Florida Gators · Cerebral Palsy · Faith

šŸŠHeading Down to GainesvillešŸŠ

“Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have, I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
Acts 3:6

I read this verse earlier in the week, and it made me think of the last time I visited the Ville (as freshman quarterback Jake Allen refers to it). I thought I’d share this story since I’m on my way to Gainesville now!

 We’d come to town for a basketball game. On the day we left to go back home, I’d waited downstairs in the hotel dining area while my family went up to get our luggage. I’d been absentmindedly watching the news when I noticed a young man cleaning the table beside me. His name, I learned a moment later, was Cory. I said hello, and we got to talking. When I saw him glance at my walker, which sat right beside me, I explained about my cerebral palsy. He listened, and then asked if he could pray for me. I told him yes, thinking he meant he’d pray for me in private. To my surprise, he came over, and, after making sure it was alright, laid his hands on my leg braces and began to pray. He prayed for His healing, and for Him to help me walk on my own. I was touched by his kindness and I loved how open he was about his faith. His prayer made my day, and the thing was, my legs actually felt stronger once he finished. It reminded me just how strong our Lord is. It’s amazing what happens when someone professes their faith so openly, and goes out of his way to be kind to someone else.

Have you ever had someone ask to pray for you in public?

My Writing

If I Could Be With You: A Poem

If I could be with you nowI’d wrap my arms around you and hold you

I’d hold you close,

I’d hold you tight

I’d hold you until the pain faded,

I’d hold you until you no longer felt vulnerable,

Or embarrassed

Or humiliated

I would whisper to you that they are wrong

And that their words do not deserve space in your beautiful mind

Don’t let them break your beautiful heart

No, no

Please don’t let them in
If I could be with you now

I’d wrap my arms around you and hold you

I would hold you until you no longer hurt

Or burned

Or felt alone

My darling, you are not alone

You are not

I’m right here with you, and let me tell you something

I love you

I love you so much

I love you more than words can say

So let me hold you

Let me hold you until the pain goes away

My Writing · thoughts

Friday’s WordPress Daily Prompt: Create

Earlier I posted yesterday’s Daily Prompt, and now I’m posting Friday’s. Better late than never, right? Friday’s daily prompt was Create, and I had to post about it because nothing makes me happier than creating something new.

One of the things most I love about creativity is that it can be taken in so many ways. Some people create breathtaking works of art, others are creative with their fashion, and then there are those who create through music. I’m most creative when I have a pen in my hand and a blank piece of paper in front of me.

I’ve always loved to write. That love first blossomed when I was in first grade, and my teacher would give us morning assignments to write stories. I loved them, and I soon figured out that with a pen in my hand, anything was possible.

I’ll never forget the first story I wrote. It was about a friendship between two horses. I still remember how excited I was that it was more than a page long, and I still remember that I wrote it in an Ariel notebook with an erasable pen. Even then I wound pieces of my own life into my writing: the horses were named after two of my friends. 

Now, eleven years later, much is still the same about the way I write. Writing still brings me a joy that nothing else does, and I’m still in love with the freedom I have when I’m sitting in front of a blank page. I love that when I write, I can do anything, I can be anything, and I can do anything. I can say what I wish I had the courage to say in person, or I can do something I’ve always dreamed of doing- I can walk, I can run, I can dance. When I write, my cerebral palsy isn’t an obstacle. With a pen in my hand, I can beat it. I can overcome the challenges I face every day; I can win the battle I fight with it. When I write, anything is possible.

My dream now is the same thing it was when I was six years old: become a published author. Though I still have a ways to go,  I’m a little closer now than I was then. Now, I’ve got an idea that I believe can actually be published, and it’s in the process of being written. And God has put people in my life that can help me accomplish that dream. I’m so grateful for their wisdom and help- because of them, in a better writer. Since then, I’ve actually been in a bestselling book- Tim Tebow shared my story in his latest book Shaken. He gave me a glimpse into the publishing process, and he showed me that if you trust God and work hard, no dream is impossible.
How do you like to be creative?

Faith · My Writing

Daily Prompt: Blossom

I know this is a day late, but I wanted to respond to yesterday’s daily prompt:

Blossoming is growing,

It’s coming alive

It’s opening your wings,

And learning to fly

It’s following your heart

And being unafraid to let yourself fall apart
Remember this:

It’s okay to hurt,

It’s okay to burn

Because walking through the storm of pain

Will make you become clean again

It will make you stronger,

It will give you wisdom

It will make you see the world with new eyes,

And I hope

You’ll realize how beautiful you are
Because, my love,

You are beautiful

You are special

You are important

You have the ability

To do whatever you wish to do

You never know just how our Lord will use you
Remember this:

You are beautiful

You are special

You are more than enough

And you, my dear,

You are loved

You are loved more than you know

By your friends,

Your family,

And the one who created this beautiful Earth

He loves you

He cares so much for you

He loves you,

And you are His

Image via Google
via Daily Prompt: Blossom

Faith

“Our Night to Shine”

I’ve always loved Rascal Flatts. They’re one of my mom’s favorite bands, and I remember riding in the back seat listening to her sing along with “Fast Cars and Freedom”. They were the first concert I attended, and last year, they honored my sweet friendĀ KateĀ with a backstage tour and aĀ serenadeĀ at one of their concerts. And now they’ve done something else that makes me love them even more: the final track on their latest album was written for the 75,000 kings and queens who attended the Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine prom.

Held on the Friday before Valentine’s Day, Night to Shine is an annual worldwide prom for people with special needs. Guests are cheered for as they enter the prom on a red carpet, and at the end of the night, each guest is crowned king or queen of the prom. I attended Night to Shine for the first time this past February, and it was such a magical night. I went with a friend of mine, and it turned out that a few other good friends of mine were there volunteering, so we all hung out and danced together! I usually don’t dance because I feel like I look strange when I dance, but that night, surrounded by people that I love and with the Lord so present, I let go of my insecurities and had a blast. The Lord was so evident in that room, and it was so beautiful to see so many people come together for such an amazing event. It was a night I’ll never forget.

To me, the song completely captures the light and beauty that is Night to Shine. It put a sound to the happiness that I felt that night, but what means the most to me is that now, so many more people know about the incredible work the foundation does. The foundation has brought faith, hope, love, and light to the lives of so many, including me, and I’m so happy that others will know about it through this song. Since being granted a W15H by the foundation in 2015, I’ve met so many incredible people and made so many amazing friends, Ā and the first time I listened to “Our Night to Shine”, I had to hold back tears. This song completely captured how much I love each them and how much they mean to me. Timmy, TTF, and the TTF family will always hold a special place in my heart.

To listen to “Our Night to Shine” and see highlights from Night to Shine, visitĀ this link.

 

Cerebral Palsy · Faith

God is Within Her


“God is within her, she will not fall.”
-Psalm 46:5, NIV

I think I’ve written before about my fear of falling. It absolutely terrifies me, because I don’t have the ability to put my hands out and catch myself before I hit the ground. My cerebral palsy prevents those signals from being transmitted from my brain to my limbs. The best way I can think to describe the fear is that it feels like being in the ocean, with no way to come up for air. It’s that intense. It’s that scary.

I think part of the problem is that I can’t get up off the floor by myself. It’s something I’m working on learning how to do, but right now, I’m not strong enough to get up on my hands and knees and then pull myself up using my walker. That’s part of the source of the fear, because all I can picture is falling when I’m alone and hitting my head and then being stuck on the floor for hours because I can’t reach a phone.

Whenever that fear starts to overtake me, I lean on the words of Psalm 46:5: God is within her, she will not fall. I lean on those words, and I picture Jesus standing next to me with His arms outstretched, ready to catch me if I fall. My faith is my life vest when I feel like I’m drowning. Jesus brings me comfort, He gives me strength, and He gives me the courage I need to do whatever task it is I’m trying to accomplish.

What verse do you lean on when you’re afraid?

Cerebral Palsy · Faith

God is Stronger (Part 2)

Earlier, I wrote a post about how God is stronger than our fears, stress, and pain. This weekend made me realize something else: He is also bigger than my disability.

We spent the weekend at the lake, and yesterday, I asked my dad if I could go on a jet ski ride with him. Despite the fact that it would probably hurt their backs and that it would be difficult, he and my mom helped me get into the jet ski, which was… an ordeal. But my legs are so tight that I couldn’t ride it- the pain from the way it stretched me was too intense to bear.

It was frustrating. It was so, so frustrating. I hate it when my cerebral palsy prevents me from doing something I want to do- it makes me feel like my disability controls me. But I think what’s worse is the knowledge that no matter how much I stretch, how much physical therapy I have, or how much I wish I could change it, my battle with my disability is one I’ll always have to fight.

Long after the physical pain disappeared from my legs, the emotional pain remained. I was discouraged, I was upset, I was frustrated. I felt trapped and bound by my disability. I felt like I was a puppet and my disability pulled my strings. After a few minutes, I did the only thing I could think to do: I closed my eyes and prayed.

The night before, I had asked Him to help me overcome CP. I’d asked Him to walk with me as I learn how to live independently; I asked Him to carry me through it, because I can’t do it alone. So this time, I did something else: I thanked Him. I thanked Him for my family, my friends, the beautiful sunshine, His love, and His blessings. And as I prayed, I realized something: He was so much bigger than what I was feeling. He was bigger than my frustration, my pain, and my disability. I realized that while there are times when  I’m discouraged or frustrated, I’m never alone. He’s always right next to me, and He’s with me every day, every minute, every moment. And  I realized something else: He is so much bigger and stronger than my disability.

*Photo via Google