FROM SALTY TO SAVED by Miya Sae

“I hate everyone!”

I know. At first glance, seeing that comment from an angsty teenager would normally just cause eyerolls. That kid is just being dramatic and ridiculous. Typical teen stuff.

But back then, I meant it.

There were a couple of exceptions, but I truly hated this world and the people in it. It’s hard not to when you’re looked down upon by literally everyone, can never form meaningful human connections—ones where they actually like you for who you are—and feel like everyone else got a copy of the “How to Be a Person” handbook, but yours somehow got lost in the mail.

That’s my fancy, runaround way of saying that I’m autistic.

When you’re an undiagnosed autistic kid who can still kind of pass for neurotypical but not really, you’re basically just “diagnosed” as the weird kid by the rest of the world. At least, that was my experience. It’s my fault for not trying hard enough, and if I would just stop being weird and stupid, the “problem” would vanish.

Obviously it doesn’t work that way, and we shouldn’t have to live up to ableist expectations. But the point is that I was the weirdo outcast at school, the emotional punching bag at home, and an alien to planet Earth. I decided that I didn’t need people in my life and would hate them. My efforts to make and keep friends were always proving to be futile (and often backfired), and, frankly, people just pissed me off anyways. I didn’t understand them, and they didn’t understand me. I was sick to death of others trying to force me to conform to neurotypical rules (“neurotypical” being a term I learned much later) when I didn’t want to and literally couldn’t in many ways.

I had to accept my fate of being a chronic loner.

I spent my life meditating on my hatred in that place of agonizing loneliness. The kind that made me want to die. The kind where I was physically surrounded by people, but they weren’t really there with me, even if a couple of them claimed to be (out of bloodline obligation).

But then I discovered a magical place: the internet.

The frontier of old school social media, back before the days of Instagram and Snapchat. Back when things like Gaia Online and chat forums were all the rage.

It’s amazing how much easier it is to communicate while hiding behind a screen, typing so your speech problems don’t show, and being allowed to take all the time you need to process information before responding in a conversation.

I was connecting with humans. I made friends. They theoretically liked me and enjoyed my company, and weren’t just hanging around out of obligation. I made a best friend. She became my favorite person in the universe, my partner in crime, and my obsessive source of emotional support.

Finally I had a friend and a reason to live.

I didn’t know I was being clingy.

I didn’t understand that I was idolizing this person.

I didn’t realize people don’t like it when you do that.

I never got the handbook.

So it came as a devastating shock years later when I was banned from her life and was told it was all a lie. Just like everyone else in my life up to that point, she never actually liked me and only tolerated me until that was no longer possible.

My reason for living was taken away. There was no hope for the future. I was at the bottom of the darkest hole I’d ever been in, and I had to keep it all a secret because people either couldn’t care less or would blast me for it in some way or another.

Enter God.

A couple days after the incident, I was out longboarding and wallowing. My mind’s default state back then was always one of sadness and rage, so multiply that by about four billion and you’ll have a picture of me that day.

But then… something shifted. I know it was from God because I never would’ve managed it on my own, and it wouldn’t have lasted every day for thirteen years.

I felt peace.

Optimism.

Hope.

Sudden logic was flooding into my brain, telling me to stop following the destructive path I was on and trying to make something work when it was clearly over. Nothing I could possibly do would salvage that idol of a friendship.

Instead, I saw the choice to go down a better path; one that would lead to life. There was hope for the future if I would just let go of my own way, repent of my bitterness, and set my gaze on new horizons.

“That’s great, Miya. Sounds like a cool psychology thing happened for you, but how can you say it was God?”

Because I also received this conviction with loving urgency: “Seek God. Have a relationship with God. Learn about who God is. Walk this new path with God.”

I accepted.

Ever since I made that decision, I’ve been a new creation. Literally.

That angsty teenager may have been dramatic and hyperbolic, and perhaps this sounds like just another flavor of that. Even so, I assure you that this is exactly what happened:

Immediately I stopped hating people and life.

Immediately I became a happy, joyful person, praising the Lord in my new spirit every day.

Immediately my life turned around (even the social stuff; imagine that!).

And this wasn’t just a cool, surreal moment that wore off with time. Here I am, thirteen years later, writing about why I’m a Christian and love God.

I had to do my part. I had to pursue Him continually, and I’m always learning more about Him. He is still growing me. It’s not something we graduate from once we read through the Bible or after we’ve been a Christian for a certain number of years. We seek Him for the rest of our lives, and it is so unimaginably worth it.

We learn both about His character, and about how He sees and loves us.

Jesus loves my autistic brain and quirks. He loves me when the world finds me annoying or a waste of air. He understands me more than any person ever could. And He wants to be with me for all eternity. As someone who grew up repelling people with my existence, it’s simply wild to think about.

I’m thankful that He took my false idol away from me, and for the adventure of a lifetime that I could’ve never imagined for myself.


Miya Sae (MEE-yuh SAI) is an autistic Christian, a blogger, and an aspiring author. Diagnosed at age 26, she has become an autism supporter and strives to bring hope and encouragement to other misunderstood, neurodivergent Christians like herself. You can connect with her at www.miyasae.com, as well as on Twitter and Instagram @MiyaSaeOfficial.


Are you searching for God?

4 comments

  1. Miya: Thank you for your story.  You wrote it so well I could not stop reading.  And thank you so much for speaking of autism.  We who don’t have it do not understand.I love the part about the Lord freely coming to you.  He is so good.God’s big blessings on you and whatever you put your hand to.                         Phil Flott

    Like

  2. Miya Sae, I read about your journey of life today from Daily digest for Heart of Flesh Literary Journal, on October 12, 2022. From an autistic angry kid to a young lady that embrace the love of God. I pray that the love of God will continue to bobble in your heart.

    Like

  3. I am so proud of my daughter-in-law, Miya, in how she is speaking out about autism and Christianity. God has certainly gifted her with writing, and I can’t wait for her to get her book published when she gets enough followers. Everything she write helps me to understand her, know her, and love her even more. My prayer is that she would reach many who would be comforted and encouraged by her writing. May God continue to bless you richly, Miya.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.