Like every other little girl I had dreams growing up. Wife and mother? Absolutely. My dreams were bigger, however. From age 8 until I decided to go to graduate school for political science: I wanted to practice law. I was sure that’s what God wanted. I thought that’s how God wanted me to change the world: being a voice for those without one. This pandemic and the events of the last few weeks in the US have clarified many aspects of my life for me. I am privileged. I am healthy and do not have Convid-19. My skin color affords me safety as well. I have lots of people who love me. There is food to eat, daily, for me. I have lots of blessings. I am thankful.
All that said: it is hard to be me many days. Currently, I have one broken chair and my backup that I’m using everyday, at the moment, most likely needs batteries. My chairs are my legs and my independence. Every time I call my provider I get more runaround. They lie on a regular basis. I feel like I’m disposable, I don’t matter, and am an afterthought to them. I will get my chairs back in working order even if I have to get legal help to do so.
I am often asked really invasive questions and have assumptions made about me that no one should ever have made about them. What are those you ask? They have to do with my intelligence or personal life. Yeah, I’ve had it all asked of me. Yes, I have multiple degrees. Yes, I can have sex. I want to be a wife and mother in the future. Those two dreams require my patience and persistence, however. I refuse to settle for good enough for myself. For many I would more easily understood if I did so. I will NEVER talk about the details of my personal life on this blog or any associated social media accounts. I don’t talk about it on my personal social media either. I would make these choices even if I didn’t have CP.
What I’ve come to realize is I’m an advocate for people like me who can’t advocate for themselves. I never set out to be an advocate. Growing up really shy it was the furthest possibility from my mind. God planted the seed of advocacy at age 8. I’ve spent every day since then figuring out what that word meant and looked like for me. I still am. Part of my advocacy is this blog. I never set out to be a blogger, either, but I always knew my ability to write well was a gift and was part of my purpose. I thought I’d write books, however. I still might. I’m not closing the door on any possibility. What God wants from me: I’ll do to my best ability.
Another realization, for me, is that I am an ally for other minorities. I didn’t think I’d ever have to put that sentence on record. I realize now I must. If I want others to stand up with me and for me and I do: I have to be willing to do the same for every one else. I thought it was enough just to live a life of extravagant tolerance, love and forgiveness. It’s a good start, but not enough. God has been working on my conception of “love your neighbor as yourself” during this time. It’s much bigger than I thought. It’s wearing a mask in public, washing my hands often, maintaining social distance whenever possible. However, it is also: I see you, I acknowledge your pain, I want to learn and do my best to be part of the solution going forward for all of us.
It’s incredibly humbling to grow up in church and have given my heart and life to Jesus at a young age and all these years later realize: I have a lot to learn as a follower of Christ still. I still have a lot to accomplish in God’s plan for my life. If you are feeling the convictions I am: I get it. We’re going to do better, together, learning as we go. If you are hurting or scared during this time: I see and acknowledge your pain. I will spend my life working for better. I am praying for you, too.