Life and other catastrophes · Parenthood · Psychology and mental health · The way we are

More than a mung bean

My boys (aged five and seven) were recently given a kit for growing their own plant. It contained cotton wool and mung bean seeds, and they received a spray bottle of water. After moistening the wool and seeds, they were told to leave it for a few days. After a week my son became frustrated because no plant appeared. I reminded him to keep adding water. Within a couple more days of doing that, we started to see a little plant appear:


Amidst the muck and the mould something beautiful arose.

It’s been an emotional week for my husband and I. On Friday we received the results of diagnostic tests that revealed our seven-year-old has Autism Spectrum Disorder. We’ve been looking for answers for years, and now we have a name for the behavior we’ve seen. His struggles are, and will continue to be, different to many of the people around him. And it breaks our heart.

But we know beauty will grow out of the darkness. Right now I can’t see very far ahead. And when I try, it makes me fearful. But I hold onto Jesus. He knows the beginning from the end – the mung-bean seed from the budding plant. So I hold his hand tightly and trust.

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted… to comfort all who mourn… to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” (Isaiah 61)

27 thoughts on “More than a mung bean

  1. Dear Ali, my love and prayers are with you and your family and your special son. I have a 22 year old within the Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis and well remember those early years. Praying that He encourages you every step of the way as you hold tightly to His hand and trust! God bless you!

    1. Thank you so much for your love and prayers Debbie. It’s always comforting to know there are others who know what I’m going through, and I pray God would give you strength also, for the day-to-day of life.
      He is a wonderful encourager, as are friends such as you.
      Thanks again,

  2. Oh Ali… what a challenging time for your family right now.
    It must be a relief of sorts to have a name of what you’re dealing with, but very frightening to enter a new world.
    Beauty does come from darkness eventually, but it’s normal to be afraid and nervous on the journey. The unknown is hard.
    Sending love and prayers for you all.

    1. Yes, you’ve summed it up well Denise. A relief, but scary – not knowing what kind of a future he will have with this diagnosis. But I guess we never really know our futures do we? The only sure thing is Him – his beautiful presence in the midst of everything we face.
      Thanks for your understanding and encouragement. Appreciate your prayers.
      God bless,

  3. His love and mercy will guide you through this. God knows you and your son, so as you said cling to Jesus and He will provide whatever strength that you and your family need. I will be praying for you.

  4. Hi Ali….
    “Beauty will grow out of the darkness”… are so right! may God strengthen you and your family as you trust in God! I am praying for your son!


    1. Thank you Rolain. Much appreciated! I know I will see beauty come forth. It’s hard right now, but I’m waiting on God and know He is able to lift me out and show me himself…
      God bless,

  5. Beautiful story Ali, waiting for God to do His thing can be one of the hardest things to do, it can tests our faith so much, But not with out His plan. I’m sure He has been working, James 1:2 in your lives. God bless you, and may you find His peace in all of your circumstances.❤

    1. For sure. So glad He does have a plan and is working it out in all situations. It’s a good verse to remember. I’m praying I do grow in strength as I exercise my faith. Thank you so much for your encouragement during this time,

  6. Oh my, Ali–I’m so saddened to hear this news, as I appreciate the challenges ahead for your family. But as you know, Our God IS Faithful, He’s the Great I AM–surely He will be so Present with His grace and unfailing LOVE each day, walking with you. I will step up my fervent prayers for you and your family–and send you much love right here. God bless you, Sister–love, Caddo

    1. Thank you so much for your care and concern, and prayers Caddo. My heart is comforted by your words, and the reminder of who our great God is in the midst of our storms – and always. Blessings to you dear sister.

      1. The message I keep hearing, trying to hold onto, is that Our God is BIGGER than our circumstances. We know it’s true, but it’s sometimes difficult to see and “make it real” when we’re in pain, at our wits’ end. Much love to you, Caddo

      2. I like that, Caddo. And the words and truth really minister to me in my situation. Holding on to the fact that God is so much bigger than the mountains we perceive…

  7. I’m sorry to hear of your struggles. I think it’s okay to not think too far past today because we tend to think of how daunting the journey could be. But God will see you through these challenges and with your faith and His guidance, I know your family will thrive.

    1. Thank you Janna, your words encourage me. Yes I agree – just focusing on today is enough for now, and it’s good to know I can entrust our future to God.

  8. You already have the right attitude which is more than half the battle. God will definitely see you through! Just take it day by day and God will give you what you need and more.

    I’ve been on this journey over ten years now and I’ve seen God do some awesome things in my son and through him. He has achieved more than what many thought he would ever be capable of. The best advice I can give you is go with your God/gut instinct. He will always lead you in the right direction. Peace.

    1. Thank you so much Lilka. It is so reassuring to hear you have seen God at work in your own experience, and that there is hope. I will take your advice to trust my ‘God instinct’.

      1. You are very welcome. If there is ever anything I can do for you, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m no expert by any means but I’m willing to share my experience if it can help someone else. Peace to you.


  9. Thanks for sharing that Ali. I’m sorry to hear that you had a rough week the other week =( Is it clear how you can move forward at least? Let me know how I can pray for you specifically.

    Love, Ange

    1. Thanks for getting in touch Ange.
      Would appreciate prayer.
      It’s all a bit overwhelming – lots of information out there and hard to know how and where to start.
      If you could specifically pray:
      – that we would find solutions/help tailored to Jonathan/his specific behaviour issues
      – that the school would as well, as the teacher is really struggling.
      – the kids at school are starting to tease him a lot more and he’s losing interest in the work.
      The school is bringing an assessment person in to help determine what he needs, so hopefully that will help.
      – I’ve been a bit down, and Michael too. Pray that we’d continue to move out of this ‘slump’ and into hope and answers.
      We are very thankful that we now have a name for his condition as it opens more doors for specific help.
      I’m sure God is in control and bigger than this.
      Thank you.
      I hope you guys are going well. How are Reuben and Gabriel?
      Lots of love and thanks for praying xxoo

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