Our Story, God Blessed Us With Autistic Twins
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 6
- Version: KJV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the KJV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
God Blessed Us with Autistic Twins!
That’s right! God blessed us with AUTISTIC twins! No, we did not choose to have handicapped children, but God made the choice for us. Exodus 4:11 says, “Who hath made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Lord?” Everyone has trials and troubles in their lives. Job 14:1 says, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.”
Rachel Mae Gatlin and Rhonda Marie Gatlin were born in 1981. In 1983, they were diagnosed with severe autism. At the time, resources for helping autistic children were very limited. Today, we have a better understanding of autism. As a result, more help is available for autistic children and their parents.
Before the twins turned five, Joy Renee was born a healthy, normal baby girl. She was truly a joy to our family and remains a joy to us.
Repeatedly, the Lord has directed our steps. We moved to South Carolina in 1987 to enroll our twins in Hidden Treasure Christian School in Greenville, South Carolina. Later, the girls lived in residential facilities provided by the state of South Carolina.
In 2008, Rhonda Gatlin, the younger twin, died after a brief illness. She was only twenty-seven years of age. In 2015, Joy married Mark, and they were very involved in Rachel’s life. In fact, we went through a legal process to make Joy and Mark guardians. In 2022, Rhonda’s twin sister, Rachel, died suddenly at the age of forty. Words are incapable of expressing the grief we have experienced in the loss of our twin girls. However, God has given us His amazing grace, which is, indeed, sufficient.
Although both girls died as adults, they had the mind of a young child. Mentally, they were unable to grasp the truth of the Gospel. Today, we have full assurance that both girls are in Heaven. When King David’s baby died, he said, “… I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23b). Likewise, we cannot bring our girls back. However, some day we will join them in glory! What a day that will be!
Our trials and troubles can either make us bitter or better! It all depends on our attitude. Our twin girls have taught us so much! They have taught us what is really important in life. Believe me, it is not material possessions, physical ability, mental ability, fame, or fortune! What really counts in this life and in eternity is our relationships!
It is a real blessing to build strong, loving relationships with people, especially our family. However, the greatest relationship of all is our relationship with Jesus Christ! God created us to praise Him and to bring glory to Him; yet, we are all born with a sin nature that separates us from God. Romans 5:12 says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
Our sin nature makes us enemies with God. God did not want us to be His enemies, so He sent Jesus, His only begotten Son, to die on the Cross for our sins. Romans 5:8 says, “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
To be saved, that is, to become a genuine believer, we must repent of our sins and trust Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. If we do that, our relationship with God is restored, and God has promised us a home in Heaven. Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Friend, you can be sure of Heaven if you have repented of your sins and put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ! 1 John 5:13 says, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
How much better it would be to spend eternity in Heaven than to be damned in Hell for all of eternity. John 3:18 says, “He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Friend, God has been so good to the “Gatlin Gang.” He has answered so many of our prayers and changed our lives forever. God can change your life, too. He will if you simply trust Christ as your personal savior and give Him control of your life. The Bible says, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).