No Arms No Legs No Worries

17 10 2013

how a child without limbs became ridiculourly happy
My name is Nick Vujicic (pronounced Voy-a-chich). I am twenty-seven years old. I was born without any limbs, but I am not constrained by my circumstances. I travel the world encouraging millions of people to overcome adversity with faith, hope, love, and courage so that they may pursue their dreams. In this book I will share with you my experiences in dealing with adversity and obstacles, some of them unique to me but most universal to us all. My goal is to encourage you to overcome your own challenges and hardships so you can find your own purpose and pathway to a ridiculously good life. Often we feel life is unfair. Hard times and tough circumstances can trigger self-doubt and despair. I understand that well. But the Bible says, “Consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials of any kinds.” That is a lesson I struggled many years to learn. I eventually figured it out, and through my experiences I can help you see that most of the hardships we face provide us with opportunities to discover who we are meant to be and what we can share of our gifts to benefit others. My parents are devout Christians, but after I was born with neither arms nor legs, they wondered what God had in mind in creating me. At first they assumed that there was no hope and no future for someone like me, that I would never live a normal or productive life. Today, though, my life is beyond anything we could have imagined. Every day I hear from strangers via telephone, e-mail, text, and Twitter. They approach me in airports, hotels, and restaurants and hug me, telling me that I have touched their lives in some way. I am truly blessed. I am ridiculously happy. What my family and I could not foresee was that my disability—my “burden”—could also be a blessing, offering me unique opportunities for reaching out to others, empathizing with them, understanding their pain, and offering them comfort. Yes, I do have distinct challenges, but I also am blessed with a loving family, with a keen enough mind, and with a deep and abiding faith. I’ll be candid here and throughout the book in sharing that neither my faith nor my sense of purpose grew strong until I went through some very scary times. You see, as I entered those difficult adolescent years when we all wonder where we fit in, I despaired over my circumstances, feeling that I never would be “normal.” There was no hiding the fact that my body was not like my classmates’. As much as I tried to do ordinary activities like swimming and skateboarding, I would only become more and more aware that there were simply some things I would never be able to do. It didn’t help that a few cruel kids called me a freak and an alien. Of course, I’m all too human and wanted to be like everyone else, but there seemed little chance for that. I wanted to be accepted. I felt I wasn’t. I wanted to fit in. It seemed I didn’t. And I hit a wall. My heart ached. I was depressed, overwhelmed with negative thoughts, and didn’t see any point in my life. I felt alone even when I was surrounded by family and friends. I worried that I would always be a burden to those I loved. But I was so, so wrong. What I didn’t know back in those dark days could fill a book:the one you’re holding, actually. In the pages that follow, I will offer you methods for finding hope even amid arduous trials and heartbreaking tribulations. I’ll light the path to the other side of grief where you can emerge stronger, more determined, and empowered to pursue the life you want, and perhaps even to find a life beyond any you could have imagined. If you have the desire and passion to do something, and it’s within God’s will, you will achieve it. That’s a powerful statement. To be honest, I didn’t always believe it myself. If you’ve seen one of my talks posted on the Internet, the happiness I have that shines through in those videos is the result of the journey I’ve made. I didn’t have everything I needed at first and had to pick up several important attributes along the way. To live without limits, I found I needed:
A powerful sense of purpose Hope so strong that it cannot be diminished
Faith in God and the infinite possibilities
Love and self-acceptance
Attitude with altitude
A courageous spirit Willingness to change
A trusting heart
Hunger for opportunities
The ability to assess risks and to laugh at life
A mission to serve others first.

 


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