I get asked why I share our autism journey on a cookie page. This illustration is a perfect example of why.
Sure, I could keep our journey to myself and never speak a word of it on my page. I could still raise awareness with those close to me. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that choice. But what if I did just that and the entire reason I was put on this Earth and given Scarlett was to be a voice? A voice to another mom, in another state, or in a different country. A mom who, like me, didn’t know a single person with autism and was scared to death at a diagnosis she was just handed. A mom who just needed one person who she could feel like she could connect to? To know that it’s all going to be ok. What if I was that person and I didn’t show up?
Or maybe, just maybe, God’s plan for me is to promote grace and compassion so that all mother’s regardless of their struggles, are no longer judged.
That by speaking up about autism someone will stop and reconsider judging a mom whose child is melting down in a store. That instead of giving the sideways look of disgust or under the breath comment, replaced it with an understanding smile or heck, even a “you’re doing a great job, I’ve been there too. Hang in there”. Maybe it’s for the mom at the checkout line with a stack of coupons, price matching, and having to put items back because she doesn’t have enough money to cover it all. I’ve been “THAT” mom doing my best to raise my older three with no financial help. Trust me when I say, I didn’t want to be in that position. I prayed that I would get a patient cashier and even more so, kind people behind me in line, but more so than not I received impatient huffs and judgemental comments over what I was purchasing. Oh what a blessing it was when I was treated kindly by the cashier. What a gift when the person behind me would be gracious and tell me to take my time or just offer up a simple head nod and smile. Maybe it’s for the mom who is judged because “she just can’t be THAT perfect”. The mom who seems to have it all together yet secretly feels like she’s always coming up short. The truth is, we’re all struggling with something. We could all use a little more grace.
The thing is, I don’t know what God put me on this Earth to do. I’m not sure what my mission is. What I do know is, when I feel that tug on my heart I follow. I will step into His direction. My steps may not be strong and steady. They may not be fast and bold. I may not know everything about cookies, autism, or business but I will keep moving forward, shovel in hand, doing my best to clear a path for everyone. Compassion is the ramp that needs to be cleared. Cleared of all the crap the world keeps dumping on it over and over again. Imagine if we all routinely helped shovel that ramp day in and day out. The work may not go away, but it would lessen the load for everyone. So my question is, will you pick up your shovel and clear a path with me?