My daughter, Stefanie, wrote this blog post for me. It illustrates a powerful point. The very thing that frustrates you about your child might be the very thing that will draw him to Jesus. Here’s Stef’s post:
The screaming lasted for about 30 minutes. Selah was scared, I was mad, and Charlie was . . . out.of.control.
When Charlie throws a fit the world comes to a screeching halt. I can’t be sure but I think the Earth might literally stop spinning for a few seconds. The blood curdling screams that escape his body are nothing short of other worldly. He whips himself up into a wild crazy frenzy; he digs his fingernails into his scalp, and becomes a tornado destroying anything in his path. Our house becomes Armageddon and it’s terrifying for everyone including Charlie.
His fits can be attributed to his sensory integration disorder, his overwhelming sense of justice, and the sheer intensity of his emotions. The hardest part of Charlie’s struggle is that his own emotions terrify him.
The other night, I was trying to put the kids to bed and something set Charlie off. He became inconsolable and I felt torn between my kids. I tried to reassure Selah that despite her brother’s yelling, everything was, O.K.
While I was reassuring Selah, the sounds from the other room changed. I heard Charlie crying, “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” I was overcome with emotion. My body stilled at the power of my Savior’s name and the fact that my 5 year old had just called on Him at his most desperate moment. I sat there for a second praying, “Yes, Jesus, come to my boy, show him you understand him, and that I do, too.” Charlie calmed. I went to hold and rock him and tell him he was safe. He soon fell asleep, peaceful in my arms.
Later that night, after sobbing over the fact that my 5 year old still throws fits, I had an epiphany. I pray almost every day that the Lord will help Charlie with his fits . . . what I really mean is, “Lord, I can’t handle these fits. Change him.” That night I finally realized that my son’s weakness is creating in him a need for God. In Charlie’s most desperate moment he cried out to Jesus and Jesus came. He calmed him in a way that I couldn’t.
If Charlie’s weaknesses are what draw him to Jesus, then I can rejoice and praise God. This doesn’t mean I stop trying to curb bad behavior but it does mean that I can experience peace in knowing that if my baby continues to cry out to Jesus, someday his “weakness” will become his greatest strength. “My grace is sufficient for (Charlie), for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore (Charlie) will boast all the more gladly about (his) weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on (him)” (2Corinthians 12:9-1.)