Recently the world lost a courageous truth warrior, Melanie Hamilton Baldwin, mother of a severely vaccine-injured child who regressed into autism and self-injurious behavior. Melanie wrote a phenomenal chapter, “B.K. Lets Go of the Controls and Holds Tight to Faith,” in the book The Thinking Moms Revolution, Autism Beyond the Spectrum: Inspiring True Stories from Parents Fighting to Rescue their Children. For anyone who has not read this compelling collection of writing by 23 moms and one dad, it is ESSENTIAL reading, but it is also inspiring and challenging.
Melanie’s writing provides powerful inspiration to anyone no matter what the nature of struggle you are going through. She was a brave warrior whose life was cut short, yet she leaves a legacy for all of us. While Melanie experienced many challenges, she did not allow her challenges to make her callous or bitter, but responded with an impossible level of grace and even thankfulness for them.
Melanie’s challenges are unimaginable if you have never spent time with a severely autistic child who is suffering from physical pain and not able to communicate. The Thinking Moms (and one dad) do a great job of describing the daily reality of living with that kind of pressure. On top of the 24/7 job of being a mom to her son, Melanie also faced her own battle with breast cancer which spread. Despite this enormous combination of suffering, she was not despondent or overwhelmed, and had an amazing response. I have included quite a long quote because I believe Mel’s word speak for more eloquently than anything I can say.
Before you begin feeling sorry for me, let me just say this: This was one of the most blessed periods of my entire life…When I was diagnosed with cancer everything changed. I knew I didn’t have the strength for this, and I learned that God could use this experience for good. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” To gather God’s strength, I dug deep into His word, and my relationship with Him flourished. It was through this experience that I learned the most valuable lessons of my whole life, and I have watched in amazement how He has worked.
…When we surrender control to God, He takes our lives and makes them what He intended them to be. It might appear you are losing control, but it actually sets you free.
I believe many times God uses trials to draw us closer to Him. It’s an amazing thing! People tend to look at me like I am crazy when I say that having breast cancer has been a blessing, but that’s truly what it has been. I‘ve fallen in love with Jesus. I’ve learned to trust that whatever God has in store for me is truly His best, even if I don’t understand it. I’m learning to give each decision that I have to make, including the small ones, to Him before I act. It’s kept me from making some very bad mistakes, and all the while He is showing me His work in my life. It’s awesome to see! God never promises in His Word that life will be easy for His people. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. He promises that we will endure trials and hardships. It’s how you deal with these trials that helps you grow the most as a follower of Christ.
But I believe God has a plan and His plan is better than any plan of my own. No, He didn’t give my son autism. My son was born healthy. The world gave my son autism. But somehow God can use it. None of it makes sense to me right now, but I do believe that one day it will. I just have to hold on tight to my faith and to my Lord and take life as it comes, one day at a time.
Another passion Mel had and I share, was for churches full of Christians “blinded to the dangers of vaccines and holding great trust in anyone with an MD degree.” Yet she was able to forgive and to pray, “I can forgive them because if it hadn’t happened to us, I wouldn’t understand it myself. All I can do is keep praying for the Lord to remove their blinders. I pray for that all of the time.”
From an earthly here and now perspective, we could look at Mel’s life and consider it a great tragedy, but I think Mel wants more from us. Her life can compel us to discover the faith that kept her strong, vibrant, and thankful till the end of her short time. Even though I didn’t know Mel, I feel great confidence that Mel’s greatest desire for all who read about her life and her son’s tragic decent into autism through our medical system, would be for them to turn to Jesus and find the same hope and comfort that she experienced through every challenge she faced.
Mel’s strong enduring faith lives on and continues to impact lives through the words in the book and blogs she left us. She was loved and treasured by many and I pray many more will be inspired by her courageous faith and that her words and legacy will compel us to seek Jesus as she did, and to become Truth Warriors, as she was, willing to endure our challenges, but not shying away from sharing TRUTH wherever Jesus leads us.
Day 24 of Encouraging people to Seek Jesus: 30 ways in 30 days
Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus Christ and truth seeker, especially in the areas of health and children. Navigating our present day world can be challenging, God’s timeless truths in the Bible are my guide.
If you have been helped in any way through my musings, please give glory to God. If you find anything disappointing or offensive – please let me know so I can improve. Thanks.
- Day 23: Christians are Forgivers & Fighters
- Day 22: Friends on our Journey
- Day 21: Strong Words
- Day 20: Water Anyone?
- Day 19: You Feed Them
- Day 18: Struggles with pain and death
- Day 17: I want more
- Day 16: Jesus: Delusional, Liar, or God?
- Day 15: How’s Your Heart?
- Day 14: Too Smart for God?
- Day 13: Where can I Find Hope?
- Day 12: Our Designer
- Day 11: One essential to come to God
- Day 10: How does faith begin?
- Day 9: Faith in the midst of Adversity
- Day 8: Current State of the World
- Day 7: What does Jesus want from me?
- Day 6: The Critical Question
- Day 5: Best Invitation Ever
- Day 4: Freedom
- Day 3: My Stabilizing Factor
- Day 2: Knowledge of God and Blessing
- Day 1: Does it make sense to seek Jesus in 2014?