I have. One cold, wintry night 9 years ago in a suburb of Chicago, I was encouraged by my husband to "just get out for awhile." As ever, I found myself inevitably combing the shelves of a bookstore in search of something very specific but nothing in particular. That night I found a little gem, Changed by A Child by Barbara Gill, that satisfied my craving.
If I were to go out tonight on that same hunt, I am sure I'd come home carrying Autism & Alleluias by Kathy Deyer Bolduc. This handheld, personal treasure is a godsend of hopeful, gutsy true grit that lets me know I am still not alone on this road through adolescent autism to glory.
My copy is already circled, starred, underlined and doggeared. I don't think there has ever been a book that scratched so many of my itches. Like a psalmist, Kathy tells it like it is in raw poetic honesty. In each of 39 vignettes, she captures God's intended purpose in real challenges and celebrates how her son, Joel, has shown her His grace.
She does not stifle the truth like a proverbial church lady, but writes candidly enough to have me welling up and ultimately sobbing at the beauty of almost every 2-page devotional.
She gets the daily calls from school; she knows the "anger that's been tamped down for months;" she "reads his moods like an investor watches the stock market;" "exhaustion is her constant companion." AND (not but), it has made her holy.
Her "body remains in the front pew of College Hill Presbyterian Church, but her spirit stands in the sacred presence of God." I love that line!
Thank you Kathy for being one of the saints who has gone before and written it done for our benefit. I would add you to the Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame after Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Rahab.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11:39-40
If you are free tomorrow at 2:00 EDT, tune into a webinar with the author. "A Place Called Acceptance" (click here to register) will also include Bill Gaventa, Editor of the Journal of Religion, Disability, and Health, and Ginny Thornbugh, program director for the Interfaith Initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities.