God Loves You the Way You Are

Description

Growing up with a disibility, paralympian Anne Wafula Strike experiences many challenges but found security in the love of God.

I was born into a Christian family. My mother and father were both Christians so I knew about the Christian faith from an early age. My faith grew at school, where they taught us the Bible and Christian values. But I was still young, and the things I was being taught, I did not have a choice about because it was part of the curriculum.

I was in secondary school when I accepted the Lord as my personal Saviour. It is different growing up as a Christian person and accepting the Lord to come into your life and be your Saviour. So until I was in secondary school, I knew what salvation meant but had not asked the Lord to come into my life.

It was not easy being a Christian with a disability in Africa. There are so many challenges. I did not like going to church each Sunday; People looked at me as if I was the biggest sinner and needed the most grace because I am disabled.

At some churches, they told me I needed healing. As I grew in my faith, I saw it was my responsibility, and God was going to help me, to teach them that God could still use me as a vessel just the way I was, with a disability. That was very challenging because it is very difficult to tell a pastor, “I think God loves me the way I am.”

Having Jesus in my life puts a smile on my face every day. It is a smile that is from within and reflects on the outside. When people see the smile on my face, it is the glory of God. People don’t just see Anne; they see Anne who is covered in the glory of God.

Sometimes I felt angry with God, especially when I was growing up and I was a teenager. When my friends were wearing high heels and short skirts and were dancing, that was what I wanted to do. I grew older and realized that God has got a purpose in my life. Instead of just being angry with God, I am learning to be thankful and grateful to God every single day when I wake up.

Kenya native Anne Wafula Strike was born healthy and contracted polio at age two and a half. The condition rendered her paralyzed and she began using crutches as a teenager, eventually moving into a wheelchair as an adult. It was then she discovered wheelchair racing and competed in the 2004 Paralympics in Athens for her home country of Kenya. She participated as a torchbearer for the 2012 Games in London.

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