a break. I was really wondering if I could even "bloom" in The Wilderness. (Today, it seems like a lifetime ago...for that I am so grateful.) Todd called some friends who have a rental business on Top Sail Island, to see if they had anything open this late in the season. They did! They gave us an amazing deal, and we were off.

I did have a lot of apprehension in going. Jackson was having a hard time, he was upset a lot, showing more and more aggression and just unsettled. Would we have neighbors? Would Jackson's behavior allow me a break? Would I be doing the same thing that I did at home, only in a different location?

Todd went a day ahead of us (scheduling issues) and made all the beds, stocked the fridge, put familiar things around, checked out the location, etc. He called to tell us that we were an arm's throw from the beach, it was beautiful and that someone staying across the path from us had a bumper sticker that said, "I love someone with autism." God, in His mercy, heard my prayer. Hopefully, they would love our "someone" with autism.

Needless to say, our time away was so healing. The sand, the sun, the salty air. We spent whole days at the beach, I'm talking 9:30-4:30! We could run into the condo whenever we wanted something. It was close enough that if Jackson wanted to watch a movie, he could go inside and do that...perfect. His behavior was great. Ashley was a huge help as well. We grilled every night, that made Jackson's whole week!

We were curious about our neighbors. One day, I saw them on the beach. It was a young mom, working with her six year old son in the sand. She would draw the ABC's and together they would stand on them and she would say, "A" and he would repeat. I told her what an amazing job she was doing and introduced myself. She also had a baby girl with her. Her kids were the same age spread of ours.

We had a few conversations through out the week. At the end, she said she was so encouraged by our family. She said, "Watching your family is like seeing our lives, 10 years from now. I do not have to worry about our daughter. We will be able to do things." God, in His mercy...

The week was also filled with long walks, many shark sightings (4, seven foot long, about 10 yards away from me...thank God I was on the beach and not swimming!!!), flying kites, reading, play and laughter!

On my walks I saw these amazing flowers, growing in the sand with intense heat and humidity, the wind whipping around, pelting sand. All summer I had felt the heat, felt like I was crawling through the sand, sometimes crawling against the wind and pelting sand. And yet, here were these beautiful flowers, drawing me in. During the summer, I never doubted the Lord, but I cried out in deep desperate ways...sometimes saying, "How much more Lord? Really..."

He says that He knows me, He knows my frame. He knows that I am but dust. He will not give me more than I can bear. He also knows that He has a destiny, a purpose in my life. He has made me to withstand the heat, humidity, intense sun, the pelting winds. Out of all of that, a flower blooms that has colors that catch your eye. What a wonderment to see a thing of great beauty in a place of seemingly harsh conditions. God, in His mercy...

May He find me, His creation, of great beauty!

1 comment:

Cody and Amy Spahr said...

this is beautiful and im so encouraged. i sort of feel like im 'crawlin thru the sand' myself.. thanks for reminding me that God KNOWS me!