Reflection on Gareth and God’s Love

This morning I’m in awe of God’s profound wisdom and how He prepares me for the things to come in my life that I have no awareness of until it happens.   When Gareth was born in August 1994,  I wrote a song to welcome him into the world.   The song was also a prayer of my heart as a parent.  I would hum or sing this song as I nursed him or rocked him to sleep.   Little did I know the important role that this song would play in the years to come to inspire me as a parent to all my children, and particularly to prepare me for Gareth’s uniqueness.

Gareth had a few seizures in infancy and toddlerhood that became a full seizure disorder in early childhood, and he then developed other symptoms that led to a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, a very mild form of Autism, when he was about 10 years old.   It has been a challenge to deal with Asperger’s Syndrome, and more so because we homeschool.  There’ve been many moments when, if not for my love for him, I would have given up.   The longer time goes, the more it seems to me how prophetic this prayer that I uttered in his infancy was.  The things I hoped for in that song were the very things I needed to love Gareth as he is, to patiently try to understand and teach him (over and over again), to graciously forgive the many things he did that he “should have known better.”   I had no idea what the years would bring when I first wrote that song, but God did, and I believe He put that prayer in my heart to inspire me to become what Gareth needs.   And God did all this because He loves both of us.  I haven’t been perfect, of course, and there are things I did and said out of frustration that I wish I could take back, but I certainly would not have been able to love him and hang in there as well as I have without this inspiration.

I don’t know what lies ahead, and life can be so unpredictable with its valleys of grief and peaks of joy, but it gives me much peace to know that whatever is to come, my Father already knows way ahead of time and will prepare me for it.  I think I’m starting to know what that “peace beyond understanding”  is.

In case you want to know, the words of the song went like this:

Welcome, Dear Little One
(c) 1994 Sophie Doell

Welcome, Dear Little One,
What a blessed joy to be holding you close to me.
Little hands and little feet, curious eyes looking at me;
I wonder what you can see?

Do you see love, patience, and kindness?
Do you see hope for all that you can be?
Do you see grace that can forgive all wrong?
Do you see Jesus Christ living in me?

And soon, Dear Little One, you’ll be walking next to me.
Your teacher I will be.
And in that moment when you’re looking straight at me,
I wonder what you will see?

Will you see love, patience, and kindness?
Will you see hope for all that you can be?
Will you see grace that can forgive all wrong?
Will you see Jesus Christ living in me?

And someday when it’s time to let you go, my heart will long to know. . .

Will you have love, patience, and kindness?
Will you have hope that will pull you through?
Will you show grace that can forgive all wrong?
Will you have Jesus Christ living in you?

Welcome, Dear Little One.  It’s my prayer that I will be
Christ Jesus for you to see.

Welcome, Dear Little One!