Experiencing the joy of the moment

April is Autism Awareness month. I'm the dad of a daughter who struggles profoundly with Autism. Last week, I had the opportunity to share a brief story about how God showed up in our journey with Lucy in a guest post for Not Alone Parenting. Here is a brief excerpt and link to the full article. 

Kelly couldn’t wait to talk after the service. She met Megan and me in the stairwell on our way to the children’s wing. “I have to tell you about Lucy’s morning!”

For parents of a child diagnosed with Autism, that’s not necessarily how you want to be greeted. Anxious thoughts run through your head. “Did she bolt from the classroom? Did she have a meltdown? Did anyone get hurt?”

But this was good news. It was a baptism Sunday, and, at that service, one of our students was being baptized. So a seasoned teacher took her class into the service to watch. Our elementary kids heard a friend’s testimony and witnessed the church celebration. The children’s ministry director later reported, “Not only were the kids really excited about the privilege, but they also asked really great questions about what baptism means and why we practice it.” Taking the kids to see the baptism was a big win.

But the biggest surprise was Lucy. I fear a lot of things for my daughter when a class breaks from its regular routine. None of it happened this morning. No sensory overload. No tantrum or screaming interruption of the service. This is what Kelly told us in the stairwell: “When Jenna came up out of the water and the congregation began to clap and cheer, Lucy looked at me with the biggest smile on her face. I don’t know how much she understood, but she experienced the joy of the moment.” Read more of my reflections on worship, our affections, and special needs parenting at the Not Alone Parenting website.