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It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
Today's Wild Card author is:
and the book:
WaterBrook Press; Reprint edition (June 5, 2012)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nick Vujicic is the founder of the international non-profit organization Life Without Limbs. Nick recently made the move from Australia to California, his new home base as he travels the world speaking to a range of different groups such as students, teachers, youth, businessmen and women, entrepreneurs, and church congregations of all sizes. He has told his story and been interviewed on various televised programs worldwide, including “20/20,” “60 Minutes,” and “The 700 Club.”
Visit the author's website.
SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:
Born without arms or legs, Nick Vujicic overcame his disabilities to live an independent, rich, fulfilling, and “ridiculously good” life while serving as a role model for anyone seeking true happiness. Now an internationally successful motivational speaker, Nick eagerly spreads his central message: the most important goal is to find your life’s purpose and to never give up, despite whatever difficulties or seemingly impossible odds stand in your way.
Nick tells the story of his physical disabilities and the emotional battle he endured while learning to deal with them as a child, teen, and young adult. “For the longest, loneliest time, I wondered if there was anyone on earth like me, and whether there was any purpose to my life other than pain and humiliation.” Nick shares how his faith in God has been his major source of strength, and he explains that once he found a sense of purpose—inspiring others to better their lives and the world around them--he found the confidence to build a rewarding and productive life without limits. Let Nick inspire you to start living your own life without limits.
Includes a Life Without Limits Personal Action Plan to help anyone determine their unique path to a successful life.
List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press; Reprint edition (June 5, 2012)
AND NOW...PART OF THE FIRST CHAPTER:
If You Can’t Get a Miracle, Become One
O ne of my most popular videos on YouTube shows footage of me skateboarding, surfing, playing music, hitting a golf ball, falling down, getting up, speaking to audiences, and best of all, receiving hugs from all sorts of great people.
All in all, those are pretty ordinary activities that just about anybody can do, right? So why do you think that video has been viewed millions of times? My theory is that people are drawn to watch it because despite my physical limitations, I’m living as though I have no limits.
People often expect someone with a severe disability to be inactive, maybe even angry and withdrawn. I like to surprise them by showing that I lead a very adventurous and fulfilling existence.
Among the hundreds of comments on that video, here’s one typical remark: “Seeing a guy like this being happy makes me wonder why the hell I feel sorry for myself sometimes . . . or feel that I’m not attractive enough, or funny enough, or WHATEVER. How can I even think thoughts like that when this guy is living without limbs and still being HAPPY!?”
I’m often asked that very question: “Nick, how can you be so happy?” You may be dealing with your own challenges, so I’ll give you the quick answer up front:
I found happiness when I realized that as imperfect as I may be, I am the perfect Nick Vujicic. I am God’s creation, designed according to His plan for me. That’s not to say that there isn’t room for improvement. I’m always trying to be better so I can better serve Him and the world!
I do believe my life has no limits. I want you to feel the same way about your life, no matter what your challenges may be. As we begin our journey together, please take a moment to think about any limitations you’ve placed on your life or that you’ve allowed others to place on it. Now think about what it would be like to be free of those limitations. What would your life be if anything were possible?
I’m officially disabled, but I’m truly enabled because of my lack of limbs. My unique challenges have opened up unique opportunities to reach so many in need. Just imagine what is possible for you!
Too often we tell ourselves we aren’t smart enough or attractive enough or talented enough to pursue our dreams. We buy into what others say about us, or we put restrictions on ourselves. What’s worse is that when you consider yourself unworthy, you are putting limits on how God can work through you!
When you give up on your dreams, you put God in a box. After all, you are His creation. He made you for a purpose. Therefore your life cannot be limited any more than God’s love can be contained.
I have a choice. You have a choice. We can choose to dwell on disappointments and shortcomings. We can choose to be bitter, angry, or sad. Or when faced with hard times and hurtful people, we can choose to learn from the experience and move forward, taking responsibility for our own happiness.
As God’s child, you are beautiful and precious, worth more than all the diamonds in the world. You and I are perfectly suited to be who we were meant to be! Even still, it should always be our goal to become an even better person and stretch our boundaries by dreaming big. Adjustments are necessary along the way because life isn’t always rosy, but it is always worth living. I’m here to tell you that no matter what your circumstances may be, as long as you are breathing, you have a contribution to make.
I can’t put a hand on your shoulder to reassure you, but I can speak from the heart. However desperate your life may seem, there is hope. As bad as circumstances appear, there are better days ahead. No matter how dire your circumstances may appear, you can rise above them. To wish for change will change nothing. To make the decision to take action right now will change everything!
All events come together for the good. I’m certain of that because it’s been true in my life. What good is a life without limbs? Just by looking at me, people know that I faced and overcame many obstacles and hardships. That makes them willing to listen to me as a source of inspiration. They allow me to share my faith, to tell them they are loved, and to give them hope.
That is my contribution. It’s important to recognize your own value. Know that you also have something to contribute. If you feel frustrated right now, that’s okay. Your sense of frustration means you want more for your life than you have right now. That’s all good. Often it’s the challenges in life that show us who we are truly meant to be.
A Life of Value
It took me a long time to see the benefits of the circumstances I was born into. My mum was twenty-five years old when she became pregnant with me, her first child. She’d been a midwife and worked as a pediatric nurse in charge in the delivery room where she provided care for hundreds of mothers and their babies. She knew what she had to do while she was pregnant, watching her diet, being cautious about medications, and not consuming alcohol, aspirin, or any other pain-killers. She went to the best doctors and they assured her everything was proceeding smoothly.
Even still, her apprehension persisted. As her due date approached, my mum shared her concerns with my father several times, saying, “I hope that everything’s okay with the baby.”
When two ultrasounds were performed during her pregnancy, the doctors detected nothing unusual. They told my parents that the baby was a boy but not a word about missing limbs! At my delivery on December 4, 1982, my mother could not see me at first, and the first question she asked the doctor was “Is the baby all right?” There was silence. As the seconds ticked by and they were still not bringing the baby for her to see, she sensed even more that something was wrong. Instead of giving me to my mother to hold, they summoned a pediatrician and moved off to the opposite corner, examining me and conferring with each other. When my mum heard a big healthy baby scream, she was relieved. But my dad, who had noticed I was missing an arm during the delivery, felt queasy and was escorted out of the room.
Shocked at the sight of me, the nurses and doctors quickly wrapped me up.
My mother, who’d participated in hundreds of deliveries as a nurse, wasn’t fooled. She read the distress on the faces of her medical team, and she knew something was very wrong.
“What is it? What’s wrong with my baby?” she demanded.
Her doctor would not answer at first, but when she insisted on a response, he could offer my mother only a specialized medical term.
“Phocamelia,” he said.
Because of her nursing background, my mother recognized the term as the condition babies have when they are born with malformed or missing limbs. She simply couldn’t accept that this was true.
In the meantime, my stunned dad was outside, wondering whether he had seen what he thought he saw. When the pediatrician came out to speak to him, he cried out, “My son, he has no arm!”
“Actually,” the pediatrician said as sensitively as possible, “your son has neither arms nor legs.”
My father went weak with shock and anguish.
He sat stunned, momentarily unable to speak before his protective instincts kicked in. He rushed in to tell my mother before she saw me, but to his dismay he found her lying in bed, crying. The staff had already told her the news. They had offered to bring me to her but she refused to hold me and told them to take me away.
The nurses were crying. The midwife was crying. And of course, I was crying! Finally they put me next to her, still covered, and my mum just couldn’t bear what she was seeing: her child without limbs.
“Take him away,” she said. “I don’t want to touch him or see him.”
To this day my father regrets that the medical staff did not give him time to prepare my mother properly. Later, as she slept, he visited me in the nursery. He came back and told Mum, “He looks beautiful.” He asked her if she wanted to see me at that point, but she declined, still too shaken. He understood and respected her feelings.
Instead of celebrating my birth, my parents and their whole church mourned. “If God is a God of love,” they wondered, “why would He let something like this happen?”
My Mum’s Grief
I was my parents’ firstborn child. While this would be a major cause for rejoicing in any family, no one sent flowers to my mum when I was born. This hurt her and only deepened her despair.
Sad and teary-eyed, she asked my dad, “Don’t I deserve flowers?”
“I’m sorry,” Dad said. “Of course you deserve them.” He went to the hospital flower shop and returned shortly to present her with a bouquet.
I was aware of none of this until the age of thirteen or so, when I began to question my parents about my birth and their initial reaction to my lack of limbs. I’d had a bad day at school, and when I told my mum, she cried with me. I told her I was sick of having no arms and legs. She shared my tears and said that she and my dad had come to understand that God had a plan for me and one day He would reveal it. My questions continued over time, sometimes with one parent, sometimes with both. Part of my search for answers was natural curiosity and part of it was in response to the persistent questions I’d been fielding from curious classmates.
At first, I was a little scared of what my parents might tell me, and, since some of this was difficult for them to delve into, I didn’t want to put them on the spot. In our initial discussions my mum and dad were very careful and protective ...