When God Says No is a rare gift which grants the reader access into the very soul of a mother as she desperately tries to hold onto faith, while accepting the disabilities of her child profoundly affected by autism and epilepsy. It is raw; it is authentic. The reader throughout the story can feel the emotional struggles with faith, spirituality and relationships.
The journey, which led to the development of the book, began when Sean, the Wynn’s second child, began having life-threatening seizures and required frequent hospitalizations. Sis. Denise Wynn said, “Each time he regained consciousness, we were so relieved that he was alive that we didn’t consider the fact that brain damage occurred with each episode. He was diagnosed with epilepsy, developmental delay and cognitive disabilities. The autism diagnosis was made just before his third birthday.” The emotional trauma of absorbing such a diagnosis into daily life was overwhelming for their family. Spiritually, the Wynn’s were affected in a way that they could not articulate at the time. The family suffered and they did so alone.
There are families just like the Wynn’s who want to live for God, who want to work in His Kingdom and be in fellowship with the church community but are not accepted or supported. This needs to change. It is appalling to know that there are families being asked to leave churches because their child is a disruption.
Sis. Wynn, who attends Spirit & Truth Worship Center in Bridgeton, NJ, said, “I have two dreams of what this book will accomplish. One is awareness . . . that those who are in our pews and struggling to find acceptance, love and support will find them in the body of Christ. Two is change . . . that this awareness brings change, which welcomes souls into the Kingdom as we reach for families impacted by disabilities in our community.” Recent statistics tell us that 85 percent of individuals with a disability do NOT attend church. There needs to be a change!
The response to the book has been humbling and overwhelming, according to Sis. Wynn. Those that live the life described in the book are relieved to see the authenticity of the heartache exposed. Truth brings freedom. She stated, “One success story that stands out to me is after reading my book, a lady came to our church to find me. She brought me out to where her 19-year-old daughter with autism was waiting in the car. With tears streaming down her cheeks she asked if she could come inside with her. I hugged her and assured her that they were welcome. A spirit of worship filled the room as she and her daughter entered the sanctuary.” The book has opened the door for a ministry called ABLE (Accepting, Believing, Loving, Embracing), which was launched in 2014. Pastor Jeremy Cornett and church leadership are supportive of ABLE ministry and are currently remodeling rooms to create a sensory friendly environment for individuals with autism.
If you are interested in starting such a ministry, ask families impacted by disabilities how the church can effectively minister to them. The book, When God Says No, as well as the workbook are excellent tools for small groups and can be found on Pentecostal Publishing House and Amazon for $14.99.