As so many of my dear friends know, this is one of the realities of having muscular dystrophy. It’s also a reality of being born at 24 weeks. Doctors said I would never walk, so of course, I am thankful to be doing so. I can no longer run, because of my disease, and my hip makes things harder than they should be… because of my tendons. However, I walk. I wear AFOs to assist me, to keep my ankles from rolling, to take some of the pressure off my legs, to save energy, and to help keep me from falling. My attitude towards these things differs from day to day. Some days, I’m happy to wear them, because they do help so much. Other days, I don’t wear them at all, because I’m embarrassed, or I’m angry. Why do I need to draw anymore negative attention to myself? It’s so easy for me to see others and see them as beautiful, see them capable, no matter their physical appearance or “condition”. We are all created in God’s perfect image. He created us the way He intended, for so many beautiful reasons. Why is it that I can’t look at myself and see that? Because this horrible world has persuaded me not to feel that way. Not to see myself as worthy or beautiful. I’ve had people I thought cared for me tell me the worst things. I would never spout that ugliness to them. Why would they to me? Because the world persuaded them. When someone is ugly to you, it hurts so much, but remind yourself of who you are in Christ. Remind yourself that there is something ugly inside them, or an insecurity they have rearing its ugly head. It’s a daily battle, but I know who I am in Christ, and I am finally rebuking Satan’s lies with scripture about who I am. It’s changed me. I pray it changes you, too. If you see someone with a difference, don’t stare, don’t act all weird… most of the time, they’re open to questions. I would rather have someone inquire about me than stare or make rude remarks. I know I walk weird, but do you really have to point it out? I’m so blessed to be walking at all. Also, I would love to see a love story (or twenty) involving someone with a difference that DOESN’T end in tragedy. Please let people love each other no matter their ailments. Everyone has one, even if it’s not physical.
If you’re curious, ask instead of criticize.
Love each other, please. The world needs more of it.