Something I really struggle with is spending time with God everyday. I don't like to just sit in silence. It's unnatural to me. I like to read, but I don't like to meditate on what I'm reading. I just want to barrel on through. I don't like to ask myself deep questions and sit and think about them. It's just not my style.
I worry that my faith doesn't.... work... like other people's. Even just for the reasons listed above, I feel like my faith is different. I don't pray, or bible study, or worship like they do. Doesn't God expect me to do those things? Doesn't it say in the bible to pray continually, hide His word in your heart, and worship none but the Lord your God? It does. But my friend Jen makes a good point, one of which she reminds me frequently. God will not punish me for the way He created me. Autism and faith can work together, for the very reason that they both came to me from God. They can. They must. But how?
I can't deny God's commands. I don't get a "you don't have to pray" command or freedom from the command to study Scripture just because I'm autistic. What God gives us all, however, is the ability to fit these commands into the way He has made us. I may not like to pray out loud or even silently in my head, but I can write my prayers in OneNote, almost like little emails to God. I don't like to worship in large groups, but I love to spend time alone with God and a a good cat or two. I spend my time loving the cats and praising God for creating them so incredibly. And, just because I don't like to sit and meditate on passages of Scripture doesn't mean that I can't study the bible in a way that I do enjoy. In fact, that's been a recent discovery of mine: I love to look up bible passages on a certain them.
I've looked up verses on "body," which include verses about our mortal bodies along with those about the body of Christ, the Church. I've looked up verses on God's plan, as I sit here and wonder what my future holds, worrying that I'll never be of any use to anyone. And, just now, I got the idea to look up "strength." What does God have to say about my strength?
I found out today that Leigh is for certain going to Mexico, for an entire year, as of sometime this summer. I want more than anything to be excited for her and share in her joy. So what did I do? I cried. I threw my phone, and I cried. The very thought of so much change in my life is more than I can handle. Trying not to put a damper on Leigh's certain excitement, I decided not to talk to her about it. I talked to Heather, a friend from color guard in college. As we talked through my wretched mood, she said, "You're one of the strongest women I know. Who else always has a smile despite all the stuff she's going through? You can handle this. I know you can."
Well let me tell you something. I don't feel strong. I feel extremely weak, beaten, crushed, useless, even. Anything but strong. I'm learning, slowly, that how I feel, though, isn't always an accurate indication as to what is true. Hence my mission to find out what God says about my strength. A search for the truth. What did I find?
1 Chronicles 16:11, "Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always."
Psalm 46:1, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."
1 Corinthians 1:24, "The weakness of God is stronger than man's strength."
It's not about me being strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10 says, "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." My strength isn't the issue here. It's about God's strength. He is tthe only source of strength, and he is infinitely strong. And that, truly, is all that matters.