“Arthro-what?!” the new parents exclaimed. “Arthrogryposis. Along with her congenital muscular dystrophy (‘being born with weak muscles’), she was born with a condition that causes her joints to be stiff,” the doctors explained. “She has cramped arms and legs, vocal cord paralysis, dislocated hips, club feet, crossed eyes, a heart murmur, and possibly brain damage.” Wrenched with overwhelming anxiety, fear, and discouragement at this news, the couple stared at their daughter in disbelief—not even being able to imagine a successful future for their first child.
As the years passed, their little girl endured multiple hospitalizations and surgeries, which assisted her in gaining a great level of independence. The medical team further predicted she would never walk, and if she did, it probably would not occur until the age of eighteen. However, after numerous hours of working with a physical therapist and crying through the agony of bearing weight upon her feet, the child took her first few steps with a walker before the age of two. Around that same time, she experienced a year’s worth of life with a tracheotomy followed by many years of speech therapy, which all resulted in her gaining the ability to verbally express herself—loud and clear! Shortly after the diagnosis of possible brain damage, the couple soon discovered that their little one could excel intellectually and observed her eventually participate in the regular classroom. Basically, as obstacles continued arising, the child continued persevering, not permitting anything to take away from her success.
Today, as I reflect on those early struggles I experienced, I laugh in admiration and continue to praise the Lord for how He has sculpted my life—never ceasing in molding me to a path of complete service to Him. Particularly, it is ironic how, during my early years, I dreaded going to hospitals to receive evaluations and treatments from a plethora of medical staff—searching for every opportunity to escape from there, and now, God has opened the door and given me the willingness to walk freely into this same place to serve those experiencing their own complex journeys. What a wonderful sense of humor He possesses!
Like with my own story, we all undergo hurdles and even tragedies in our lives where we may question the Almighty One’s presence and involvement during that time. “Why is this happening to my family and me? Where are You in the midst of this? I don’t understand this! Please help me!” While these expressions are very understandable, it is necessary for us to eventually (maybe years or even decades later) obtain a faithful attitude that these events happen for a purpose beyond our own human comprehension. The Lord always offers hope to His own people, so may we continue to hope in Him. Thus, in the midst of our crises or even daily struggles, may we continuously seek God in making the ultimate reversal for His divine accordance to come alive!