“I’m fine, yeah I’m fine, oh I’m fine, hey I’m fine but I’m not. I’m broken.” In this song that Matthew West sings, he talks about how there are two lies we all believe. The first is that we’re supposed to have it all together. The second is that everybody’s life is perfect except yours.
I don’t know about you, but it is rare when I actually have it all together, I’m just really good at hiding when life is a mess. I have two girls ages 3 and under, and my oldest has Autism. Having two kiddos at all makes life a little tough, but add in a disability, and it makes it sooo much tougher. And I had no idea until I became a special needs mom.
I want my life to be perfect. I want to look perfect. I want to have it all together. Who doesn’t? But who even came up with the universal rule that we’re supposed to have it all together? A perfect family with a perfect house and a perfect job! That is the dream right? But that is NOT reality.
I can’t tell you how many times I have scrolled Instagram or talked to a friend and their life seemed completely perfect. How many times I have bawled my eyes out because my life was nowhere near theirs. How everything was falling apart, but I was desperately trying to look like I had everything under control!
Before December 1st, 2020, we didn’t know if our daughter had Autism. We were waiting for an evaluation to be done, but we were almost certain. All the time before that, starting in March, 2020, life was a complete hurricane, no… add in a blizzard, and an earthquake, and flooding, and sprinkle in some tornados. That was our life. Our daughter was fine, but then all of a sudden she wasn’t. I was angry, confused, hurt, and felt so disappointed. I was completely broken. I truly felt like God had let me down.
That was a dark time in my life! And I cried EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. And I’m not even kidding. From March until December, I shed tears every day. I had no idea what Autism was. I missed the person my daughter used to be. I didn’t know what her future looked like, etc. But I held it all together. Friends and people at church would ask me how I was. “I’m fine!” And if they got lucky, I threw in the occasional, “Hanging in there!” I was everything except “fine.”
Once Opal was diagnosed with ASD, a HUGE weight was lifted off my shoulders. I had finally come to terms with the idea that no matter what, diagnosis or not, I would no longer blame God. Life just sucks sometimes. Point blank. We may never have the answers. But God never left my side. Through all of it.
You may not have a special needs child, and you may not be mad at God, but are you acting like you’re “fine” when your life is falling apart? Being honest is the only way to “fix it” as Matthew West sings. Be honest with yourself and with others. I think we are so scared people will judge us, that we forget how many people are going through the same things. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I repeat. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! It is ok to break down in front of a friend. CRY! SCREAM! Do what you need to do, but bottling it up inside is only going to hurt more!
I have heard so many people tell me that I have a sparkle back or that I am looking like a load has been lifted from my shoulders. When Opal was diagnosed, I told everyone. I couldn’t hide it anymore. I felt so free! That’s exactly why I started blogging again and started the Life with Opal Facebook and Instagram page. I want you to know, you are not alone in your journey!
Let’s be real and honest with each other. “When it’s out of control, you say it’s under control, but it’s not. And you know it. I don’t know why it’s so hard to admit it, but being honest is the only way to fix it. There’s no failure, no fall. There’s no sin you don’t already know. So let the truth be told.” (Truth Be Told by Matthew West)