This is my first Blog Hop! The question to answer is:
How has your faith influenced the framework within which you view / experience disability? How has that faith lens affected your perspective?
A great question. For me, my faith is everything. Websters Dictionary defines faith as: trust; confidence; to remain loyal; the virtue by which a Christian believes in the revealed truths of God. (Wow! Websters says that?!)
I am a Christian and I believe in the truths of God. I believe the little baby in the manger that we celebrate each December 25 was (is) the Son of God. I believe He was born of the virgin Mary, suffered, and died on a cross to redeem mankind. I believe God created a perfect world. He created man to have fellowship with Himself.
When Adam and Eve sinned, it changed the world God had created. It separated us from God. The world as we now know it is corrupt, evil and greedy. Everything God is not. I have faith in God because He has proven Himself faithful. When this world throws the worst at me, God has been there to comfort me and bring joy back into my life. When I'm the one messing up, God is there to forgive and accept me, just as I am. He never gives up on me. He loves me so much, He was willing to be flogged, beaten and hung on a cross just to reconcile me to the Father.
I am no longer separated from God but can come directly to Him, speak to Him, pray to Him. I believe He wants the very best for me. For all of us. That's why He created us, to have a relationship with Him.
When we found out Beth had Down Syndrome, we were in shock. We were overwhelmed. I was trying to remember what I had learned about chromosomes in biology class. When Chuck went home that first night he layed in bed and asked the Lord, "Did I do something wrong?? Why is this happening to us??" Then John 9:1 came to mind. Chuck wasn't thinking about what scripture would work in this situation, he was a little angry! He was stunned! He wanted answers! So when this verse came to mind, he knew it was the Lord speaking to him.
John 9:1 - As he (Jesus) went along he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be revealed in his life."
Chuck shared this with me the next morning at the hospital and we both knew that the Lord had a plan for Beth. We didn't have a plan! Not even close! Beth having Down Syndrome was from out of left field. No one in either of our families had a disability. But we had faith in the Lord and HE said, this happened so God could be revealed.
He had been faithful to us every single day before the day Beth was born so we could trust His promise that He would be revealed through Beth. And God has been revealed. The Lord has shown me so much of His character through Beth. He has shown me that Beth looks at the heart of a person, just like the Lord does. Beth doesn't care about your shoes and neither does the Lord. But she does care if you're kind, if you're respectful. She notices your heart, exactly like the Lord.
And He's been faithful every day since. Has it all been perfume and roses? Not even close!! But on those days that I'm at the end; when I just don't want to do it anymore, He's there for me. He uses my family, the Bible, His creation to bring me joy and contentment.
How has my faith, my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ influenced the way I view disability?
It has brought me peace. It has reminded me that there is a plan and that everything's going to be okay.