The following story is true and was inspired by real events:
“Never forget as you step forward with your life that you are a trailblazer. Someone is watching. It’s the walking in front of. It’s the standing beside. It’s the trudging behind. We do this because we aren’t alone in it. Even if you don’t see others watching or standing or following, they are there. Women, young men, old men- all sorts of people. Seeing you be brave may be all the need to be brave.”
Let’s All Be Brave, Annie F. Downs
I am here to tell you that I want to encourage you to be brave before I start telling you my story. Being brave is NOT natural for me, but the older I get, the more I feel God leading me more in that direction.
What does brave look like to you right now?
I became a daughter of the King when I was eight years old and ever since that day I felt like God had a unique plan and purpose for my life specifically designed by Him. Throughout the years that followed, remembering God’s perfect plan for my life was becoming increasingly difficult as I was so easily allowing myself to be entangled in Satan’s lies. I was allowing myself to become so fixated on the things I couldn’t do as a result of having Cerebral Palsy that the mere truth that the God who created the universe has a purpose for my fleeting life had become a distant reality in the depths of my soul.
Even through those dark times I did my best to cling to two immensely powerful verses in Scripture which can both be found in Jeremiah. “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 (NLT) This verse always seems to mean something new to me every time I read it. Granted, I have no clue where God plans to take me in this life, but I’m ready for our adventure because I have come to the realization that I am in no place to try and “limit” Him in terms of what I think I can and can’t do. Truth is, He knows more about me than I will ever know so how could I doubt my Creator?
Fast forward to the middle and high school years when God’s voice had become even more of a faint whisper in my heart. His voice remained that way until July 2013. I’m not over exaggerating when I tell you that’s the week where EVERYTHING changed for me!
I went with my youth group to the LIFE Conference in St. Louis, MO that summer. As our last session was coming to a close, everyone was served communion (with real bread, not crackers-just saying J Let me just tell you, my friend there is absolutely nothing on the face of the planet more beautiful than being able to share communion with 6500 other teenagers from all across the globe. The speaker that night talked about living in true servanthood for Christ. (Besides, isn’t that what we’re called to do anyway according to Matthew 28:19?) He kept saying over and over again that we couldn’t begin living in TRUE servanthood, if we weren’t content with the servant (ourselves) first. In that moment, I began to sob (just as I am now as I write this. Don’t worry, they’re happy sobs now) because God kept telling me to put aside my old ways of negativity, doubt and insecurity. I could only be content in Him. I left that arena as a totally new woman that night. (2 Corinthians 5:17) I am forever grateful for that sweet time of communion with my youth group in St. Louis. It’s where I learned that sometimes the greatest miracles God does aren’t necessarily the physical ones.
That night God showed me there is purpose in the pain.
My miracle didn’t come in the physical form, but it CAME.
One of my favorite passages of Scripture comes from Luke 13. It’s entitled “Jesus Heals on the Sabbath” in my Bible. I love this passage dearly mainly because I see so much of myself in this woman. Luke tells us she “had been crippled by an evil spirit.” That same crippling spirit caused her to be “bent over double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight.” (v. 10-11) I can’t imagine the immense amount of pain she must’ve been in. It doesn’t get any sweeter then verse twelve, y’all. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said,” Dear woman, you are free of your sickness!” I often wonder if the joy that woman felt when she was healed and the joy and freedom I’ve found in being content in Him are anything alike?
I can promise you this:
There is always purpose in the pain.
A Heavenly purpose.
Hopefully by now you can see how good God has been to me even when I didn’t deserve it. I’m sure we could all testify to His goodness.