Toby Mac and the Autistic Girl's Miracle

| by Val

Toby Mac was in Sioux Falls, South Dakota a few short weeks ago, in November. We decided to go since it isn't every day that Toby and his crew makes it to our neck of the prairie.

While we were at the meet and greet before the concert, Toby was asked to recall any particular miracles that might have transpired, connected to his music and touring. Toby stated in a general sense, that miracles come in many ways and sometimes they are private matters that only a few come to realize, never really to be emphasized in the broader public sense. The key seemed to be that if God is the Potter -- and we are the clay which in turn becomes a vessel of His shaping -- it all comes from God.

There was a time when our 17-year-old autistic daughter was not able to enjoy music, or anything else under the sun; it was a season of significant worsening for her that started around age 10. It appeared all was lost, and all through her journey into the worsening the doctors seemed intent on ruling out schizophrenia. Music was a problem for her throughout that time.

From Hello...eventually she listened to the CD while performing ritual; she manipulated the recordings by pressing play, repeat, and skip a certain way. This made listening to music very difficult for Sarah. A video player in the car also started to cause the same kind of conflict and eventual frustration for Sarah. She did not find enjoyment in these rituals, they angered her.

As the worsening ensued, everyone kept trying to help our daughter -- to find something that would give her mind some rest -- to no avail.

From Hello...Another therapist wanted to help Sarah to utilize certain relaxation techniques. Mostly, breathing exercises and music. The deliberate breathing required repetition, or ritual. How could I explain to the therapist that this meditative breathing might be bad? Ritual proved harmful to Sarah, and the repetitive breathing might contribute to future absence spells. Past absence spells disturbed her enough to result in violence and/or screaming. Music and repetition (rote) agitated her. Sarah tried relaxation with the therapist, and she engaged in the deliberate breathing, but she looked disturbed; the way she usually looked when dealing with internal conflict. Sarah’s thought processes were fried, and that made repetition of any sort an enemy. Meditation upon meaningless music, breathing, or idle thinking was in vain. It really pointed to her susceptibility toward spells, as compared to some individual’s susceptibility to hypnotizing. Perhaps Sarah’s involvement in any sort of repetition put her in a trance state, without benefit of suggestion from the hypnotist. All she had was her inner conflict from which to draw.

Since the events chronicled above, our daughter has become quite a bit more functional. But I never would have dreamed that our family might experience a miracle in our daughter's life -- at the Toby Mac, Skillet concert.

Our daughter sat through the whole thing: Skillet and Toby Mac. Unheard of! 

We had front row seats right by the catwalk. Early in the overall performance, John Cooper from Skillet came right to Sarah to touch her hand and play his tremendously loud, harder rock music. There was all kinds of excitement with the fire and fireworks on stage.

After Skillet, came good old Toby Mac...At the start of his performance, Sarah got a backward high five from Toby when he walked down the catwalk. However, it gets better. During one of Toby's last songs he ran off the catwalk into the crowd and when he headed back to the catwalk he came right to our row of seats -- walking on them to get back on to the catwalk.

He held my hand, seemingly to maintain his balance while atop the chairs, and when he got to the chair right by Sarah he had to stop. It seemed the rail he was going to climb over was not strong enough. He stayed there right by Sarah -- with Sarah giving him a tremendous amount of love pats on his back. She could no longer contain herself so she almost started to hug him (from the side). He was still singing while all this was going on, but he turned as he was singing to confirm to Sarah that he was aware of her!

My hubby, at first not sure how to help because one of the Toby Mac crew was telling him not to -- decided to hold the rail firm so that Toby could get back on the catwalk.

Ironically, during the meet and great I had told Sarah that she would be able to see Toby, but not touch him. I was wrong :)

We also thought she might not last through even the first performance...I was wrong about that too. We did not arrange for the attention that our daughter recieved during the performance - from either artist. Obviously the Potter did.
Later, after the concert, I told my husband that I would never wash my hand, the one that Toby held -- out of respect for Sarah! But seriously, a big 'Thank You' to Toby Mac, John Cooper and the rest of the crew for a really great show.