One day, probably a long while ago, you used to be so blissfully unaware of what that word meant.
It’s a word people use to describe other human beings who don’t exactly fit into the boxes they’re used to.
Eventually you’ll look around and see you’re not like the rest of the world. This is where it gets hard. But what you do not yet understand is that this reality is also your greatest gift to everyone around you.
Somewhere along the journey through life we’ve confused lovable with standard, right with easy, and we failed to remember any being knit together by the Creator has worth simply because it is alive, gracing this earth with their presence. Whether or not it’s a life you can physically touch does not matter. The Lord has breathed life into our lungs and along with this gift comes a purpose no one can ever erase.
You can remind them unlike anyone else.
However, that doesn’t mean it will be easy.
The people who truly care about you will desire nothing more than to protect you from life’s struggles and hardships. At the same time, they won’t want to rob you of the strength only cultivated through challenges. They won’t want to wish on you a mindset that sickness us unfair or that you are a disappointment because of your differences. They won’t want you to think that the way you are is an accident. They will, however, want to take away your pain more than anything and do all they can to keep your heart from being broken. But here’s what I say: let your own heart break.
Let life teach you about a broken heart so your heart can slide right next to the people who are hurting.
Let it be broken for those who do not yet know Christ’s love. Let it be broken for those who do not have an earthly family. Let it be broken for those who are not confident in God’s care and plan for them, who do not fully realize the joyful heart He wants to grow in them. Let it be broken for those who cannot see beyond the stigma associated with disability.
Because of this stigma, you’ll be bombarded with ideas that just aren’t right. The world will say it’s hard to be a parent, sibling, spouse, or friend of someone with a disability. They will attempt to tell you that life is more complicated with you around. They will try to say normal things are difficult because of you. They will pull on your heart from all sides.
Satan will use these ideas to explain your seasons of uncertainty and loneliness. He will say it’s the reason why you succeed and why you fail; why it seems like people sympathize with you just enough to be on-lookers of your life but never get close enough to touch you. He will say it’s the reason why families need to be planned and tailored to our selfish liking and the reason why other families break. He will say your friends and family aren’t just that, but “caretakers” who are burdened by your existence.
But it is not true.
None of it is true.
And I want nothing else than to spend the rest of my life proving that you are not just loved unconditionally, but you are wanted.
The rest of the world is wrong. So the only thing you can do is forgive and invite them in to see what it’s really like.
Life will be tough sometimes no matter what, because sin resides in this world. It’s not because of you. It’s not because of your disability. It’s because of Satan and his evil lies. But Christ has overcome the darkness. The only thing He will tell you to run from is sin, not your disability. He will put this on your heart because He cares for you and wants to draw you to Himself. He wants you to know how much you are loved. He wants you to know your circumstances were divinely planned for His glory and to lead you to the grace He has extended to you.
It’s my prayer that you will have people in your life who are a living example of Christ’s love for you. I pray they are proof that who you are, a person created in God’s own image, makes any obstacle they face alongside you worthwhile. I pray they help you understand that you can do anything and nothing will hold you back from becoming the person God created you to be.
But if you don’t have those people in your life, I pray Christ reminds you every moment of every single day that He is your safe place. He will provide for your every need. He will never leave you hanging as a result of your needs which are a little different – because every fiber of your being was planned long ago and you are exactly the way He intended. He will give you what you need to live the life He created for you.
I pray that when you inevitably doubt or question your worth, He will speak boldly into your heart how much you are loved. He is preparing you for something great.
When you want to run away from yourself, I pray you will understand disability is something you wear, like a little girl wears a Sunday dress. It doesn’t define you, but it is part of who you are. You can be proud. It compliments you and makes you shine. It flows in the wind and invites the rest of the world to twirl and laugh along with you. It enables them to see real, Christ-centered joy. Only some people will see the dress alone and tell you how cumbersome it is. Love them, but let them go. Surrender them to the Lord who will work in their heart. Real friends, real family, won’t pay attention to what you’re wearing.
No – actually, they will. They will see what’s on the outside and marvel at how it perfectly laces your beauty. They will see your eyes. They will see your heart. They will see you for all that you are. They will love you like they’ve never loved before.
Because it’s you.
You were loved and wanted long before you were ever known to this world. And you will be loved forever more.
You make beautiful things.
You make beautiful things out of us.