II Corinthians 12:9-10

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities... for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
II Corinthians 12:9-10

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Scoliosis Defines Me

"Scoliosis does not define me." If you've read many scoliosis stories, you've seen this statement a million times. In today's culture, there are two popular responses to physical trials in life. One of those reactions is that you want to fit in and be as normal as possible, so you don't talk about your physical problems and deal with the effects inwardly. On the other end of the spectrum, you want to be the overcomer and boldly face new challenges simply for the sake of showing people and proving to yourself that this isn't going to stop you. And I've been on both sides of the fence. In fact, I frequently jump from one side to the other.

So does scoliosis define me? I love etymology. Don't be weirded out when I say that I looked up the definition of "define." It comes from the French word meaning "to put an end to" and the Latin, "to limit," but let's think about the context we use it in. (It's also popular now days to play devil's advocate and write a controversial blog post!) Here is one interesting definition: "to describe the nature, properties, or essential qualities of."

Let's think about physical properties. One of the first things people notice about me is my posture. Reason? Scoliosis. I can't wear a lot of clothing because of the way it fits. Reason? Scoliosis. I can't bend my back. Reason? Scoliosis. And that crazy 18-inch scar down my back. Reason? Scoliosis. I have compassion for people going through surgeries. Reason? Scoliosis. The list could go on forever, but I think you get the idea.

The truth is, without having this odd deformity of the spine, my life would be different. My character might be different because I wouldn't have had to push through some physically and emotionally traumatic times. I wouldn't have ever begun my benefit concerts for charity if I hadn't been forced to be on the receiving end of it. I wouldn't have been able to help hundreds of people that I have met through my blog and video.

No, scoliosis does not define me in the sense that I allow it to limit me. But yes, scoliosis definitely defines me. My life is never going to be the same, whether I like to believe that at times or not. But I know a loving, wise God who knew it was best to create me with scoliosis. Ultimately, He defines me. And I will use whatever He places in my life-- even scoliosis-- to make Him known.