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Seven, 7 the number reminds me of half of a cross. Seven is the age I was when I asked Jesus into my life, to be my Savior. Only thing was, all said and done, I only gave him part of me. I didn't realize it at the time. I knew I wanted to go to heaven when I died, and I wanted to be forgiven for all my wrongs. God showed me that he wanted more from my life. Between my junior and senior years in high school our church youth choir went on tour to the northwest. One evening during a performance, God showed me that my age 7 decision needed to be an age 16 commitment to make the cross complete. He showed me his ministry of servanthood. Each day I am in awe at the opportunities for growth. Growth for me as well as others that he places in my life as I am sensitive to his desires for my life.
This is my story; this is my song, Praising my Savior, all the day long.
In 2013, I shared my Revelation Story, the story filled with answers that God so graciously provided me.
I want to share with you the revelation of my 58-year journey to my “God-label” of Asperger Syndrome. For some reason, my mother labeled everything. We had Dayton labels in our clothes, shoes, on cameras, umbrellas, Bibles, well…Everything that could be labeled was so that it might be returned if lost to its owner when found.
A year or so before my Mother, Lorena Etter Dayton, passed away  I had mentioned to her that I was on a journey. I asked her if she could share with me anything about my childhood that might help me understand that I was, in fact, on the spectrum of Autism, specifically Asperger Syndrome.
Like most everyone I mentioned these feelings to, she said she didn’t think I was Autistic. She did add very quickly that I was not a happy infant or toddler. I cried so much and could not be satisfied regardless of what they tried. That was it. This was all of the information about my childhood that I would have to go on from the generations before me.
Yet, I knew there was much more. After all, I have lived this wired for an amazing life. We are on a wonderful journey together, God and I. I don’t think it occurred to me that I was different in a way that could be “labeled” until I was over 50. I believe God reveals information and answers for us in his timing.
As an adult, God began to uncover thoughts within me that directed me to begin a search for answers to the questions and feelings I had carried with me for so many years and I began discovering, connecting, and learning more about my divine wiring.
I was battling a re-occurring health issue. Believe me, I read about many illnesses during this time. I could understand how those who don’t feel good could grasp onto every little symptom that is remotely similar to what they are feeling…just to have an answer. God provided an answer for my health, and while I was searching, I stumbled upon a web page one day and began reading about Asperger Syndrome. I felt an overwhelming peace. I thought, c’est moi, it is me, Phyllis, I have been found.
In 2012, I decided to Facebook message a former Plainview resident and friend, Jessica James Baldridge. They have an Autistic son, and she had worked for many years in the field of Autism in the Dallas, Texas, area. She led me to valuable information that would validate my feeling that I was, in fact, an adult female with Autism/Asperger Syndrome characteristics.
About a year passes, and I have a nudge to revisit the information from Mrs. Baldridge. I decide to retake the quiz to determine if there might be anything different in my life now, in comparison to then, that could have influenced the results. Once again, the results confirmed that I was most likely on the Autism/Asperger Syndrome spectrum.
It is at this time that God really began to reveal thoughts, feelings, characteristics, etc. of my life that would confirm within me that things did match up with an ASD diagnosis.
The earliest recollection that I could attribute to this new “label” for my life were the times my mother worked with me on the inflection of reading sentences. We practiced going up and down and down and up. We practiced periods, exclamations, and commas. She showed me that every word needed its own “color.” I can remember her telling me that I spoke in a monotone. My mother helped me to understand that I was okay but that what she was sharing was how others needed to hear me talk and read.
As things began to connect within me, I continued to put the pieces of my puzzle together. Both of our parents worked outside of the home. I would be home many hours each week alone. I never minded the alone time, I remember enjoying it. When my parents came home, I would retreat to my bedroom. I did play with other children in the neighborhood and had one neighborhood friend that is still a sweet friend today.
There were many other traits of this new revelation that connected within me; I was amazed. Who would have guessed? God knew.
God was revealing my wiring for his purpose. Above all, I want to glorify him and share his love through testimony and ministry.
It is the end of 2013, and I have searched and called different clinics and Universities in Texas that deal with children with Autism/Asperger Syndrome but, there was no link to anyone who works with adults, much less the female adult on the spectrum. I even emailed Tony Attwood. He is a clinical psychologist and author from Australia. He is known worldwide for his knowledge of Asperger Syndrome. He did respond to tell me that he would be in the United States for conferences, and maybe we could get together. I have been led to the most amazing people.
Again, God was not revealing anything more about where he was leading me. Then, I saw a link to a website that was maintained by Rudy Simone called Help 4 Asperger’s. I discovered that she also was the author if Aspergirls, a wonderful and confirming read for me. On her site, there was a page with Drs. Who Diagnose. There she was. Eva Mendes, with her expertise in adult women with Autism/Asperger Syndrome, and she lived in the U.S.A.
There was an email link, and I sent Eva Mendes a note thinking that she most likely would not respond but, she did. I called her, and we visited for some time. We talked about the reason I feel strongly that I need a diagnosis. That purpose is two-fold; one is that I need to know for sure in order to have a ministry to help others know and understand their wiring gift, and the other reason is so that I might be studied in order to further the understanding of the adult female with Autism/Asperger Syndrome.
This journey I am on has made me very apprehensive. It is as if the curtain is being raised for Act II. I have not traveled to this place & time alone. We are here because God is leading.
In March 2014, my husband and I traveled to Boston, Massachusetts to the offices of AANE (Asperger Association of New England) to visit a psychotherapist, Eva Mendes, regarding a diagnosis for ASD…for me.
We are all created neurologically different. People are wired differently. In my opinion, this design of unique traits allows our God of creation to be glorified in very different ways using varied abilities. We are all on the spectrum.
God wired me in the most beautiful way and I am honored to be his child. He led me to my acceptance of Jesus at the age of seven to protect me and to guide me into his ministry using my differences to His advantage. His plan for me started long ago and it will continue on with my eyes a little more open and having a clearer understanding of where he will use me in the days ahead…my heart is open.
Asperger Syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, one of a distinct group of complex neurodevelopment differences characterized by social impairment, communication difficulties, and restrictive, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.
Chances are that unless we understand the characteristics or traits we will not recognize them among us. I realize that most will never know this about me unless God uses me to reach others. I never dreamed that the pieces I held in my hands, from the time I was young and still hold today, would come together in such a beautiful revelation!
We are all indeed special.
Fast forward to 2015...
My testimony and Revelation Story remain fixed through my Creator who wired me for exceptionality. I'm in love with him because I know how much he loves me. When he created me, he created me knowing my every need. At my age of comprehension, he opened my heart and led me into his protective arms. From the age of seven, he has led me into the pages of Phyllis, Daughter of the King, journal.
He created in me a difference not to harm me, but to use me for his glory. Through obedience and faith, I have traveled from then until now. It is my desire to always be used by him. It is my happy place.
My testimony has definitely deepened through the knowledge of one little diagnosis, Asperger's Syndrome Disorder. Time after time throughout my growing pains years, God heard my prayers. He comforted me when I had no friends. He delivered me when I tried to fit in. He answered me over and over again.
I remember sitting in my daddy's recliner one evening as I waited on my parents to get home from work. I must have been a freshman.
As I sat there, with my knees pulled up to my chest, I asked God for someone to love me and someone to love. I was very specific about the type of guy I wanted. First, he had to be Godly. I wanted an athlete. He would need to be patient and quiet, as well. God, moved the Wall family to Plainview, during my freshman year. They began attending First Baptist Church. The rest is God's history. He brought me to a place where I could thrive and not be harmed. The God of deliverance.
This is just one example of the many instances where God has been there for me in my life. I have sinned and God has led me home. I still sin and the Holy Spirit is there to nudge me into prayer for forgiveness.
This is my story, this is my song. Yours will look totally different. That is what is so beautiful about life. Each of us has a story. Each of us can have a song! Do you?
Fresh Find: I love this litograph t-shirt site. This one is The Bible.