Two things happened today. I attended my son’s IEP meeting, and we talked about the Holy Spirit in the staff Bible study at my job. At first glance, they seem to have nothing to do with each other. However, the IEP meeting was confirmation for me of the Holy Spirit’s work in my life and in the life of my son.
The question raised in the Bible study today was “Have you witnessed the Holy Spirit at work?”
I wanted to jump out of my seat because I’ve had so many instances of witnessing the Holy Spirit at work in and out of the church, but I refrained from doing so because it was the first study that the bishop was present, and I didn’t want to seem like I was trying to impress her. However, I have so many stories. The experience that stands out the most today is witnessing the Holy Spirit at work in my son.
My son has autism.
I knew early on he wasn’t developing like the other babies. He never spoke a word, and he could never pick food up from his tray. When he did pick the food up, he couldn’t make his hand reach his mouth. And for those anti-vaxxers, this wasn’t after the MMR vaccine. He didn’t reach milestones as an infant, and he displayed sensory issues at six months. I can remember the times when I’d have to take him out of the sanctuary or out of a restaurant because the noise and lights were too much for him. There are so many things that I thought I would never experience with my son. I thought I would never hear him call me “Mommy.” I never thought I would hear him say, “I love you.” I never thought he’d be potty trained. I never saw him washing or dressing himself.
However, these are all things he does today.
In fact, my son is highly intelligent. He scored higher than all of the children in our district in Math and Reading. He never stops talking. He loves to read. He taught himself how to read as a toddler. He hugs me and tells me he loves me. He laughs, plays and tries to tell jokes. He takes his own shower in the morning, washes his hair and dresses himself. The teachers and specialists in the IEP meeting further reinforced to me just how much my son has progressed. I know this is the Spirit at work in our lives. The Holy Spirit has been working “behind the scenes.”
My aunt, who has a special needs adult son, said to me in my first weeks as a mother, “My son’s body is disabled, but his spirit is alive and active. I speak to his spirit.” I’ve never forgotten those words. She said them to me before I knew I had a special needs child of my own. They are the foundation of my faith when it comes to both of my children. It is the Holy Spirit who speaks to and activates my son’s spirit. It’s in the spiritual realm where I speak to all of the possibilities in the natural – declaring those things that are not as though they are. Yes, the Holy Spirit is active and present in our lives every day. Trust in the Holy Spirit. Believe for the impossible. Have faith in God. If you’re just not there yet, pray for God to open your eyes so you, too, can see how the Holy Spirit has been active in your life regardless of your level of faith and commitment to a church.