Recently, Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers sent me a complimentary copy of "My Life Without Limits" by Nick Vujicic to read and review. And I will admit, when I first started reading it I was skeptical. It was a little too upbeat, a little to cheesy for my tastes. But what I came to realize is this: Nick isn't selling cheesy feel-good motivational fluff. Nick is speaking from the heart, telling the world about his experiences with real trials and heartache and how he has learned to overcome. Nick isn't selling anything; he's spreading the truth about the power of hope.
The author asks, "What is hope?" What follows is his answer (which I love): "It is where dreams begin. It is the voice of your purpose. It speaks to you and reassures you that whatever happens to you doesn't live within you." This statement struck such a cord with me. I love this principle that your experiences do not have to define you.
My husband, a military man, injured his leg nearly two years ago and it has not healed properly. This injury has totally changed his life, our lives. It has literally turned our world upside down. Did he lose his leg? No. Can he walk? Yes. But he will always have a limp, and he probably needs a walking stick... ehem, cane (he hates it when I say the c word)... and he will never be able to run again. Do many, many soldiers come home with far worse injuries, both seen and unseen? Absolutely. However, I have come to appreciate that no matter what the injury is, if it is career ending, very few other details about it matter... not to a military man anyway. Any injury that results in the loss of your fire-arm, your position in your squadron, you ability to be an asset, is a brutal blow to the sense of self. I have heard multiple injured military members question themselves and others post-injury: "Who am I now? What am I good for now? What use am I now?"
Again a bit of wisdom from Mr. Vujicic, "I hold on to the belief that our lives here are temporary, as we are being prepared for eternity." I add to that my own belief that nothing in this life is permanent and that this life is to prepare us for more. So no matter what is happening to us, we can rest assured it will serve us well, it will strengthen us, carving away the negative and only leaving the best of us behind to shine... if we let it. To the military man or woman whose life is forever changed by an IED or, like my husband, a squadron football practice, know that your injury does not define you. Just as my children's special needs do not define them. And just as my children's limitations and impairments are tied to their bodies--their bodies that are not who they truly are--most things in life are temporal, tied to this world and we will be released from them on the other side, finding our loads lighter and ourselves stronger than we ever imagined possible.
But how do you make that transition from despairing to hoping? It's not an easy journey and mostly it is made by choice--one choice at a time, in each individual moment as we strive to reach our objectives. There is something that can help us change our mindset and allow us to choose hope. Nick states that we must: "Offer compassion when you need it. Be a friend when you need friendship. Give hope when you most need it." Changing your mindsets, reflecting on positives and thinking outside yourself, in those things miracles happen; you will be amazed with the hope, love, and beauty that surround you. "Be the change you wish to see in the world," isn't that what Ghandi said?
In short, this is what I walked away with after reading this brief overview of Nick Vujicic's writings: Choose to have hope. Choose to recognize that this life is a stepping stone and not a final destination. Choose to know that "God's arm is never too short. He can reach anyone." Add to everything else, the fact that Nick Vujicic is defying all odds, living a highly successful life after being born with no limbs and you can't help but walk away from this book inspired.
So I guess what I'm saying is: recommended.