Faith in Action
I have discovered time and again that when we ask for God’s help and then take action, knowing in our hearts that He is watching over us, there is no reason to be fearful. My parents taught me this, mostly in the way they lived each day. They are the greatest examples of faith in action I have witnessed.
Though I arrived on this earth missing, as my mother says, “a few bits and pieces,” I am blessed in many, many ways. My parents have always been there for me. They did not coddle me. They disciplined me when I needed it and gave me room to make my own mistakes. Most of all, they are wonderful role models.
I was their first child and definitely a surprise package. Despite doing all the usual maternity tests, my mother’s doctor detected no indication that I would come into the world with neither arms nor legs. My mother was an experienced nurse who had assisted in hundreds of deliveries, so she took every precaution during her pregnancy.
Needless to say, she and my father were quite stunned that I arrived without limbs. They are devout Christians. In fact, my father was a lay pastor. My parents prayed for guidance while I underwent many days of testing after my birth.
Like all babies, I did not come with an instruction book, but my parents sure would have welcomed a little guidance. They knew of no other parents who’d raised a child without limbs in a world designed for people with a complete set.
They were distraught at first, as any parents would be. Anger, guilt, fear, depression, despair—their emotions ran away with them for the first week or so. Many tears were shed. They grieved for the perfectly formed child they’d envisioned but did not receive. They grieved, too, because they feared that my life would be very difficult.
My parents could not imagine what plan God had in mind for such a boy. Yet, once they’d recovered from their initial shock, they decided to put their trust in God and then to put their faith in action. They gave up their attempts to understand why God had given them such a child. Instead, they surrendered to His plan, whatever it might be, and then went about raising me as best they could, the only way they could: pouring into me all their love one day at a time.
When my parents exhausted all the medical resources in Australia, they sought help for me in Canada and the United States and anywhere else in the world that offered hope and information. They never did uncover a full medical explanation for my condition, though many theories were offered. My brother, Aaron, and sister, Michelle, were born a few years later with the standard package of limbs, so a genetic defect did not appear to be the problem.
After a while, the why of my creation became far less important to my parents than the how of my survival. How would this boy learn to be mobile without legs? How would he care for himself? How would he go to school? How would he ever support himself as an adult? None of this concerned little baby me, of course. I had no idea that my body wasn’t the standard issue. I thought people stared at me because I was so adorable. I also believed I was indestructible and unstoppable. My poor parents could hardly contain their fears as I routinely flung myself like a human beanbag off the couch and onto the floor, over car seats, and around the yard.
You can imagine their concern when they first caught me skateboarding down a steep hill. Look, Mom, no hands! Despite their loving efforts to provide me with wheelchairs and other apparatus, I stubbornly developed my own approaches to mobility. The skin on my forehead grew as thick as the soles of most feet because I insisted on raising myself from a prone position by bracing it against walls, furniture, or any other stationary object, and then slowly wriggling my way upright.
I eventually learned to focus on solutions rather than problems, on doing instead of stewing. I found that when I got rolling on something, there was a snowball effect. My momentum picked up and my problem-solving powers increased. It’s said that the universe rewards action, and that certainly has been true for me.
Day by day, God has revealed His plans for me. Your fears and concerns will be diminished too, if you turn them over to Him and act in faith, working on solutions, building momentum, and trusting that God will show you the path.
Excerpted from Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic Copyright © 2012 by Nick Vujicic. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.