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Ever notice those little flowers that spring up close to the house, very nearly hugging the walls?

We get tiny purple ones- the name of which escapes me- that put me in mind of young girls dancing in the breeze in their Sunday best, about as delicate as can be, yet braver than we know.

Girls like my Sarah.

Sarah’s ten, my only girl, songbird and ballerina combined, brimming with beauty enough to dazzle the eye, innocence enough to break the heart, and kindness enough to catch the breath.

In many regards, autism has served her well in the design of such endearing qualities, and, yet…

It pierces me down to the core to think how easily her sweet blossoming self could be trampled underfoot by the cruelties of this world.

She is growing so fast- too fast for my taste- and, oh, how I long to reach out, snatch the years back, let her duck in my embrace from all that ever might scorn her difference or take advantage of her tenderness.

Don’t get me wrong. I feel the pressure equally for my boys, but there is something about having just one girl. One chance to pass on a uniquely feminine legacy, to see to it another girl needn’t feel as I and generations past did-crushed. And the weight of impacting her rise to womanhood leaves me feeling utterly unqualified at times.

After all, I tell myself, what do I know about being a woman?

It can hurt.

Your loved ones can wound your little girlness, rob you of your lightness. Words said and unsaid can leave you ever longing for something to stretch over those dark holes of insecurity with something pretty.

Many boys disguised as men can cheat, lie, steal a big chunk of your heart, and leave you holding the bag. The empty one you need filled with stuff like love and self-worth and provision. Virtue can become your commodity in the quest to refill it. You can bleed out every ounce of your purity, your passion, your very will to live in a few well-places slashes to the soul.

A small window into my 38 years, though, not all, naturally, and, not at all the piece I wish to pass on, that’s for sure!

Yet, the challenge becomes extracting the sweet and leaving the bitter behind.

And I find myself grappling with this daunting question:  How do I lift this heavy load when I never could for me?! And, that is when desperation calls me to bended knee with my messy cry.

And, He answers:

Yes, heavy in the scope of itty-bitty humanity, little mother, but a speck in surrender to Me. For, remember whose hand restored every torn limb of your forgotten flower. Remember whose shade shelters you now can shelter your fragile little Sarah blossom and let her wave brilliantly in the breeze in royal princess hues. For, only in Me will every precious petal be guarded from crushing and allowed to fully bloom to the beauteous glory I intend. Delicacy is not a hindrance but a strength in My sight. Something to treasure dearly and shine brightly in.

That is what you need to teach her.

That is how you raise her.

Raise her up to Me.

Ah. Again He simplifies my complicated.

And, so…

As delicate darling inches ever nearer to womanhood’s door, I see my burden becomes less to manage every wobbly moment or redeem botched legacy. And far more to just let her really keep hugging the walls of this her home.

And let the home hug her in return.

Never holding her back, mind you, but forever pointing her towards the Son.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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Marisa Ulrich

Marisa Ulrich is a mom of four, two autistic, two “typicals," living in one of those great old fixer-uppers in rural Kansas. She is in a blessed second marriage with the handyman of her dreams. Her writing has appeared in Autism Parenting and Zoom Autism. Her first book, Broken Cookies Taste Just as Sweet: The Amazing Grace of Motherhood, Marriage, and Miracles on the Spectrum is set to debut July 19th via eLectio publishing. Join her ongoing thoughts on Facebook, and online at

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