Joni Parsley Daydream Believer
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I brought my laptop with me tonight. I have two hours to sit and wait while my son, Austin is in a class. This class is at the Ohio State University and is for college-age students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. The parents sit in the waiting room while our kids are instructed on ways to manage the emotional upheaval that comes with their condition. I’m not going to pretend that it’s not hard. This isn’t a club I wanted to join. My son has struggled just like these other young people. All of them want friends and social lives but aren’t always easily approachable because of the social dysfunction component of Autism. As a result, feelings of sadness, isolation, rejection and loneliness become a frustrating fact of life. Hearing them express their feelings physically hurts my heart. My chair happens to be outside the door. I don’t want to listen yet I do want to listen…two contrasting realities.

It’s interesting to observe how each parent copes with sitting in the waiting room. One has on headphones tuning out the noise. I’d pay him for those right now since another mom is chatting on her cell phone and is so loud that the whole campus must hear her spine-tingling discourse on who has the best fried shrimp in town, what she had to eat today, who is bugging her at work, the last restaurant she went to was way too expensive and the fried shrimp was just okay and on and on. I need anger management tips…wonder where that class is! For the love of all that is sacred, people need to learn cell phone manners or just plain good old-fashioned manners, for that matter. But, is this her way of coping? For us, there is some comfort in the mundane, since days are typically unpredictable, so shame on me! Maybe my clicking away on a laptop is annoying! Not to mention, fried shrimp sounds good all of a sudden…sigh!

Anyway, I notice other parents are reading books. Yes, I said books with pages and everything! I think that says a lot. First, we’re all older parents and have obviously been bypassed by the e-reading generation. Secondly, we savor any free moment that doesn’t involve managing the schedules and care of our kids which only we can understand. There are such highs and lows…again, two contrasting realities.

As I survey the room, I conclude that all of us look weary and tired. Oh, if I could read minds. All we want is a cure. A waiting room filled with parents who love their kids and just want them better. There are amazing gifts that come with Autism but the hurts often overshadow the endowments. We rush to fix a hurt long before we applaud a talent-it’s just human nature and definitely, Christian nature. Our hearts are touched with compassion before our minds are stimulated by ability. It’s simply the character of God.

Tonight, my heart wants to be a first-responder in this relief effort. I want to make everyone feel better but all I can do is sit here and wait. I can pray but I still have to wait. I’m not just waiting for class to be over… I’m waiting in a different way.

Isaiah 40:31 (Amplified) “But they that wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.”

God is the forever first-responder and brings our much needed relief but it’s our choice to look at things or look for Him. I promise you this, if your hope is in Him… He is always worth the wait.

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About Joni

Thanking God for blessings too many to list. He is my all and my always-the glory and the lifter of my head... He never fails.

Why the Name

"For a child, it’s as easy as blowing out candles on a cake, or wishing upon a star. But as for one of those 'grown-ups,' 'No dream comes true until you wake up and go to work.' " ...