Some of you may be familiar with my story. For others, this may be the first time our paths have crossed. Whichever it may be, I am so glad you are here.
My story does not begin like most. My arrival to this great, big world was hurried and unconventional. I was born two and a half months early with Cerebral Palsy, a disability that affects my body’s movements and muscle coordination.
My parents–nor anyone else in my family–expected this outcome.
As a young girl, I was bullied and mocked quite cruelly by my peers for simply being different. Days at school, long and drawn out, ended in self-loathing and shame. I spent many of my nights pleading with God, asking Him why I had to be the steward of this burden–a burden I would have to carry for the rest of my life.
“Why did you give me this, God?”
“Please take this from me, God, I am not strong enough to carry it.”
Defeat, clawing at my heart, told me that I was weak. That I wasn’t good enough. That I didn’t matter. The sadness, frustration, and rejection I felt seemed too great to overcome. Depression and anxiety became reluctant friends of mine, and I would spend years of my life trying to make peace with what God “stuck” me with.
I would be dishonest with you if I said that I have never been angry with God. I have. Nestled deep inside my wounds, there have been many times I have doubted God and felt like He did not see my tears or hear my cry.
In the midst of my struggles, I have found myself at the foot of many mountains I’ve had to climb, kicking and screaming. I have become all too acquainted with my brokenness, feeling alone, ignored, and neglected.
These feelings, albeit real, are not from God. They are furthest from the truth.
In the book of Isaiah, God says:
“Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10, (ESV)
If there is anything I have learned through my pain, it is this:
You do not have to stay broken.
Broken is not your destiny.
Galatians 2:20 (NLT) says:
“My old self has been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live,
but Christ lives in me.
So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Our brokenness, our bondage, our doubt, our fear–the very things the enemy nurtures to hold us back from our true destiny–all of it is swallowed up by the grace of God, by the great sacrifice Christ made for us.
We are made new in Christ!
I realize now that I am not unique. I am certainly not the only person in the world with struggles. There are many wrestling with their own mountains, their own grief and pain. I’ve been there, and I know how excruciating that pain can be. I also know, however, that there is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.
Saint Augustine once said, “In my deepest wound, I saw Your glory and it astounded me.”
I am starting to understand that God did not stick me with this. Our God is of unwavering love, compassion, and acceptance. He is not of evil, and He does not rejoice in His children’s pain.
I understand that, undoubtedly, His plan for me reaches far beyond what I can see in a moment. He is using me for something far greater than I can comprehend. My disability is no longer a burden, but a blessing that continuously reveals God’s glory.
My heart may be weak and my flesh may fail Him, but God is my strength and I can do anything through Him.
It took me a long time to accept having Cerebral Palsy. It took me even longer to learn how to not be angry, bitter, or resentful. It took me a long time to learn the meaning of grace and forgiveness.
I have learned, even in my darkest moments, to search for the light.
Maybe you’re reading this and cannot see past your pain. Perhaps you’ve found yourself so deep in your pit–so profoundly immersed in your grief–that you are unable to imagine anything more than what you’re living right now.
I am here to tell you that there is more. That you deserve more.
And God, the Almighty, the one who sees your struggles and cries as you cry, offers more.
Do not let ugly win.
Search for the light.
He will find you and rescue you.
words and photo by Amanda LeMasters