Why did this happen? To me? To my son? Probably the hardest of all the questions and the one most important to people to find the answer. But I feel like God has helped me find the answer. It took a long time, and I believe early on I wasn’t ready for the answer. But I will tell you what that is later. First, I want to tell you about my progression through ‘why.’ When Carter was first diagnosed I immediately asked myself, “Why?”. I sorted through all the details of my pregnancy, his birth, and his life until this point. Was it something I did or didn’t do? Was it something I could have prevented? Is it because he had the cord wrapped around his neck when he was delivered and had trouble breathing for a while? Was it genetic? I waited for doctor’s to tell me why, I googled causes of autism, I prayed. But mostly, I cried.
I had a lot of friends and family, with great intentions and a heart for me and my son, tell me a lot of things that made me feel bad and question God. “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” “God knew you would be great parents to a special needs child.” “Thank God Carter has parents like you.” I felt like, was this a test? Was God testing me? Did God give me this child to see what I can handle? But deep down I knew. No. God was not in the wind.
I asked to meet with the senior minister at my church who has a background in social work and family counseling and our conversation was the first place God enlightened me into part of the answer. My pastor asked me why I thought this happened. I thought for a second, then said the first thing that came to mind, “I don’t know.” And he said that was the perfect response. How was that the right response? He later preached a sermon that has stuck with me – and was another piece in my quest to answer this question. God was not in the wind. Now you might be asking, what? Why does she keep saying that? Even having grown up in church, I have never heard this said, or the scripture verse read. He spoke about how God doesn’t cause bad things to happen. That we live in a broken world and that’s why bad things happen.
So the answer. That I don’t have the answer – and sometimes, the answer doesn’t matter. The reason why doesn’t change the reality. Knowing the answer won’t fix my son. Knowing the answer won’t un-break my heart. Give up the why. That’s the best advice I have. I equate the why to hate. The saying goes, ‘hate is like drinking poison, and expecting the other person to die.’ That’s how I see why. It’s a deep dark hole – there is no light, no hope, just darkness and sadness. The quest to find the answer will get you no where. It’s not the most important question. That’s the next one. So please read my next post.