Sunday, April 17, 2011

God's Power Made Perfect In Weakness Pt. 4 - A Short Autobiography

In this post, I will give you all a small snapshot of my life.  Now, in order to gain a firm snapshot, I need to begin on the day I was born.  My birthday is officially July 8, 1989.  I am the firstborn to two amazing parents, the second grandchild on my dad's side, and the fourth on my mom's side.  My mom has juvenile onset diabetes, which is Type-1 diabetes.  She was told by the doctors that she would never be able to have kids.  God knew that and wanted to prove the doctors wrong.  And, that is exactly what happened.  I, Josh, came into the world.  God fashioned me in His perfect image to be able to prove the doctors wrong that my mom would never be able to have kids.  Isn't God so good?  Anyways, when I was born, I had a rather low amount of sugar in my blood.  Because of this, the doctor had to stick me with a needle in order for my glucose levels to rise.  There was only one problem.  The doctors could not find a vein anywhere, so they ended up sticking the needle in my head.  I don't really remember anything, which is probably a good thing or I would faint on the spot.  However, I was in the baby ICU for the first few days of my life for that and for having low muscle tone, which really is a diagnosis of weak muscles.  I am not weak nowadays.  But, my early years, as you shall soon see, proved to be rather difficult.    

Then, you would think I was a pretty normal baby, huh.......  My mom said I was an excellent baby especially when she was pregnant with my sister Rachel, since I hardly moved.  When you are diagnosed with low muscle tone, that is what happens.  Your muscles stiffen when you try to move and as a result you don't go very far.  So, I did not crawl until I think I was about a year, I did not start walking until I was nineteen months (my sister was five months at the time, so my mom had to carry the two of us), I was pretty much delayed in many facets compared to a normal baby.  So, I enrolled in preschool special education when I was two.  I would travel on a bus to RIO (Rehabilitation Institute of Orange) to learn with other special needs kids, which was rather impacting on my life.  I was involved in a physical therapy program in order to strengthen my muscles, because of my inability to learn motor skills at a young age.  I was practically helpless, but I continued to persevere and push myself toward many goals at a young age.  At five or six, I enrolled in kindergarten.  And, I will never forget what my kindergarten teacher told my parents as retold by my parents to me when I was ten.  My parents said that my kindergarten teacher told them that, I quote, "Josh would never be able to read, never be able to write, never be able to do anything worthwhile with his life, because he is in a state of mind all of his own."    

You know what.  When I first heard that, I was perplexed.  I really had no idea what to think or say, but I felt a burning sensation within me.  Really, I knew it was wrong.  I already knew how to read and write by ten.  My whole life was in front of me.  But, the quote made me all the more willing to continue to fight through my difficulties in proving to others that I can accomplish worthwhile goals through Him who gives me strength constantly.  However, one massive giant was in the way and is still in the way today.  

Have any of you ever seen the King's Speech?  Well, it was an R-movie until they knocked it down to a PG-13 rating for it's strong usage of language.  And, the only reason why I was able to see it was because my grandparents knew when the bad language was coming, so I could plug my ears when they uttered their particular profanities.  Other than the profanities though, it was an impressing tear-jerker (they could have easily made it a PG-movie in my opinion).  Anyways, the gist of the movie is that the King of England, King George IV, has a speech impediment.  This King gains the throne through odd circumstances.  And, the duties of the throne entail many speaking engagements.  So, at one point in the movie, George is so fed up with his impediment that he nearly quits, which would have left England in a horrifying predicament since the Germans, in WW2, were closing in on English soil.  However, with the help of his speech therapist, King George magnificently delivers a remarkable speech to the masses as He rarely stutters throughout the speech, and he, with Winston Churchill, helps England prevail through the devastation of WW2.  Now, what is my point in this story you may ask?  King George and I have the same weakness like Moses, maybe like Paul, and many others before me.  I have a speech impediment as well.  

Now, if I go back to the movie for one moment, the only reason why I call it a tear-jerker is because I knew exactly what he was going through throughout the whole movie.  And usually, I never cry during movies, but I did in this one.  When you experience pain, emotion, suffering, and heartache in the exact same ways like some other person, you can relate to them.  I clearly related to King George in this movie.  I was/am the main character in the movie.  Now, in reality with my history, my speech impediment took off in my teenage years.  When I was in public school, I use to go to speech therapy constantly, but I never really had much difficulty talking.  But, when the hormones kicked in, the rest is history.  I remember the days when kids use to make fun of me, because I never seemed to get the words out.  But, what can you do?  Continue to persevere, continue to fight, continue to battle, continue to struggle.....  That is life.  Life is full of trials and tribulations.  I have a speech impediment.  Who cares?  If you are going to sit down and throw a pity party because you are in a horrid situation, you are only making matters worse.  The best thing to do is to fight through it.  Of course, I get discouraged from time to time, but I try to continue to make my voice known even though it is not easy.  Satan wants me to fall back in fear.  And, he has a lot of ammo, which seems to get me most of the time.  

But, I am learning that God's perfect love casts out all fear. I do not need to fear any longer, because my fear was taken care of at the cross.  Christ carried my fear to great lengths in order to reveal His perfecting love to me as a sinner.  I NEED HIM!!!!  I cannot live without Him.  What He did for me makes my speech impediment look like dust?  So, because of what Christ has done, I will fight.  I will never give up.  Some may say I will never be anything.  Others will stereotype me as a class of my own.  But, does it really matter what people think in the long run?  No, because what really matters is Jesus Christ and proclaiming His name to the nations.  If I proclaim His name with difficulty, so be it.  However, I will strive with all my might to speak as best I can, because I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  It has not been easy and will never be easy.  But, God is with me always.

Sola Deo Gloria!!!!!



Debbiehere said...

Josh, I speak for your name sake & VERY proud Uncle Mark & myself. We were there the day you were born. Your Mom couldn't follow you around, so I put on my lab coat (it helps to work in medicine ;) and I followed you around - reporting back in to your parents.

From that day on we knew God had great things planned for you; you will never be a king, but you are the son of The King! (Sorry Jeff, come down off the throne *lol* ;)

We've had the great privilege to watch you grow as a heavenly Prince - an amazing example of an ambassador for Christ (a far better role than a mere king). God has used you - ALL of you (even your frustrating speech impediment) to plant seeds of faith and to exemplify a solid immovable force for God!

He is being made strong in your weakness indeed. I only hope and strive to say the same!

With all our love!!! <>< (Proverbs 16:9 "People may make plans in their minds, but the Lord decides what they will do."

Oh, and as for those, "Some may say I will never be anything." that are out there - they CLEARLY don't know you & the mighty God that you serve!!! Shalom!

Grant said...

Amazing story! It was very good. I'll be looking forward to your next post.


Anonymous said...

"Josh would never be able to read, never be able to write, never be able to do anything worthwhile with his life..."

That teacher obviously didn't figure God into the picture! :) Soli Deo Gloria! Great post, Josh!

P.S. Just so you know, I'd love to participate in your contest, but I've never listened to any of Tomlin's music. I wouldn't even know where to begin with the lyrics. :)

wendyworn said...

You are very eloquent my friend. Thank you for sharing your testimony!

Blessings in Christ!

Toyin O. said...

Wow, what an amazing young man you are. The fact you know that you need Jesus is the key to the amazing path I don't doubt God has for your life. You sound like an overcomer, keep doing what God has called and enpowered you to do:)

Josh said...

Thank you for this brutally honest, and vulnerable insight into your personal story of how God uses difficulties to show Himself strong.

God is teaching me to surrender and trust in Him even through my own "weaknesses"... I just read "These Strange Ashes" by Elisabeth Elliott and it is so inspiring to see God work through hardships, seemingly impossible circumstances, and human weakness. If you haven't read this book yet I would encourage you to do so!

Praying for you brother and can't wait to hear the rest of your story.

{Far From Perfect} said...

Amen and Amen and Amen! What an incredible God we serve!!!! Thank you for serving this brother. What an amazing testimony! Can't wait to read the next part.. keep serving our Lord.

Lauren Nicole said...

God is so mighty!! I cannot wait to read more. Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

In Christ,

Lilac Bud Gal said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, Josh. It is difficult to sometimes share these things, but I was so encouraged by this post, that I am glad you did!
God is SO awesome and powerful. thank you for reminding me of His wonderful power, Mercy, and goodness!

In Christ's service,

Israel Sanchez said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story, or part of it. God delights in doing things when people deem them "impossible." What an awesome God we serve!