When I was a child, we had friends in our neighborhood that we always played with. One family had twin boys just a year older than Gayle and me; one of those twins had been born without a right hand or forearm. When we first met them, the initial curiosity was satisfied by “this was how I was born”. We can’t alter how we’re born, so we moved on and just enjoyed one another.
Robbie was never deterred from doing or trying anything new and different. His arm wasn’t an obstacle; it was his chance to be creative with how he did life.
I thought of Robbie when I heard of someone on the National Women’s Soccer team who also had a “limb difference”. Carson Pickett was born without a left hand and forearm. She was a starting defender for Florida State Univerity for all four years of her eligibility. She now plays for the North Carolina Courage and is an inspiration to many fans, old and young, who deal with a missing limb.
It doesn’t limit her. Her personal mantra is “Control what you can control”.
She recently shared a philosophy her dad has shared with her over the years that has helped her maintain a focus, and a willingness to stay the course. “Never let anyone turn your sky into a ceiling.”
We are often our worst critics when it comes to pushing forward and taking risks in life. We listen to others who tell us we can’t do something; their inference is that we shouldn’t try because all we’ll do is fail.
That becomes the lie that circles around our minds over and over again. Because we can’t do what others do or look like what is considered acceptable, we allow others to impose limits that lead to discouragement and despair, the death of dreams, and the feeling of being trapped.
God, however, has crafted each of us uniquely, with a particular set of talents and skills that make us wonderfully different from anyone else. God sees each of us with joy and delight and yearns to tell us of His love and commitment to us.
“Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40-28-31
God has given us the ability to dream and to think beyond what others believe we can do. The sky is the limit. When others apply their hesitations and personal limits to us, we become stuck in fear.
Like Carson Pickett, we need to choose what we can control–our attitudes–and let go of what we can’t change. Free ourselves up to dream and try.
After all, God has offered us so much more than what others think we can do.
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