A few weeks ago, my friend Kathy taught about being the “body of Christ.” She told us that we are all necessary and that none of us should complain by saying, “I wish I was a different body part.” During her teaching she distributed the following story. I found it convicting because although the author of this essay could have done lots of grumbling about the “part” she was given, she instead learned to praise God for who He made her. It’s long, but so worth the read. Check it out:
I was born with Down syndrome 30 years ago. This makes some things very difficult for me. When I was younger, I spent a lot of time asking God, Why did you make me with Down Syndrome? Why can’t I be normal like other people?
I told Him all the time that I didn’t like having Down syndrome. I kept thinking that if only I didn’t have Down syndrome I would be happy. I thought that somehow God made a mistake when He made me. My Mom and Dad always told me they loved me so deeply, and that they could not love me any more, but somehow down deep in my heart I always wondered if they would love me more if I didn’t have Down Syndrome.
When I was in high school, the kids on the school bus were very mean to me. They laughed at me, and mocked me and they called me all kinds of bad names, and told me that even my parents couldn’t love me. That hurt me so deeply!
When I got off the school bus in the afternoon, I would be crying. My Mom met me at the door, and we would talk and pray every day. She told me that people used to say bad things about Jesus and call Him names too, so He understood exactly how I felt. She told me that real truth is only found in God’s Word, and not in what other people say about you. She told me that if I could find anywhere in the Bible where God calls me bad names, or said I was a mistake; she would pay me $5,000. I spent a lot of time reading in the Bible to find out what God said about me. All the Scriptures I found said just the opposite, so I never did get the $5,000!
Some of my favorite Scriptures are: Psalm 139:14 where God says,“I am fearfully and wonderfully made." God tells me in Psalm 17, "I am the apple of His eye." In Deuteronomy 7:6, God tells me that I am "His treasured possession." In Philippians 4:8, God tells me to think about whatever is "true, noble, right, pure, and lovely." I like to think about the truth that God tells me and spend my time thinking about what God says is true. The last Scripture I want to share is Psalm 119:114, “You are my refuge and my shield. I have put my hope in your Word.” My confidence and hope is in God. I know now that instead of being a mistake, I am the Lord’s treasured possession.
I like to memorize Scripture and fill my mind with the truth of who God says I am. This understanding has made all the difference in my life. Now I recognize that God has a plan for my life, and He created me just the way I am for His special purpose. I may still have Down syndrome, but now instead of saying “if only” I didn’t have Down syndrome, I say, “So what, I will glorify God just the way He made me." I know He loves me and cares for me with His whole heart.
The Lord showed me that I am not a mistake, but I am a precious gift…His treasured possession. We have a choice to believe and fill our minds with God’s truth, which will change our hearts, or listen to what other people say and be sad. It is a choice we must each make. In Exodus 4:10, Moses tells God that he can’t do what God told him to do because he was slow of speech and tongue. In verse 11, the Lord said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go. I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” He made me just the way He made me for just the special purpose I was created for. There is special work He has for me to do that can only be done by me, just the way He created me. (See Ephesians 2:10)
If I spend my time wishing I was different, I will never get around to doing those things God wants me to do. If your heart is sad because you wish God had made you different, read in His Word the truth of what He says about you, believe it, and let Him change your heart. Nothing is impossible with God. He certainly did change my heart.
Lord, I pray for each person, that you will fill their heart with Your truth of who they really are and how much you love them. AMEN!