“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

God made a promise to Jeremiah and the Hebrew people that, even though they were about to be defeated and taken captive by the Babylonians, God would care for them, hear their prayers, and bring them out of captivity. The Hebrews probably felt helpless and hopeless. But God had plans for them, plans for good. He would work through the captivity and through the difficult circumstances. God’s plans would give the Hebrews a future and a hope.

There are days when we, as parents with a child or children on the autism spectrum, feel like we’ve got it under control. We know our child. We know their triggers. We’ve got a routine. Our child is learning a new skill. We’ve got this!

Then there are days when we feel anything but in control. Tantrums, meltdowns, schedules out of whack, patience waning, tempers flaring. It can sometimes feel like we and our children have been taken captive by autism. These are the days when it’s easy to think God has abandoned us.

But even on the days when we’re holding on by our fingernails, God is there. Just as God had plans for the Hebrew people in their captivity, He has plans for us and for our children, even on our darkest days. They are good plans, mighty plans, and they give us a future and a hope. Cling to that hope and trust God to bring you to that future. He did it for the Hebrews, and He will do the same for you.

Dear God, thank you for my beautiful child! I am constantly amazed by him. Sometimes, though, I worry about him and what his future holds. I know that you hold his future, and for that, I thank you. Thank you for having good plans for him and for me as well. Help me to always hold on to the hope I have in you and to share that hope with my child. Thank you for the many ways you show that you are always with us, even on the roughest days. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Cristina is a mom to three, wife to one, and avid coffee drinker. She spends her days fighting Atlanta traffic, waiting in carpool lines, and muddling through this awesome experience called motherhood. She enjoys encouraging others and finding humor in sticky situations. You can find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cristinaschnizlerblog

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