As most who know are aware I have a son with Autism. I talk about Cohen frequently. His triumphs, his silliness, the frustration he experiences, and the frustration he causes.
You’ve probably heard me pontificate on the many ways and aspects for which I’ve become a better human in the many facets of my multiple areas of life, and how I attribute these to growth facilitated because of autism.
You may have even heard me declare my gratitude for it, and the blessing I feel it to be in my life. And I am sincere in that declaration. I feel truly blessed and humbled by the trust my Heavenly Father has had in me, demonstrated by sending me a soul so powerful, and unique, as Cohen, and pairing it with a body so weighted down with some truly harsh physical limitations.
You might not as often heard me also declare how blessed I feel for my other children and how I don’t think Cohen could have better siblings and humbled I am that I was also entrusted with their great souls.
What you’ve probably not heard in all my effervescent praise of: my boys, my wife, the lessons learned, obstacles overcome etc, is the heartache, stress, worry, pain, and occasional hopelessness that accompanies all that joyous goodness.
Much of that stems from what I mention above as true gratitude for what I do have and an understanding of how fortunate we are even in the midst of a legitimately crappy situation. And not wanting to appear ungrateful I haven’t wanted to complain.
Which brings me to the crux of today’s post. I’ve come to realize there is a vast difference between Lamenting and mourning for what isn’t or might never be, and complaint, and murmuring over the way things are.
To explore this further let’s look at how lament differs from murmuring or complaining.
A lament is by definition a passionate expression of grief or sorrow or a mourning.
A complaint by contrast is an expression of discontent, and resentment.
My disaffection with autism isn’t a matter of discontent, or resentment at my situation, it is a sorrow and mourning for what isn’t, tempered with an ongoing gratitude for what I do have, and the reality that my situation could be worse but isn’t and I’m genuinely blessed, and really in a successful situation despite the hardships.
I’ve learned it is okay to be mournful and even upset and times and to have the desire to say “Screw you Autism”
And this is not the same as complaining, and being bitter and discontent or resentful at my situation.
I look at the Lament of Christ as he overlooked Jerusalem, and His commenting wondering how oft would He have gathered her? And the reality that He was still willing and able to gather her, and that He hadn’t become bitter and resentful and spiteful towards His people, but rather was mourning that they hadn’t sought Him.
But if they did seek Him, His arms were open stretched out and ready to receive them.
To this effect I feel similarly with my situation I have timed when I mourn for what isn’t, and yet I’m fully ready to embrace what is and accept the next challenge the next obstacle the next whatever, and to do so with humility and gratitude trusting in my Heavenly Father to continue to uphold me and magnify my efforts to meet these things and continue to learn and move forward.
Complaint on the other hand would have me bitter, and bemoaning every challenge, cursing each obstacle and short coming, and resentful of my life and situation.
In the end it’s okay to be frustrated, annoyed, irrtated, and upset at times, and even okay to voice these the feelings. The key is to recognize even in the midst of these trials the goodness and mercy and blessings that we do have and remaining grateful.
I know we all have our own hard rows to hoe in life, and if you ever need a hand with yours let me know I’ll help however I can. Heaven knows I’ve had countless people help me with mine.