Monday, January 31, 2011

The Gift of Autism: Julia Eve

"Be still and know that I am God."

My niece, Julia, is mildly autistic.

Recently my sister, Michelle, asked me to babysit Julia for several hours.

Julia had never been in the care of anyone but the adults that live in her home.

I didn't know what to expect.

In the past, her frustration and lack of vocabulary would cause her to scream and pound the floor with her tiny fists.  My sister has always been the model of Love and Understanding with her child despite obvious difficulty.

The moment Michelle left her daughter with me for the night little Julia Eve began to cry.  It was not the high pitched frustrated cry I had heard so many times before.  She made no sound as she curled up on the couch with a bottle in her hand.  Tears of sorrow streamed down her cheeks.

At first I felt anxious.  My heart raced.  I wanted to do something to quickly make her happy.  I wanted to fix her now.

I pulled her onto my lap and offered her snacks and toys and warm milk.  "NO!" she protested at every turn.

I had done everything I could on my own.  I sent for reinforcements.

I prayed. 

There was a stirring within me.  Be still and know that I am God.

I suddenly knew if I had enough calm, peaceful Love in my heart she would feel it. If I stopped making it about me and what I thought I knew about children, she would have peace.

 I knew if I prayed hard enough, with enough faith, our spirits would be able to communicate and she would be soothed.

So I did.  I felt as though she and I were enveloped in a bubble of electric energy.  There was something happening I could feel but not see.

She sat on my lap for almost 5 hours.

We watched Disney movies. Bolt.  Robin Hood.  Spirit. 

I chattered throughout every movie as she silently cried on my lap.

"That's a VERY silly puppy!"  I said.


"Look at that fat hamster in a rolling ball!  He's SILLY! And FAT!"


"Robin hood and Little John are dressed like GIRLS!"

I continued praying intensely for her peace.

After hours of this we watched Spirit.  A beautifully animated movie about a wild horse.  The wild horse is captured and contained by various men, both white and brown.  In the end, Spirit the Horse runs free.

"Look at the beautiful horsey, Julia!" I said.  "He's running!  He's running so fast with his mommy!"

Out of nowhere: A Miracle.

"Yes!" exclaimed my tiny Jewel.  "The horsey is running in the water with his mommy!  It's Julia Horse and Mommy Horse!  And Daddy Horse and Joshy Horse!"

My heart threatened to burst! 

Thank you, God! Thank you!  was all I could think.

It was my turn to sit quietly with tears streaming down my face as she chattered.

Did you know prayers are answered?  God is no respecter of persons.  He hears and answers all His children according to their Faith and His Will.
I have pondered this experience with little Julia at length.

Julia is a goddess in that tiny body.  The intelligence that emanates from her is Divine.  She reads scripture at the age of four. She speaks 3 languages.  She has the most vivid imagination of any child I've come across.  (Example:  The other day she lay in the Tucson, Az dirt and pretended to make a snow angel. :)

God sent Julia to my sister because He knew Michelle was just the right mother for this child.  Michelle has a gift for nurturing others.  A gift for gently seeking out what is virtuous, lovely and uplifting.  She took this picture.

I'm constantly told in church God has a plan for me.  I hear the words.  Sort of.

But in relaying this story to you I can feel The Spirit of Truth.  In seeing the beauty of God's creations in Michelle's photograph I see The Spirit of Light.

We are so much more than just our bodies or even our mortal minds.  We are Spirits.  Energy.  Intelligence.  Created before the world was.  Eternal in nature.

We are like Spirit the Horse.  Our bodies only contain us for a time.  One day the blind will see.  One day the lame will walk.  One day...

My niece has been blessed with The Gift of Autism.  I believe it brings her closer to God.  She sees things as they really are.  The superficial means nothing to her.  She feels truth and Love in their truest forms. 

Julia is an enormous blessing in my life.  I was meant to read her silly stories about an elephant who sneezes too much.  She was meant to teach me how to be more like the goddess I am to become.

Julia teaches through humble, trusting example...

Be still and know that I am God.