With a lifetime goal to capture the stories of God’s faithfulness, I have finally succeeded by publishing my first book in 2010: His Majesty in Brokenness! It’s a story of growing up and discovering God to be with me every step of the way crafting His Masterpiece from my brokenness.
I am thrilled to share it with the world. You can read an excerpt below, order your own book or eBook on Amazon.
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* * Book Excerpt * *
His Majesty in Adversity
People with disabilities are God’s best visual aids
to demonstrate Who He really is.
His power shows up best in weakness
and who by the world’s standards
is weaker than the mentally and physically disabled?
As the world watches these people persevere.
They live, love, trust and obey Him.
Eventually the world is forced to say:
How great their God must be to inspire this type of loyalty.
– Joni Eareckson Tada
Celebration on Hold
The day of my birth was not a celebration. In fact, I have a hunch my birth announcement had an invisible PS that was obvious to everyone: “In lieu of balloons, bring a hankie.”
My midnight arrival was like a cold shower to the unsuspecting obstetrician. With no speech prepared for such a tragedy my dad recollects the doctor blurting out, “Your daughter is going to live, I am sorry to say.”
Mom remembers that she waited three days before the nurses brought me to her. Expecting the worst, she was surprised to find me “capable, not a vegetable” when I didn’t just wiggle but turned over in the nervous nurse’s arms. Evidence that there was life and strength. “And your big brown eyes,” Mom swears, “jumped out and wrapped themselves around my heart.”
Leaving Geneva Hospital in upstate New York that cold day in March, no pink blanket could hide the fact that I had severe birth defects – a webbed left hand and two undeveloped legs with no thighs or knees and a total of five toes instead of ten. Proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), future hospital records would read.
Mom and Dad said my five pound, six ounce incomplete body seemed light when contrasted with the unending questions weighing heavy on their broken hearts: Will our baby die? How can we take care of her? If she lives, is she educable? How can she ever enjoy life?
Too busy to stay stuck on the questions, my family dug in their heels. Changing diaper after diaper on a baby with webbed feet cured the initial shock. People’s dead silence in place of “What a beautiful baby!” made mom madder than a hornet, but ceased to surprise her.
Tears, hard work, laughter, faith, failure, and success filled the years ahead. Countless doctors’ appointments, operations, trips to the brace man, and eventual placement in special education were added to the usual stuff of “growing-up,” filling each week to the fullest. But the life-changing event we had all held our breaths for came when I was ten. At Shriners Hospital in Chicago I underwent corrective surgery and traded my deformed footies for stumps and my metal stilts for artificial limbs. Standing tall for the first time in my life, my willow wood legs and I walked the long haul – I mean hospital corridor – the day I was discharged.
My legs and I entered domains no one ever dreamed possible. A military ball, driving a car, summer jobs at a camp, college, and a sorority filled and thrilled my young adult years. And the prize after six years at the University of Illinois was an M.S. degree in Speech Pathology the same month I received my Mrs. Degree and became Mrs. David Squier.
These milestones became midget-sized compared to the births of my three daughters. God more than compensated for everything I had missed, times three. Vicariously, I have walked, run, jumped rope, rollerbladed and played soccer. Sitting at Emily’s piano recital, watching her nimble ten fingers make Michael Card’s El Shaddai dance on the keyboard, I wondered if the concert auditorium would shake as shivers of celebration danced up and down my spine. I’ve gloried in the back flips and front walk-overs as Betsy’s and Naphtalie’s limber legs have carried me the length of the gymnasium.
Somewhere in the journey, at different times for each of us, the hundreds of family and friends have exchanged the no-longer-needed hankies for helium balloons. Unbeknownst to us, God made my life a celebration. Together we had learned that disability is a potential delivery room for the extraordinary, the unprecedented, the inconceivable. And in the process, His Majesty companioned with me every step of the way, even when I didn’t know He was there.
What about You?
How easy it is to get bogged down by life’s trials. We trudge on and on, never expecting a happy ending. I can tell I still wear some scabs from my early years when I hear Pastor Floyd’s Sunday morning reminder to the congregation: “God always answers prayer and He’s never late.” Invariably something deep inside of me retorts: “But He’s never early either.”
Whether early, on time, or seemingly late, God’s surprise is that we are strengthened through our trials. Adversity, while we feel it is enfeebling us, is actually empowering us.
What is breaking you today? It may be something you were born with or born without. It may be someone you can’t live with or live without. Don’t lose hope. You are not alone. God is there. He’s been there all along.
Keep your eyes peeled. His Majesty is throwing a party and the guest of honor is YOU. The banquet hall location will be your brokenness redeemed.
P.S. No hankies needed.
Excerpted from His Majesty in Brokenness by Judy Squier Copyright © 2010 by Judy Squier. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the author.