Here’s the thing. Your life is your story.
You get one life on this earth, and one story.
I wish I could tell you it’ll be easy.
The thing is, parts of it are going to be hard. They are hard. And probably will be for your whole life.
Parts have been for me. Some parts of my life and yours, they'll never not be hard.
But the thing is, even with that, I wouldn’t change it.
I wouldn’t. Really, truly, I wouldn’t change my life.
I’m not going to lump us into one general category, because I understand probably better than most that everyone’s story is different. That’s partly why I’m writing this.
I won’t lump you in and say you shouldn’t want that challenge in your life to disappear either. Maybe you would get rid of it if given the chance. And that’s okay. That’s completely valid.
But the thing is, some things you just can’t change.
So, that’s why I’m writing you this.
So, maybe you won’t fall into the trap of wanting to change things you can’t. Maybe you can rest and see good in it.
To the kid with the medical challenge: this life you’re living is your story. It is a worthy story and I promise, it’s a good one. But here’s some things to keep in mind.
People will look at you different. That’s just a fact.
The important thing to realize is that while some people will look at you different, not everyone will.
There’ll be people along your path who won’t. They’ll see you for you, and not identify you by that thing you’re fighting.
So, find them and hold onto them. Be honest with them, because they can help you carry this.
While they may not know what it’s like, they can still help you through it.
You’re probably going to wonder a lot. Wonder how this is going to affect you. How deeply it’ll touch every aspect of your life.
When you get out of high school, the first thing that’ll probably hit you is what independence will look like for the rest of your life.
You’ll find your version of independence. And then life will just keep coming.
You’ll want to do things that you just can’t. You’ll want to keep up with everyone else. And sometimes, you won’t be able to.
You’ll try to fit down the same path, but you won’t fit. You’ll end up doing things your own way.
That one person next to you will get that job. And you’ll wonder if this medical stuff you’ve got will hold you back and keep you from your dreams.
You’ll watch your friend get the ring. And you’ll wonder if that’s even in your cards. You’ll wonder if this disability or whatever it is, will make this aspect of your life different too.
Because people look at you different.
And at this point, you’re fully aware of it.
People will make assumptions. People won’t know how to handle or react to things you deal with daily.
People will want to fix things for you that they can’t. People will be unaware, and even some of the most well-intentioned actions will sting.
Because this is your story, and yours alone. So really, they couldn’t know.
But here’s the thing.
That’s my point. This is your life, and it’s a story.
Your life, meaning that nobody else will live this. And story, meaning that it’s complex.
Every story has lots of parts.
Climaxes, drops, ups and plateaus. Every single story in the history of the world has those.
But nobody has your specific ones.
There will be some parts of it that you can change.
But some that you can’t.
Recently in my life, I’ve had people assume that I want to change this disability I live with.
They’ve been well-intentioned, but bold.
They’ve made assumptions based on my outward appearance, without knowing my full story.
My story is this:
Life with Cerebral Palsy (CP) is hard. But still good. Really good. And I would not change the life I live. Because I have walked next to God in all of it.
I’ve wrestled with Him about it and prayed more than you know.
And through that, a long time ago, I realized that this was probably it.
Am I saying He couldn’t take this away or heal me? No. I fully believe my God could snap His fingers and make me run pain-free if He wanted to.
But right now, I don’t believe that is His will for me on Earth. I believe that He made me this way for a reason. He has and continues to use this medical challenge in my life, for so much good.
Have there been days where I have been completely defeated by it? Yes. Absolutely. Hear me when I say there have been many days where I would do anything to not be like this.
But ultimately, I come back at the end of the day and I realize.
That the thing is, this is my story.
CP is not who I am, but it is part of me.
And it’s a part I cannot change.
So, I choose to rejoice in it.
I don’t know about you, but I love a good story.
Yours and mine? They’re messy. But they’re good ones, that are only getting better.
The thing is, this life you're living, it’s your story.
Write the parts you can. Rest in the parts you can’t.
Spoiler alert: the Author of it is kinda the best in the business.
The thing is, this is your story, in His plan.
Beginning, middle and end, don’t resent any part of it. It’s all you’ve got. And it’s good. So good.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV