1. There is a sleep disorder. For years, I thought it was normal to have a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep. I had no idea that I was an insomniac. I assumed that almost everyone had the same trouble slipping into slumber.
2 . There is a slight eating disorder. I thought I simply wasn’t hungry during the holidays or whenever there was a special event.
3. There is the dyslexia. I did not realize that other people could spell easily. I thought everyone had problems swapping letters when they typed, wrote or read.
4. There is the hearing disorder. I do not hear letter or numbers when they are spoken out loud. Of course, I hear something; but I cannot hear what the numbers or letters are. For years, it was a family joke that our children would spell words out loud so that I would not understand what they were saying.
5. There is the left-handed disorder. I don’t know right from left. I’ve read it’s a disorder that often effects left-handed people. I had no idea it was a problem until I became an adult and people began to make fun of me because of this malady.
There are a couple of others. But as I got older, I regrettably developed another disorder–memory loss.
Not knowing that these disorders would harm me, I came to use them to my advantage. Not sleeping means that I often have more time than others to finish tasks and start new adventures. During the 1960’s it became fashionable to be thinner than we should be. Unfortunately, with my first pregnancy, this slight eating disorder disappeared forever.
I am still a terrible typist. However, I learned to be an amazingly great corrector. Because the dyslexia is pretty severe, I learned to make the things I typed look good, even though I originally had many more typos than a typing teacher would allow.
Once I realized that there was a hearing disorder that caused me to not hear letters or numbers, I learned to laugh about the fact that I could not hear phone numbers.
Each of us has something that we must overcome. Living within the disability community for the past 20 years, I’ve seen Annie who can accomplish more with one hand than most people do with two hands. I learned that hysterical laughter can come from people who cannot speak clearly. I’ve met Chrissy who is a great leader, even though she cannot speak or walk.
There is a God-given goal within us that desires to excel and succeed. Disabilities are part of each person’s life. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Yet, we know that he lived with a great disability that perhaps would stop a person with less faith.
I’ve seen through the simple lives of the members of The Special Gathering that perfection is overrated. Faith, hope and Christ’s love help us to rise above those things which weigh us down and seek to conquer the Faithful.