“Heart by Max.” Emily Colson’s true story of raising her special needs son.

Emily Colson’s son Max is autistic. He screamed every moment he was awake for the first year. Her husband divorced her. Max is now 24 and he made heart signs and planted them around the community during COVID.

In her book Dancing with Max Emily Colson shared the struggle and beauty of life with her son Max. The book has recently been awarded “Book of the Year” by the Autism Society. Through her powerful message of the sanctity of life, Emily has inspired many to persevere through their own challenges and see the gifts. Emily and Max live on the coast of New England where they can often be found dancing.

Here’s a story from Emily Colson’s blog:

It is 2am on a Tuesday night, and life with Max is loud and messy, all of our tried and true strategies failing. I breathe in and force prayer into my mind and mouth, to drown out the noise and my ugly thoughts.

I ask God for strength for the next second. I blow it. And then I ask Him again.

Finally, the raging battle, which is too big to be fought on earth alone, subsides. It is quiet. My son is asleep.

I stand in the bathroom with my toothbrush in hand. I have no energy to fall on my knees, or close my eyes. “This is really difficult,” I tell God as if He were standing in the bathroom beside me, helping me to hold the weight of my toothbrush. “I know you are here with us. I know, even when it is this hard.”

I turn on the television to clear my mind. I watch an ad for a body lotion that will shimmer in the light and make your arms “look thinner and more toned in your holiday dress.”

So let me clear through all the clutter and noise – in the midst of the Christmas season, wakeful nights, or mornings, or afternoons. There is one truth. Jesus.

God sent his one and only Son, Jesus, into this world as a tiny baby. He sent His Son into this world of Tuesday nights, to be our hope. God planned this before He ever created you or me, knowing that this world, and our hearts, would be filled with brokenness and struggle. He knows it’s difficult. He has not forgotten us. He tells us, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.” He tells us, “Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.” He tells us, He knows the plans he has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future.

Right now someone else might be standing in a bathroom at 3am with a toothbrush that is too heavy to hold alone. And if that someone is you, take comfort.

There is One Truth we can hold onto. It is the same Truth that holds the whole world together. Jesus.

Sincerely, Emily

Emily Colson is Chuck Colson’s daughter. You can read about her life with Max here.  Thank you, Anne R. for letting me know about Emily Colson and her faith in God and her love for her son Max.

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