April is here! Spring is in the air!
Flowers and trees are waking from their slumber. The daffodils and tulips pop out from the ground, bringing a sudden splash of color to a gray landscape. The warmth of the sun is melting away the remains of winter. I love the freshness spring brings. I love what the month of April stands for too. April is Limb Loss Awareness month!
Did you know:
More than 2 million Americans live with limb loss
Each day more than 500 people lose a limb
There are more than 185,000 amputations each year
Among those living with limb loss, the main causes are vascular disease (54%), trauma (45%), and cancer (less than 2%)
I could go on and on with statistics. The numbers are mind blowing. As I researched limb loss it hit me that..
I am one of those numbers.
I had never really seen or been around any amputees before my own. Growing up my fourth grade teacher was born without her right hand and the adorable old gentlemen at Meijer’s who greeted me with a smile every time I walked in, were the only two people with limb loss I had ever encountered. That was until I was seventeen years old lying in a hospital bed without my own right hand.
Remember when I said I had never been around any other amputees well that sure has changed thanks to Soul Surfer and shark attack survivor, Bethany Hamilton and her Beautifully Flawed Retreat. (A retreat for young amputee women). (:
Each one of these girls has an amazing story of their own. I am forever encouraged, inspired and changed by these sweet girls. When I am surrounded by them I am reminded that I am not the only one living with limb loss and that I am more than a number. More than a statistic.
Even though most people see the loss of limb loss, I see a new beginning. A second chance. A new normal. God designed us to live this life in a unique way. He loves us, chose us and longs for us. God is faithful and true. He does all that He says He will do. He makes everything happen as He has ordained it to.
God is faithful in every season. He was faithful during my amputation and He will be faithful to you in whatever season you may be in right now. He will guide you along this new pathway of life. Because you are worth it. You are more than the decisions you've made. You are more than your past. You are MORE!
Living with a limb loss is not always easy. The points, the stares, the second glances, they get old. The relearning and adjusting gets exhausting. I look in the mirror and wish I looked “normal” but I love how God cares about all aspects of my life. He reminds me in 1 Samuel 16:7
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
If we look to the things and people of this world to satisfy us we will be disappointed. The more we look to Him to fulfill and satisfy, the more we discover how great a Father He is to us.
If the season you are in right now is not a sunny one, take heart because it will not storm forever. If you don’t feel the sunshine just yet, be encouraged knowing that the clouds are going to part.
Just as the seasons unfold throughout the year, just as the sun rises each morning, just as the cherry tree blossoms in spring, we can trust in God's faithfulness. He is as sure as the sunrise each morning, the gravity that holds us to the ground, and the air we breathe. God does not change. He stays the same. He is faithful.
Whether you have all four limbs or you are missing a few, know that God is faithful in every season of your life.