I am disabled. There’s no easy, sugar-coated candy-sprinkled way to say it. I was born with a fairly common genetic disorder called NF1 and the vast majority of my other issues stem from it. And the ones that don’t are the rare ones/unheard of disorders.
I’ll never do many of the things others do. I’ll walk with a limp, I’ll struggle down stairs. I won’t run and I won’t jump. I’ll sometimes need help carrying things, and I might need help up when I take a tumble due to my ataxia.
But I am still human. Don’t talk to me like I’m deaf – I hear you clearly. Don’t mock me when my back is turned – I am not blind. And even if I were deaf and blind, I would not be immune to your cruelty.
I am still like you. It hurts me, too, when people act like this because of a disability. But most of all, do not pull God cards on me. Do not tell me that if only I had enough faith, I could be healed. If only I prayed more, I could be healed. For each time you tell me that, I can point you toward a Godly woman who died of breast cancer. I can point you to a Godly man dying of prostate cancer. I can point you in so many ways.
I believe that there is a God who heals, but His healing isn’t always physical and isn’t always in this world. Sometimes, part of God’s healing is using medications. His will may be for that woman to undergo that surgery, with the doctor’s using the wisdom they gained in school. His will may be for that man to undergo chemo. And sometimes, I believe God doesn’t just want to give handouts and wants us to do things ourselves.
So maybe God wants you to get therapy for your self injury, depression, eating disorder, what have you. We’re humans – created to fellowship. Maybe it’s God’s will for you to see the doctor instead of just “praying” and “having faith” that He will heal – maybe he wants to learn to advocate for yourself. Maybe it’s God’s will for you to take medication – for you to admit that you cannot do things on your own strength and that you need help.
I wish people would think before they told me faith would ill me. I wish people would think of how much it hurts to be told to pray illness away. Do you think I haven’t tried that? Do you know how many tears have been shed, begging God to take away my pain and illness, only for my pleas to seemingly fall on deaf ears? Do you know that I’ve lived with this for nearly 24 years? Do you have any idea how many people have prayed over me?
Think before you speak. And know that even though I am disabled, I, too, have emotions and feelings. And above all, I am a human.