Turning the Tapestry continues this month with some words from my beautiful friend, Krista Horning.
I am 25 years old and was born with a disability called Apert Syndrome. It makes the bones in my body fused - my skull, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers and feet. There are also many other problems including hearing loss and learning challenges.
I’ve had over 50 surgeries to correct some of the problems, but none of them can be totally fixed. When I was four months old, a doctor cut my head from ear to ear, took my skull apart, and put it back together in a different way.
Even though I’ve had all these surgeries, I still look different. When I’m out in public, I get stared at a lot. Sometimes people even point or laugh or say “Look at her,” or “What’s wrong with your face?” People judge me because I look different. It makes them think that I’m stupid or I won’t make a good friend.
After I was born, my parents began teaching me Bible verses. The promises of God helped me when I was afraid or sad or wondered why I was disabled. They didn’t make the hurts or the questions go away, but God’s word filled my mind and heart with amazing truths. Like… God is always with me. He is faithful. He is in control of the whole world and He has a special plan for my life.
I was a teenager when I began to really wonder why God made me this way. I asked my pastor some hard questions and he reminded me that the answers are in God’s word. I will never forget when he looked me in the eyes and told me I was beautiful.
It’s easy to think God made me this way because he doesn’t care. Suffering is hard. I don’t like to suffer; I don’t want to suffer. Sometimes I’m ashamed of my suffering. But God’s word says, “If we suffer we should not be ashamed or surprised, but glorify God.” (1 Peter 4:16)
He made me to glorify Him. I have to trust him more than I would if I was a typical person. I have to trust him every time I have surgery or every time I go to Target. When I trust him, I glorify Him. When I am weak, he is strong.
Every day I’m reminded of how weak I am. I can’t take my own shower or make quick decisions. I don’t like weakness. But I love what God has done in my life because of it. God has used my weakness to teach me to depend on him more. If I didn’t have any weakness I wouldn’t have any need for God. God uses all our weakness to show us how much we need Him.
I trust Him with how He made me. I love Him and He loves me just the way I am.
Note: Krista has written a book called Just The Way I Am: God’s Good Design In Disability. She recently gave an interview for the Homeschool Heartbeat Radio Program that I highly recommend.
Next month, Turning the Tapestry will feature thoughts from Caryn Turner.