I was speaking at a local church one Sunday morning, so I asked my assistant
Sarah to meet me and help work the SaveOne table after the services. As I pulled into the parking lot, she yelled at me from down the row of empty handicapped spaces. She had parked at the end of the row in the first regular spot not reserved for the handicapped.
As I stood at the front door and waited on her, she slowly made her way down the long sidewalk. An onslaught of thoughts came to my mind as I watched this beautiful girl walk toward me. Sarah was born 22 years earlier with Cerebral Palsy. When I first met her as a teenager, she was unable to walk unassisted. She had crutches that were never far from her hands. As a baby the doctors labeled her as handicapped. There was no denying the fact Sarah had CP…but handicapped?
Months earlier I had sat in the audience and cheered as I watched her walk across the stage unassisted to receive her college diploma. I knew then the word “handicapped” had never defined Sarah. The long embrace she received from her professor let me know the professor knew, just as the audience did, this girl is not handicapped. I thought about all the excuses I had given myself for not going on to get my Master’s degree. The next week I enrolled and now I am six months in to graduate school. Sarah motivated me to overcome what I believed as fact and realize that fact was lying and keeping me from furthering my much needed education.
Sarah works full-time for Mercy Ministries since she graduated college, she loves the Lord with all her heart, she volunteers her time for SaveOne just because she believes in our cause, she sponsors an orphan in Haiti, she drove herself in her own car that morning refusing to park in the handicapped spaces, and she ran my table like a boss that Sunday. What sets her apart is that she didn’t allow her challenges to define her life. She realized facts lie and this was a fact that was lying.
Watching this young girl has made me question the facts in my own life. Where and what am I accepting as truth just because I was stamped with a label early on. What do I see in others lives that I am accepting as fact in my own? What “facts” have gone unchallenged around me just because science says so, or the status quo has allowed them to remain? We should dig and find these areas in our lives and root them out. These so called “facts” could be exactly what is holding us back from our God-given destiny.
Sarah is actually in the company of some pretty cool people. It was a fact all Hebrew male babies were to be killed, but Moses mother didn’t believe it. It was a fact anyone who approached the King would be put to death, But Esther didn’t believe it. It was a fact Saul imprisoned and killed any Christians he could find, but Ananias didn’t believe it. It was a fact the prodigal was lost to the world, but his dad didn’t believe it. It was a fact David and his army were on their way to destroy Nabal and his land, but Abigail didn’t believe it. It was a fact the army couldn’t defeat Goliath, but David didn’t believe it. It was a fact Lazarus was dead, but Jesus didn’t believe it.
Have I made my point? Start today to challenge these “facts” that hold you back, release your faith in Him and see God open the doors of heaven to your actions and your faith just like He did for Moses, Esther, Ananias, and my dear friend Sarah! These people would not, could not, live in defeat accepting labels and laws as truth. They stepped out in faith and knew the God of heaven’s armies had their back!