A dear brother with disabilities contacted me recently to share his moving story of how the Lord saved him. He graciously granted me permission to share his testimony, with the proviso that some identifying features be edited.
I am in my thirties and was born prematurely and with cerebral palsy. (It is very mild and only affects my walking and balance). When I was growing up my parents and siblings treated me like a normal person, helped me tremendously with things, and were very supportive of everything I did. They never complained, but sacrificed a lot of their time and personal resources to help me where and when they could.
My parents always said, “It affects your walking not your brain.” There were many things that they didn’t do, because they didn’t want me to feel left out. They always encouraged me to try things and if I failed they understood and would still be happy I had tried.
On the other hand there was my take on my disability and it was one of low self-esteem and bitterly questioning God. Socially, throughout my schooling, I kept to the shadows as I was very self-conscious of how I not only looked (very thin) but how others saw how I walked. I didn’t like to participate in things because I knew I couldn’t do them well or looked odd doing/trying them.
I’m thankful that through all this I had a very supportive group of teachers and amazing classmates who helped and supported me. Personally, while growing up (and still into my mid-twenties), I was very bitter and questioned God with “Why me”. I would always complain I can’t do this or that…but that all changed ia few years ago when I attended my first Church retreat.
Looking for a girl
I went to this retreat “looking for a girl” and the spiritual aspect was one of “I don’t care, I am here to look for a girlfriend.” Pastor X was there as a speaker and I spoke personally one-on-one with him for a few hours. Through talking with him, things started to change in my heart and when the retreat was over later in the week, I felt that God had entered my heart, and that He had personally become my Father.
It felt as if a weight had been removed and I cried so hard that I was so sorry for asking “Why?” all this time to God. “Sorry” didn’t and still doesn’t feel adequate for all the times I “slapped God in the face” by even questioning Him.
Boasting in weakness
Before I would have classified myself a “formalistic” christian, but now I see things in a whole new perspective. 2 Cor. 12:9-10 is now my motto for my life.
Pastor X has become a very close and dear friend of mine, as well as my spiritual mentor, and gives a listening ear when there is difficulty. I am so thankful to God for bringing and using Pastor X in my life, as well as for giving me this “thorn in the flesh.”