Throughout the years I have had to deal with many struggles when it came to my disability. Whether it be learning how to walk and gaining my balance without my walker, or just something as trivial as taking a shower, or tying my shoes. But I think one of the biggest struggles that I had to deal with (and still deal with to this day) was being healed or cured from my cerebral palsy.
Growing up, that never came up in conversation. I was who I was and that was okay. But as I grew older and started to find my place in the world and check out different churches, I kept hearing, “Have you prayed and asked God to heal you?” I would always be honest and answer no because I was under the impression that I was fine, that I didn’t need to be healed. But the questions continued. So much so that I started to believe that there was something wrong with me if I was not praying for this.
When I moved to Los Angeles for the first time and was a missionary for about a year, I dealt with this on daily basis. I honestly felt like I had a target on my back. It was like “Oh, look, there’s that girl with her walker, we should go try to heal her so she doesn’t have to use that anymore.” Most of the time it came from visiting churches and not the people who I was around 24/7, so this made it super difficult. I honestly felt like I was being bullied and being told, “You’re not worth it unless you’re healed.”
Now don’t get me wrong, I did not and still don’t have an issue for people praying for me in their own time, but if you want to pray with me I just ask that you get to know me first as a person and get to know my heart before you ask that question. Please do not just assume.
I actually had an incident about a month ago where a guy was eyeing my walker and trying to make eye contact with me during a church function and he started to talk to me. I had never seen this guy in my entire life, so he knew nothing about me. He asked me why I used my walker, and not even ten seconds later, he asked if he could pray healing over me. I told thank you but no. This is just a prime example of someone not really caring about me as a person but wanting to “play God”, so to speak.
One thing people would get to know about me if they really took the time to listen is that there was one time that I ended up not having to have surgery on my foot when I was supposed to. I had surgery about a year before this incident and it did not heal correctly as it should have, so my foot started to hurt really bad again. I went back to my doctor and they said that they were going to have to graft some of my hipbone into my toe to help the healing process. To say that I was not happy about this would have been the understatement of the year.
Fast-forward about six months later, I felt like my foot was feeling a lot better. I was able to walk on it for longer periods of time, and it wasn’t swelling anymore. I really felt like I did not have to have the surgery. So my mom and I headed up to Shriner’s on my surgery day and all I remember talking about on the two-hour ride up there was that I was not going to have to have surgery. We finally make it up there and me being the person that I am didn’t even say hi to the person checking me in, I automatically said, “My foot feels better can we please take an x-ray so that way I don’t have surgery if I don’t need to.”
I don’t remember much after that other than the fact that the doctor took FOREVER to come in after the x-ray, but when he did it was only to bring good news. He said that the toe had indeed healed and it looked like there was some tissue or cartilage that had formed over it so I did not need to have surgery. I was so excited! All I remember after that was saying thank you a thousand and one times and then surprising my dad by being home later that night.
So I am not saying that I don’t believe that God cannot do miracles, the story that I just told you is one of them, but I am not going to live my life searching to be healed. I am going to live my life and I believe God has a plan for me with my cerebral palsy. I believe that this blog is one of them and I am beyond grateful for it.
For the people who are disabled and do not like it and wish to be cured from it, which is fine, but please, do not make that your idol. Do not obsess over the fact that you need to be healed to feel whole. You don’t. Find what you love about yourself in the here and now and work with that. I guarantee that you will find out a lot about yourself when you do that. Trust me that is what happened to me, and hell, I’m still learning to this day!
Also, to the people who would rather focus on curing someone from their disability rather than getting to know that person, maybe you should slow your roll, take a step back and live in the here and now and see what good this person is doing, and honestly just get to know this person before you make the assumption that they need to be healed. Because believe me, it is a huge turn off and makes the whole “Christian church” look horrible when someone is pushy and narrow-minded like that.
Would I change any of those situations that I mentioned above? No, I wouldn’t because through those situations I became the person I am today, and I will be forever grateful for them. I can confidently say now that I love who I am and would not change it for the world.