Updated: Apr 24, 2020
Choice, is a funny word because it implies options; But sometimes, the ability to “choose” is absent.
I was not given the choice of whether or not I would have two legs that generally work when I wake up in the morning. That was a choice the Lord made for me. People sometimes have asked me if I’m ever bitter about it and, honestly, today I’m not. But if you were to ask a younger version of me, depending on the day, she might have a different answer. No heavenly being came asking for my personal consent regarding the Cerebral Palsy diagnosis that wouldn’t happen until I was almost three.
I didn’t get to choose whether I want to redefine the social norms of what society says I should be. Yet, I do ask myself, a version of a question everyone asks of themselves on a daily basis. Who are we going to be today? The woman who is mad at the world because her legs get tangled over themselves like string or will I be the woman who untangles the rope and makes something that shakes the world. Regardless, of the answer, the choice to stay hidden was never mine. Heaven gave me a sizable aluminum walker that screams, “Hello world, my name is Haley, NOTICE ME!”
Going through life with a man-made contraption surrounding three-fourths of my body makes it nearly impossible to go unseen. Let alone sneak up on someone so, I would say, I’m pretty memorable. (You don’t believe me come to find me in ten years.) If the choice were left up to me, I would get out of bed and walk out of my room tomorrow unassisted. But, it’s not entirely up to me. I contend for supernatural, heavenly miracles to take place on earth every single day. In the small span of my life, I have seen the Lord work miracles of various sizes. Nobody is EVER going to be able to convince me:
God is not real or dead.
God doesn’t LOVE me for who I am.
God doesn’t do the same kind of miracles today that were once done in biblical time.
I have already experienced too much of his love and power to believe otherwise. No, God hasn’t healed my body of Cerebral Palsy, but I do know that healing is in my future. If, this means healing happens tonight, tomorrow or after I die and go to Heaven; it doesn’t matter to me. The Lord has already declared the miracle complete in his own time.
But until the moment of my own body’s healing takes place, a choice has to be made every moment of every day. A decision that every person like me has to make consciously or unconsciously. The option to allow or not allow our mental or physical state to define our lives. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I choose the latter. I don’t describe myself by this one aspect of my life. It doesn’t form the whole of my identity as a person.
The Cerebral Palsy is a part of me. In many respects, the daily situation I find myself in has helped shape my worldview. If anything, it’s given me a greater understanding of so much that happens in this world. I choose the lenses through which I live life. Unfortunately, I have known people, who have chosen to live in anger because of a diagnosis. Yet, I also remember those who make a choice to live beyond it. To be honest Most of the time I forget about the Cerebral Palsy until someone else brings the obvious to light.