Born without arms and legs, Nick Vujicic was given no medical explanation for his condition. Growing up, he faced several challenges including being bullied, depression, and loneliness. He wondered why he was different from other kids and questioned if he even had a purpose. In light of this, his family adopted a never-give-up attitude. Through his adversity, Nick’s relationship with God was strengthened and he found his purpose. He now travels around the world speaking in schools, churches, prison, orphanages, hospitals and stadiums sharing how everyone is precious to God and that He has a plan and purpose for their life. We sat down with Nick five years ago and talked about how he got his start speaking to others and his turning point for his perspective on life.
“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Exodus 9:16
Nick reflected on what it was like growing up and how his parents encouraged him through it all.
“It was the truth of knowing that God has a plan for me and that he hasn’t forgotten me. My parents said that I’m special, and they used that word so many times in my life I began to dislike it. I didn’t want to be special; I wanted to be normal. Those were the difficult times when I needed those seeds of encouragement in my life. They were trying different ways to plant the word in my heart and in my mind that I would be growing in faith. As you hear the word, you grow in faith. Sometimes I had good days, sometimes I had bad days. There are even days I remember where it only took within five minutes of getting to school before someone teased me and then I was down again. My parents would just encourage me every time I came home. I was definitely learning that the truth of your value is not determined on how you look or what you can do, but knowing that you’re created for a greater purpose.”
“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.’” John 9:1-3
Nick shared how he came to see his purpose in his circumstance and the hope that he now has.
“I want to be real and say that I believe it is worse being in a broken home than having no arms or legs. You can have arms and legs and have a broken heart. In perspective, whatever we’re going through we can still be thankful. That was the first step, of tow, that really gave me a turning point. [The next step] came actually through a reporter who wrote a story in a newspaper of a man with a disability. That story really encouraged me and changed my perspective. I realized I have a choice either to be angry at what I don’t have or thankful for what I do have. I had zeal of change in me and a zeal for life and a passion for really living my life to its fullest potential in Christ. I was 15 years old when I read John, Chapter 9, about a man who was born blind and no one knew why he was born that way. Jesus said he was born that way so that the words of God would be revealed through him. That’s when I’m like, ‘Wow, if He has a plan for a blind man, then he has a plan for me.’ I didn’t really need to know what that plan was at the time, but I just trusted. I asked him [Jesus] to come into my life, forgive me of my sin and give me His peace.”
Turn to God during your challenges. Whether it is a physical, mental or spiritual hardship, God wants you to turn to Him. He wants to be your comfort and your peace. Take time this week to read the Bible and pray. Look for examples in the Bible of others who have gone through something similar. Be still and listen for the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit.
Encourage others who might be struggling. It may be a tough day at school, a hard season in life or a seemingly never-ending trial, God wants to use us to help others. Pray and ask God to show you someone that needs encouragement. Take time this week and write them a note, bring them a meal or do an act of service. Share how God helped you through a similar experience. It might be as something simple as grabbing coffee and asking someone how they are doing.
Trust God’s purpose for your life. You may not be able to understand everything you are going through, but remember that God has a plan for it. Share what you are going through with a friend, small group leader or pastor and ask them to pray with you and for advice. God doesn’t want us to bear our burdens alone. He has given us a spiritual family to come alongside us to pray for and encourage us. Remember that He wants to use what you have learned during the trial to help others.
To read our entire interview with Nick Vujicic click here.
To check where Nick is speaking click here.