When Adversity Becomes Our Greatest Teacher

Guest Post by Karen Cervantes Jimenez

Image by JULIANE LIEBERMAN / Unsplash

Being a mom of three children on the spectrum, I often question “Why me?” At one point in my life, I even questioned God. Stressed out and angry, I prayed and questioned his actions. I might have even said a few curse words out of desperation. (I’m embarrassed to admit, but I practiced no self-control at the time.)

The only answer I could think was this verse from 1st Corinthians, Chapter 10:13, where Paul states:

“God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength but with your testing, he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it”. But even then, that didn’t soothe my soul. It irritated and tarnished it.

“I’m not a bad person. I tithe. I give back. I organize community events. I genuinely love people. I’m humble”. Was my reasoning…A dear friend of mine, Josh, who is very faith-based, heard my story and questioning. In a sweet and most curious way, he asked me this question, “Why not you?”

“What?,” I replied (as I threw a very childish-adult tantrum). “That’s not the answer I was looking for,” I continued. At that moment in life, I just wanted to be heard and to my friend’s expense, he was doing that but with different ears and reasoning.

Fast forward to five years later, Josh’s question still resonates in my soul, “Why not you?” His response was so simple and yet so profound. It took me a few years to digest his question and come up with an answer to his, “Why not you?”

See, individuals with Autism live life to its fullest. They aren’t bothered by other’s perspectives, the BE who they are with freedom, joy, and uniqueness. They are empathic, artistic, musically-inclined, observant, in tune with their bodies, and sometimes overly in tune with their surroundings. And they make no apologies for that because they sway through life just as they are supposed to be. There is something very spiritual about the way they move on this earth. It’s almost like God said, “I will put you on this earth, to teach others and especially Karen, how you should live and love without walls of protection”.

Today, I humbling share this life lesson in hope of serving you. Sometimes, God’s plan doesn’t make sense and sometimes, it brings a great amount of confusion and sadness to you. But if you can keep even a small, mustard seed size bit of faith; God will unfold his answer and glorious plan for you. It might a day, week, or fours year like mine did, but he will answer. In addition, don’t be afraid to share your grief with family or friends. I was lucky to have my dear friend, Josh counsel me. The funny thing is that he might not even remember this conversation, but God spoke through him that day and it changed the course of my being.

Today, I no longer move through life with a “Why me?” Today, I embrace Autism as my spiritual teacher. It has brought me back home and closer to God. My autistic children remind me daily to check in with myself and ask, “Am I living my truest potential while being my truest self? How can I be free like
them?” I get to experience God’s love every day through them and be reminded that his plans are greater than I can imagine.


About Karen Cervantes Jimenez

Karen Cervantes Jimenez a grant writer, story teller, and advocate of the physical and social environment. She believes everyone is unique and that by sharing their personal stories, they can make a difference in education. She is a LAUSD and CalState University of Northridge alumna. In addition, she is an Autism Awareness and Emotional Intelligence advocate. She has three children (who are her inspiration) and lives her family in Buena Park, CA.

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One Comment

  • This is beautiful. I am a proud mother of a beautiful boy on the spectrum. He gave me signs of encouragement from the moment he was born. (He was born at exactly 2:22am) I knew something was special about him when my intuitive abilities expanded as he made his debut into this physical world. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. Love to you and your beautiful family 💜🙏


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