I used to get hung up on making sure I didn’t stand out from the crowd. I wanted to blend in, and I wanted to be accepted. Wow…how far I have moved from that, both physically and mentally.
When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t use any type of walking assistance for the first year. I spent a year thinking that I looked like an idiot, taking three steps at a time and acting like I was always checking my phone. Frustration can build up and become a powerful motivator for change. I didn’t want to look different from others in how I went about my daily life. I didn’t wish for anyone to think that I was different. I got tired of spending so much energy looking normal. I found a company in Canada (Sidestix), which made forearm crutches. They transformed my comfort level of daily living. Before I made the purchase, God had really been working on me regarding the need that I had to look like everyone else. For good measure, I ordered the crutch legs to be wrapped in bright yellow. I thought that would really push me out of my comfort zone, and it would make sure that I really stood out.
It is not an obscure call in the Bible to look and act differently from the world.
Romans 12:2 ESV
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Recently, I was told by my physical therapist that I was not standing up correctly. She said that I needed to attempt to stand up in a normal fashion, and that we would work on it. Let me say, I love the therapist that I currently have. She is very good at what she does, and that is the reason that I choose to drive two hours to appointments. What I told her was that “there isn’t much that I do that is normal. I am okay with that. Most people couldn’t walk backwards with crutches until their back was 8 inches off of the ground either, but I don’t plan on giving up that earned ability anytime soon.”
Over the past two and a half years, God has shown me in the most practical of forms that He has called me to look, act and interact differently in this world. I have a daily reminder every time that I wake up in the morning. The greatest earthly thing that God has done for me is to strip that craving to look “normal” to everyone. Becoming different in my ability to walk has allowed me more mobility in my life than I could have ever imagined. That creates joy, and people crave joy. When people see me enjoying life, many stop to ask why I am so happy. That opens a conversation that has become my favorite one to have.
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Be different so that the world may inquire as to why that is the case!