Jordan, Our Own "Special" Prophet
The following article was written by Ruth Schroeder, mom of 14-year-old Jordan, who has severe autism. This boy hears the voice of God in ways his parents wish they could. The following article is written from Jordan’s perspective as he delivers a very special message to Mom and Dad.
Ruth is a Life Coach (www.copetohope.com) who helps families with special needs move from just coping to hoping through in-home consultations and coaching by telephone nationally and internationally. She is also a popular retreat and conference speaker. Ruth lives in Gresham, Oregon, with husband Matt and two terrific kids, Jordan and Gracey. She anticipates graduating with her Masters degree in Counseling from Portland, Oregon's Western Seminary in April. Ruth can be contacted at Ruth@copetohope.com or by calling 503.661.1196.
What is “Life Coaching”?
- Coaching focuses on your gifting and strengths and your unique ability to live the life you have been given.
- Coaching can clarify your focus, build confidence and bring learning. The result is intentional progress.
“Imagine…if someone knew your values and life purpose and was holding you true to them.” —(Laura Whitworth, Co-Active Coaching)
Cope to Hope
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What’s that, God? You have a message for me to deliver? I’ll try, but You know my brain and my mouth don’t always work together so good…You want me to say that? Yeah, I know, Mom and Dad really need to hear it. They get so tired. Both of them walk like they’re carrying boulder-filled backpacks. Sometimes I know it’s because of me. I hear them use the word “autism.” I’m not sure what that is, but when they say it, they sound sad and worried. And always tired.
God, I worry about my Mom. She’s exhausted. Sighs around the house. I’ve even seen her crying while she does dishes and she thinks she’s alone. Last night, she got grouchy. I don’t know what to do when that happens.
You’re right. She needs this message from you. Please help my brain and mouth to cooperate when it’s time to deliver Your words to her.
Sunday School is bothering me, they’re changing the schedule. Oh, God, help me, please help me keep track of myself so I can deliver Your message…
Miss Ginny’s lining us up to go out the door. Not on the schedule! Gotta flap. Soothe myself. Ee,eeee! Miss Ginny smiles at me, I feel her touch somewhere..ok, that’s my arm. Miss Ginny likes me, I can go out the door. Flap, flap, flap. Eee-eeee. Walking, rocking, flapping, rocking.
Dad’s in the hallway with a big smile. Too much. Cover ears, look down. Glance up. Look down again. Dkadeee! I love Dad. He’s big and strong. I can relax and find myself when Dad’s nearby. I know his voice and it is full of love and patience. He thinks I’m a great kid and he’s proud I’m his boy.
Walking into Big Church. Lots of people, colored lights. Piano music, bouncing off the walls hitting my ears in every direction. Rock. Flap. Rock. Flap. The tag in my shirt rubs my back like a plastic fork. A woman’s perfume smells strong like vinegar. That one like bleach. The lights flash. Rock, flap. I’m losing myself. Too much…rock, flap, rock, flap. Eeeee! Dad whispers, “Jordan, that’s too loud.” Dad’s big, meaty hands rub my shoulders, patting, rubbing. OK, my body is coming back into this space. That’s better. I know where my arms are. Rock, flap.
Dad, I can do this if you go with me. Take a step, take another step. Dad’s hands. I turn. Fingers in ears. Look at all the smiling people. Today, I’m not looking down. I’m taking their happy in. Kids start singing. I like it. No singing for me. That would be too much. Too wonderful. Look at the man, he’s smiling. She’s smiling. He’s smiling, He’s smiling. She’s smiling. Kids singing. Dad’s hands. I smile back. I like it. Almost too much. But I like it. The kids stop. The music stops. They’re clapping! All 500 adults are clapping….FOR ME! I did it! I’ve never done this before. I’m standing with my class. They’re still clapping for me!! And maybe the other kids, too.
Time to walk down the steps. Dad’s hands on shoulders. Adults smiling at me. I did it! I did it! Now in the hallway. Too much. All those voices, too many faces. I’m overloading. How will I say Your message, God? Too much movement. I bury my face in Dad’s big, burly shoulders. I feel safe when Dad’s here. Gotta say it. Fingers in ears.
A girl says, “Good job Jordan.” Face back in Dad’s shoulder. OK, God this is it. Help my mouth say the words. C’mon, brain, it sounds like d…d…d…
“Difficult…but not impossible.”
We did it. You and me, God. We delivered the message.
God knew how badly we needed to hear the message of “Difficult, but not impossible.” On days when melt-downs are frequent, strength is low and perspective is narrow, God again reminds me that this life is difficult—sometimes horrifically so—but not impossible. Why not? Because of His presence. Emmanuel. God with us.