Friday, January 16, 2009

Meet Nick...

Nick Vujicic.

That’s one of those names that you will probably remember forever if you’ve ever heard of him, or if you’ve ever heard what he has to say.

Nick is a Christian motivational speaker. On his website, he writes of his life’s purpose:
God has used me to let people know in countless schools, churches, prisons, orphanages, hospitals, stadiums and in face-to-face encounters with individuals how very precious they are to God. Secondly, it’s my pleasure to assure them that God does have a plan for their lives that is purposeful. For God took my life, one that others might disregard as having any significance and filled me with His purpose and showed me His plans to move hearts and lives toward Him. Understanding this, though faced with struggles, you can overcome too.
By all outward appearances, Nick & I have very little in common. But, we all know, it’s not about what we behold with our eyes that even begins to explain the value of our lives, and our value to God. The shell in which our eternal souls reside at this moment is the least permanent—the least meaningful—part of who we really are, so the fact that we will never be mistaken for twins, or the fact that the way he has lead his life bares very little resemblance to my own is not just obvious, it is also irrelevant.

The story of Nick’s life & his ministry can be found on his website, Life Without Limbs. I think, though, the most important word in website title is Life because, though—at first glance--Nick would have every reason in the world to be bitter, and sad, and angry, and though he may have felt all those things & more at some point in his life, it is his life that he is so obviously thankful for.

Nick & I have lived our lives very nearly a world apart, but we share at least one thing in common: our belief that God has a purpose for even the most broken of His children. The “broken” to which I refer, of course, means physically or spiritually or emotionally, or in any other way. If Nick & I share anything else in common, it is that we haven’t always known that there was any real purpose to our individual brokenness, beyond the pain that seemed to define our so-called lives.

I’ve come to understand that we humans sometimes must have our time to hurt & to grieve & to be angry & to become familiar with & even resentful of our perceived imperfections & to even believe that we have no value at all; that we are pitiful & unworthy; that we have no right to hope for a new day or to dare to dream of being more than we are right now. It seems we must sometimes indulge the self-pity—even if for a while—in order to finally be done with it, to wring it out of our lives & to finally come to understand the value & the honor of just giving up, and giving it all to God. That’s another thing Nick & I have in common.

For so long, I wondered why I had to endure a life entirely bereft of any sense of humanity or a connection to the world outside my closet. I wondered why I was left to suffer & to take up space that could be used by someone or something that actually mattered. I became so angry at God &--without really knowing it—myself. When all that comprises your “life” is pain & anger & darkness, it’s easy to see death as sweet release. I remember wishing that God would just have mercy on me &, since I wasn’t “brave” enough to do it myself, end my suffering in whatever way He could manage. I wasn’t picky. I didn’t care how it ended. I just wanted it to end.

As I have recounted many times on this Ark, I have cried that proverbial river of tears & I became quite familiar with self-hatred. I know now that the only way out of the deep, dark hole I had unwittingly helped “the world” dig for me was by finally asking God to lead me out. It has taken me so long to get from there to here, and I know that I’ve still got far to go on my spiritual voyage, but now I know the secret: in order to gain even a measure of control & direction in my life, I had to give up the control I tricked myself into believing I had in my life.

Just like Nick, I had to learn to stop measuring my life by what I could not be, or could not do, or could not hope for. By beginning to allow God to truly work His will in my life, I’ve begun to see that I placed value on all the wrong things. With Nick’s story & the video below, God is reminding me that I still have much to learn & much to look forward to as He uses what nearly killed me to heal not only my own life, but the lives of all of those people in the world who, unfortunately, know my story by heart.

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