Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My thoughts

My brothers and I have all gotten the chance to speak to some of my uncle's ASU classes about disabilities. I spoke once on being the sibling, and the boys have continued to go back to the classroom even after Uncle Len was graduated. In these classes, the boys talk about their CP and share about their experiences (good and bad) in public school, to hopefully encourage these future educators and give them knowledge for when they have special needs students in the classroom. Oftentimes these students ask personal questions, some goofy, some serious. One that's often asked of them goes along the lines of "If you could get rid of your disability, would you?" 

I really don't like this question. It makes me angry because there is no possibility of ever getting rid of it in this life, and so why dwell on that fact? One of my all time favorite quotes is by Corrie ten Boom and it says "There are no what-ifs in God's Kingdom".  The boys have CP, there's no way to reverse that fact, let's move on and not focus on what could have been. 

Sitting in the back of the classroom, I hear that question and think about what a physical and emotional drain Cerebral Palsy is to my parents. And I think about my brothers' pain after surgeries. And I want to scream at the back of that head who asked the question "Well what do YOU think?!? YEAH we would get rid of it! DUH! Did you not just listen to all of their struggles in public school? USE YOUR BRAIN!" 
But that isn't how my brothers answer the question. They say no, they wouldn't change it, because it's helped shape them into who they are. 

What? That wasn't my answer. That's not what I'm thinking. Don't they see how stupid the question is? Aren't they as angry as I am? No? They aren't? hmm....

Deep down in my heart, I agree with my brothers. Trials make you stronger, and because of CP I think we are closer knit as a family. We know what it's like to go through real stuff, and so we stick together. We would be completely different if CP wasn't a part of our lives. Life would be easier, there would be no surgeries to go through, sure, but we would have missed out on a lot. We would probably have never met many of our dear friends, I probably wouldn't have learned sign language or started volunteering, the boys may have never gotten involved in theater, and we probably would have never been home schooled. I think of this and I, too, begin to feel thankful for it and how it has impacted our lives.

My devotion today spoke to my heart on this issue and is, in fact, why I brought this story up. I'll give you an excerpt of the part that touched my heart: 

"Do not long for the absence of problems in your life. That is an unrealistic goal since in this world you will have trouble...Begin each day anticipating problems, asking Me to equip you for whatever difficulties you will encounter. The best equipping is my living Presence, My hand that never lets go of yours...Take a lighthearted view of trouble, seeing it as a challenge that you and I together can handle. Remember that I am on your side, and I have overcome the world." ~From Jesus Calling 

Especially during this season before surgery, the moments where I feel upset and frustrated with the problems in life are more than the moments I'm thankful for them. This devotion encouraged me, though, that even in the middle of the struggle, God is still right there, holding on to our hand. Even when we try to wiggle free of His grasp, complaining about our situation, He holds on and promises that someday things will be okay. What an immense blessing.

Thanks for listening. Your Blogger,


  1. Claire,
    I love this post. I agree; CP can definitely be frustrating sometimes, but ultimately, it has been a blessing in my life as well. I love that excerpt that you provided too...I'm feeling a little bit under the weather today (I woke up with sharp pain in one of my legs) so this is just what I needed to hear.

    Thank you, as always, for sharing your thoughts. When I think about the impact that CP has had on my life, I count you and your family as one of the blessings that it has brought me, because if I didn't have CP, I would have never stumbled upon you and your mom's wonderful blogs. Hugs!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement! I wrote this because I just had an urge to vent, and was worried that it might have come across as a bit harsh. I'm so thankful to see that you found encouragement in it! Your posts and comments always bless my heart and make my day! Thank you so much!!

  2. What a beautiful post, Claire! I absolutely love that quote and I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said. I don't know anyone who would choose to live with a disability and why dwell on something that cannot be changed. It's all about living in the present! Hugs to you and yours my sweet friend!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, dear friend! I appreciate it so much. I miss you but love that blogs and email keep us in touch!! Hugs to you and your precious girl as well!!