Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed." NLT
This verse can truly serve as the very first stepping stone into my world of writing.
I started pouring my thoughts onto paper back in the late eighties. I was a young mother, twenty four years old with two sons, aged five and three. My youngest son, Jason was diagnosed with autism in 1989 at the age of three. I was devastated but not so much by his diagnosis but by the way it was presented to me.
I remember keeping a close eye on my beautiful blonde haired boy, Jason as he ran around the doctor's office. I wished he would just sit down. Sit still. He couldn't. He fluttered about the room like a gently butterfly. His hands flapping like wings in time to his own rhythm. He really was in his own little world running about on his tip-toes, completely oblivious to the fact that his father and I were getting ready to talk about him. We wanted answers into the strange behaviour he possessed and his lack of speech.
My attention was suddenly diverted when Jason's doctor slid a blank piece of paper across the table at me and said, "Your son has autism. He looks at you no different than that piece of paper."
"Your wrong." I snapped. "He knows exactly who I am."
Tears swelled in the corner of my eyes. I had no idea what she was talking about yet it didn't sound good. This was the answer we had been waiting for - autism. I said the word over and over in my mind all the while looking at the doctor.
Doctor N as I will call her in this story, was not the warm and fuzzy type. She never blinked after I barked at her. She never apologized, hugged me or even shifted uneasily in her chair. She simple broke my heart and wanted to move on. It was as if this was just another routine day for her.
For me, it marked the beginning of my first journal. A book filled with heart-ache and pain. It served as more than a glimpse into the world I never asked for. If someone were to have read it, it would have been more like a window.
It was there in my darkest hours that I penned just how broken I felt. How inept I felt as a mother. How my planet had just been turned upside down. How the hopes and dreams that I had for my children immediately disappeared to a place I was no longer allowed to go. My life had abruptly changed.
I needed somewhere to transform my pain. Bury it. I began to put it down on paper. Each time I closed the cover I tried to make the hurt go away. Sometimes that worked. I felt relieved. Other times - the words only seemed to pollute the pages. Still, I continued to write.
Eventually my journal served as a healing tool. A learning tool. I began to write about Jason's progress and not only his struggles. His laughter and not only the sadness in my heart. I could see the sparkle in his eyes. I penned his first words that came much later than other children his own age. Most of all - I wrote about everything that I loved about him. And I hoped that he and Matt would one day be close like brothers should be.
With a crushed heart, I needed to find a way to persevere. Little did I know that it was God who had provided a way for me to do that. In my suffering he opened the door for me to write.
To this very day, I love to write. It's not as if I'm saying that I enjoy writing about the unpleasantries I've experienced over the years but more about the freedom I felt and still feel when I write. I feel at liberty to express myself in a way that I never imagined. There are times when writing takes the place of speaking out loud. It's less complicated. It's peaceful, relaxing and most of all safe. I can choose to write for my eyes alone or for others to see.
When people learn that I am a writer, some simply smile at me. They don't know what to say in return. I've even rendered some people speechless. Their eyes widen and their mouth drops. I guess they can't picture me as a writer. For the most part people are quite curios. But they never ask me 'why' I write. They really want to know..... what I write.
I have a story. It's my life. I write because God gave me a way to express my thoughts and feelings. And I just can't stop.
"O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up
You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I'm going to say
even before I say it, Lord."