"Something Resembling Lemonade" ... a familiy's Story ~ by Nikki McMullin
"Something Resembling Lemonade"
by Nikki McMullin
I love the series “This Is Us.” It pulls at my heart strings by filling me up with an abundance of laughter and love while emptying me every so often with tears of joy and sadness. When those popular words rang through my ears and dove down to my heart, my memories began to spin out of control. You may be familiar with those words ...
And just like that, I was brought back to 10 years prior when we heard the bitter words of, “Your daughter is autistic.” Interestingly enough, those words weren’t the toughest part. It was her reactions to the testing she went through prior to the diagnosis. My eyes were finally opened and allowed me to see what I couldn’t see before. It was the hardest day of my life ...
My daughter, Emma, is a fraternal twin. When we received her diagnosis she was 2 ½ years old. She has bright blue eyes, a beautiful smile and a laugh that fills a room! Shortly after turning 3, Emma began school starting at 8am going until 3pm, Monday through Friday. The twins were separated for the first time. The first day of school was the second hardest day of my life. As she literally began kicking and screaming, I was told to leave. With tears streaming down my face as I walked down the hall, all I could hear was, “Mommy!” She was non-verbal, but she had no problem yelling my name. In that moment and days to follow, I could only wonder if I was doing the right thing. Was sticking a 3 year old in the public school system the right thing to do? And what about my job? Was continuing to work a full-time job when my daughter needed me the right thing to do? I was heart-broken, confused and desperate.
I wasn’t raised in the church, but I knew who God was and had been baptized when I was 16. My husband believed in science. I’d influenced my husband to go with me a few times to church, but he didn’t really understand it. When we were invited to a different church by friends who were on a similar journey, we agreed to check it out. And you know what, we loved it! Although my husband wasn’t a believer, he loved the music, the message and most importantly, how much the church accepted and loved our daughters.
The more I gravitated toward God the more I saw the gift Emma has been to us. She slowed us down. She helped us learn patience. She taught us real love. The best part is she brought me back to Jesus. 4 years later, my husband would accept Jesus as his Savior and be baptized.
God saw my hurt. He knew my pain. And when my heart was aching, He was there all along. But I had to take a step. I had to reach out to Him. I had to let Him in.
Emma & her twin sister Ruby ...
Our life isn’t perfect by any means, but who’s is? Our lives changed instantly, but only for the better. We are better spouses, better parents, better friends than we could have ever imagined! The missing link was Jesus. It was the sourest lemon that led us to Him and He graciously welcomed us in ....
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