Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 860 of Giving Thanks

Guest Writer, Cynde Joy

God makes beauty out of what we see as messes.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." ~Proverbs 3:5 (New International Version)

It is amazing how God takes us on a journey that makes no sense to us in the moment. In the big picture our lives become a beautiful mural of colorful patterns that make perfect sense and glorify the painter, God.

“Eeeeeeee!” Joey screeched out an ear rattling pitch.  The other children in the classroom covered their ears.

“Eeeeeeee!” As soon as he stopped to take a breath, I interjected praise. “I like the way you’re being quiet right now.” 

“Eeeeeeee!” he screamed.

Another lull as he inhaled. “1, 2… Good quiet”

Joey looked at me and yelled, “I’m mad. I’m not quiet.”

“I like the way you’re using your words to tell me you’re mad.” 

“I hate math.” 

“Oh, you hate math. Now I understand. Thanks for telling me.” I said nodding my head and moving closer to him.

“Eeeee!” Joey stopped and stared at me, not sure what to do next. I took the opportunity to put a paper with three math problems in front of him. “Do you want to do number one or number two first?”

Joey has autism and part of my job is to find ways for Joey to function in the least restrictive environment and grow socially and academically. .

How did I learn how to do this? By following the path God set before me and giving credit where credit is due. God is in control, leading, guiding and blessing. I just say yes and take action.

Many years ago, I received multiple head injuries and worried I might have some learning disabilities. My confidence in my ability to do great things for God was at an all time low. As I faced many learning challenges each day, I asked God why my life was so hard. I’m very head strong, so when I believe I have to do something, I set my mind to it and find a way.  I learned I needed people to tell me instructions in a very structured A–B-C manner. So I would tell people that were teaching me to do something to be very specific and detailed in the methods they used to teach me. I created a home environment that was very therapeutic with low lighting, soft colors and rather quiet (for the most part), so when I came home from holding it together all day I had a safe sanctuary that brought peace back to my soul. As a dancer, I also noticed that although I had trouble with memorization, if I put movement to something I could memorize it completely and correctly.

Professionally, God lead me to the field of Special Education and then specifically Autism. I found that many of the strategies I used for myself were also helpful for others.  I learned more about autism and my career opportunities opened up in that area. I became a leader in home and parent training for a school district. While there, I was offered another job as an   Autism Program Coordinator for another district. I told them I wasn’t qualified because one of the job qualifications was to have a Master’s degree, which I didn’t have. They hired me anyway.

God gave me the opportunity to go back to school and get my Master’s degree though it was hard; I learned to rely on God and grew in faith. Just when I needed to know something, I would learn it in school or a seminar. If I didn’t see what I needed to do, God quickened it to my mind.  Every day, I could see Him working in my life, teaching me the skills to work in the lives of others.

Children like Joey, his parents and his teachers face insurmountable challenges daily.   It is amazing how the strategies I have learned in college and on the job had made such a difference.  None of this could have happened without God’s guidance.  Each of these precious children blesses those around them with lessons and love every day.  Though there are frustrations, communication issues and behavioral challenges, each barrier can be overcome. Seeing the person blossom into all that God has for them and those around them is truly an honor to witness and participate in.  I thank God daily for the hardships in my own life that have led me to the opportunity to serve families and children who suffer the challenges in Autism.  I praise God for each tear of joy that comes when a milestone of success is achieved.

God makes beauty out of what we see as messes.   These lives being painted onto colorful murals of emotion and experience leave us speechless, knowing we have witnessed yet one more miracle of life each day.

A little about Cynde
Cynde Hauser lives in the Dallas/Ft.Worth Metroplex of North Texas. She works in a public school district as an Autism Program Coordinator. Cynde Has a Bachelor’s of Social Work and a Master’s of Special Education with graduate certificates in Autism Intervention and Behavior Analysis.

She has seven daughters and eleven grandchildren two dogs and a cat. She loves the Lord and serves as a volunteer for Global Scope Ministries, Victim Relief Ministries and at her church Rapha Life Center.

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I love people. My life has been spent seeking new friendships and helping others. God's gifting is being worked out into His plan for me. I am excited to share insights of His leadings and lessons.