Either Way

by | Jun 4, 1999 | Praise, Reverance, Worship

My friend Sheila has coped for years with the fact that her youngest child Taylor has autism. She has born the disappointments and setbacks of being a mother of an autistic child. She has endured the worry, the fear, the scares and the scenes that are all present in the life of a mother who has a child with autism. She has rose from exhaustion to change his no longer toddler pants and to answer his cries she does not understand. She has accepted all the limitations and challenges that autism has brought into her sons life, her life, and her families life as well. She has juggled it all trying to somehow be fair to all, and in the process forgetting about herself.

She has weathered all the storms of Taylor’s autistic temper and uncontrollable tantrums. Even during the times her energy was spent and her own nerves were almost completely gone she has coped. On Taylor’s worst day she has only pulled him closer and loved him more. Sheila, time and time again has prevailed over the frustration and discouragement of medicine being subscribed and tried to yet no avail… no cure.

Not too long ago, Sheila and I were discussing miraculous healings from the Lord. As our conversation began, I wondered how Sheila ‘really’ felt about this subject matter. Especially, since Sheila is a faithful Christian and servant to the LORD, who has a son with autism. Yes, a son who has not yet been healed by the Lord. I was concerned that this could be a hurtful conversation triggering additional pain for Sheila. Adding to Sheila’s suffering was definitely something I did not want to do. She had been through enough.

Sheila for many, many years has prayed for her son Taylor’s complete healing. Others have prayed as well for Taylor’s healing her family, her friends, and her church as well. I suspected and assumed this topic of miraculous healings would be a very painful topic for Sheila. As it turns out I could have never been more… wrong.

Throughout our conversation Sheila had no words of contempt, no feelings of betrayal, no thoughts of pity, and no questions asking GOD why Taylor had not been healed. Sheila shared that she feels God has led her to more wholly lean on Him through the trials and problems of having an autistic child. God has shown her more about Himself during her difficult days with her son.

Sheila said, “Throughout my life I have tasted and seen God’s healing, and I have also seen where God has allowed suffering to continue. I am fully convinced that God can be glorified in ‘Either Way’. Whether the gift from God is healing or continued suffering God can be glorified ‘Either Way’.”

Sheila continued, “Melodie this is a truth that God laid on my heart years ago, and HE has shown me personally HIS TRUTH”.

Sheila’s words of ‘Either Way’ were still echoing in my head. This notion of God being glorified ‘Either Way’ was new to me. I was being taught something very important for my Christian growth and maturity. I remember, as I absorbed it, my heart raced for forgiveness. I was just thinking of all the times I had missed glorifying God because of my lack of understanding and selfish expectations.

Sheila’s wise words continued, “I have run into some people through the years who mistakenly think that miraculous healing is the only way that God can be glorified. But God CAN BE glorified long-term.

A Christian’s life who is suffering on a frequent basis, day after day, yet still grows and loves God regardless.”

I swallowed hard. My heart was expanding because of my new understanding of ‘Either Way’. I felt convicted and gulity. I was feeling that I had wronged the Lord and robbed Him of glory he should of had. Oh, Lord forgive me, I prayed silently.

Sheila continued, “People don’t always realize the full scope of what God may be up to. They just see a problem in their lives, and think if I have faith enough, God will heal or remove this from my life.

Well God thinks so much higher and deeper than us, and His plans are eternal… ours only are the span of what we think we are going to live on this planet.”

I felt it. I was being awoken to what it truly met to ‘glorify God’ and Sheila was my teacher. She concluded by saying, “I know many unsaved people who are watching my life. I have friends who have seen me with Taylor and all the hardship they see at a given moment… I see them watchingme, and knowing I love the Lord. They study me. So that is one example of God being glorified without healing the person.”

She had finally said it, “without healing the person”. And to me that translated into what Sheila was not saying…WITHOUT healing my child…WITHOUT healing my son…WITHOUT healing Taylor…I WILL STILL LOVE THE LORD REGARDLESS.

Sheila’s testimony was a beacon of light for me, shining a new meaning on the words ‘glorifying the Lord’. ‘Either way’, whether Taylor is healed or not, Sheila is still going to love and glorify the Lord. Sheila is unconditionally accepting God’s exact plan of grace and mercy for her and Taylor… no matter what it is… regardless.

It is because of my dear friend Sheila and her very special son Taylor that I have come to understand what it truly means to glorify God. I hadn’t know before. ‘Either way’ means a 100% Glory to the Lord! I know now, it’s time for me to get my percentages up!!!

Copyright 2002, Melodie Lynn Tilander lynnmelodie@hotmail.com

I am a professional woman who has transitioned from a position, Vice President of Advertisement to pursue my dream of writing. I am a Christian writer who looks for and writes about everyday events, which glorify God. “Either Way” is my dear friend Sheila Gosney’s true story. You can find me in 2theheart Writer’s Hall of Fame featuring my story “Grandma’s Quarters”. My other stories on 2theheart are Zach’s Story, God’s Glass Smears, and Grandma’s River.

I am currently working on a series of short stories celebrating my Grandma. I love writng for 2theheart!


Either Way