I nearly started to cry. There I was in the nicest airplane I’d ever flown in for a trip that was meant for nothing but fun. My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and I were going to New York with plane tickets that were a gift from a cousin to spend a weekend exploring the Big Apple and her little town in New England. My husband had encouraged me to go.
“Have fun,” he pressed. “You’ve never seen New York, and you don’t have to worry about being away from me since I’ll be in training.” And I was excited. Really. But when the plane took off, I could feel the panic attack starting, and my urge to tic jumped sky high. I tried to hold off, but soon gave up the fight and pulled out my teddy bear. Holding him kept my hands from ticcing and my trembling body at bay. But only just.
And I felt so ashamed.
I was twenty-three, married, had a college education, and I was clutching my teddy bear to my chest like my life depended on it. What will the stewardess think? What will the others think? A mean voice in my head demanded to know. I could only hug my bear tighter, knowing if I let go, the anxiety would overtake me like a bloodhound. I would tic uncontrollably. The teddy bear was a better alternative, but still….
I felt like a fool.
I think those of us with disabilities find ourselves in these positions more than we would like. We can’t help but compare ourselves to the everyone else.
My tics look strange.
I can’t stop shaking.
I’m having a panic attack for no reason.
I can’t sit still.
It wasn’t until I heard a song last night, however, that the truth suddenly rang, clear as a bell, and it all came from a verse I memorized long ago.
“But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something,…” – 1 Corinthians 1:27-28
If God uses those the world considers foolish, and if God uses the weak, then perhaps I shouldn’t fight my differences so much. Perhaps God has bigger plans for me than what the world sees. Keep that in mind as you listen to this next song about the Christmas Story.
by Brandon Heath
Of little fame and lesser glory
The night to keep her on me
The little town of Bethlehem
Counting Joseph, fearless Mary
About to birth the savior of the world
His wife said, “go and see who’s knocking”
He ran out to the gate, unlocked it
The moment he heard Mary’s cry
Couldn’t look the in the eye
Denied the men with …when his wife asked who was there
He said, “I don’t know, just a girl
Just a couple of gypsies begging at the door
I told them we don’t have room for any more
And closed the door. It was just a girl”
He tried to sleep, he wasn’t able
He snuck out to the dirty stable
Where the two would find the covering
Later in her suffering …and pray, “what have I done?”
It’s just a bed, just a minute so they’re trembling in the hay
I could’ve found a room for them to stay, I’m so ashamed
It’s just a bed
There is no room, there was no crowd
The shepherd stood on royal ground
The keeper wept for what he done
He turned away God’s own son
Just a kid, just a million angels crowding there to see
Jesus there for all humanity
Just a bed, just a minute so they trembling in the hay
Staring at his mother in the face
She’s just a girl, just a girl
Does she even know that she just changed the world?
Does she even know that He will save the world?
Does Mary know that He will save the world?
She’s just a girl, just a girl, just a girl, just a girl
It’s mindblowing that God, the holy, all-powerful, all-knowing, God of creation, justice, and perfection would send down His Son, Jesus Christ, in our place. By all earthly standards, Jesus should have come down, escorted by angels, robed in gold, and been given the throne room of Solomon.
But instead, he was born as a helpless baby. He was born to a peasant girl, and a Hebrew one at that, the kind of person whose only reason for existance seemed to be getting married and having children. He was born in a feeding trough in a stinking, filthy cave. Instead of family crowding around the nursery window, the onlookers who greeted him were shepards, considered theives and outcasts who possibly only outranked Mary.
And all these things that the world looked down upon, God used to carry out the most beautiful, sacrificial love story in all of creation. She was just a girl. They were just shepherds. Joseph was just a carpenter. It was just a stable.
And God used them to save the world.
Which means if God can use all of them, He can use me, just the shaking young woman in the corner with a teddy bear, to do amazing things as well. If God uses the foolish for these things, then I’m more than willing to be considered a fool for Him.
Have the expectations of the world made you feel like this? Please share in the Comment Box below. Don’t forget, if you sign up for my email list, you’ll get extra resources I don’t include in my posts, as well as a gift to say thank you for signing up. Thanks for reading!