Get ready, my friend, because today we’re headed to Atlanta, Georgia where we recorded this episode LIVE at a Fresh Grounded Faith event.
Katherine Wolf and Michael O’Brien joined me in spilling the beans, and WOW! I was so grateful for their wisdom and perspective as they helped answer a wide range of questions from the audience!
We were asked about the hardest lesson we’ve ever had to learn, if we’ve ever struggled with comparison as a result of our disabilities, and how to deal with teenagers who are struggling with gender dysphoria.
When I went to China, I got to meet some of Phil’s students. Oh, I guess I should tell you that was the reason we got to go on such an amazing once-in-a-lifetime trip; Phil was invited to teach at Liaoning Normal University in Dalian, China. While we were there, I got to visit his Venue Management class and meet his students.
Phil had told them I was blind and they were curious and asked lots of the usual questions like, “How do you ___?”(fill in the blank). There are a million “How do you do___? ” kinds of questions when you’re blind, but one young woman’s question totally blew me away — it was very revealing.
In broken, but very good English, she asked: “When you became blind, were you afraid people would be ashamed of you or your family would not love you?”
“You look so much like your mom did when she was your age.”
Those were the words of a friend as she scrolled through some family photos with me.
“Do you remember her face?”
Over the years, lots of stories about my journey into blindness have been written. After a particular magazine interview, I dialed the phone. “Mom, I just finished an interview and I really think the writer is going to do a good job. I think you will like the article.”
I continued. “And, Mom, she asked if she could interview you. She only has a few questions and I wondered if you could?”
My mom hesitated. Her response taught me so much about God’s grace.
I have admired your wonderful outlook with a disability, and that it does not hinder your walk with others or with God personally. I led a Bible study in my home with many ladies using your video studies. They were so wonderful. Now I am experiencing something new. I was recently diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, a rare vocal disorder that inhibits my speech. I am not able to speak. This is a great hindrance to my daily life. I’m just trying to cope with it and thought I would write to you for any advice you may have for me, as I now also have a disability.
I’m so sorry to hear of this new difficulty you are facing! Oh girl, I don’t have any profound advice…. I just walk by faith and trust God more than my feelings when it comes to this kind of thing. The main thing that came to mind when I asked God for any specific word for you was this – be patient with yourself and be patient with God. He will grant you grace for your present moment, so don’t worry about your future or pine away for the past. He will carry you through this….
Keep trusting, sister.
What would you say to my sister Delisa? Leave a comment here.
We just celebrated the most important event in the history of Christianity – the resurrection of Jesus. Joni Eareckson Tada – one of my mentors and dear friends – and I were interviewed about the walking dead and what our resurrected body will mean to us one day. Have you ever thought about what your resurrected body will be like?
For some of you who are experiencing physical challenges now and maybe for those of you who are crying tears over your son or daughter’s physical challenges, may this be a word of encouragement.