I stared at the television trying to process what an announcer had said about the contestant on a television talent show―two things that didn’t compute.
Mandy Harvey was going to sing, and she was deaf.
She stood on stage with bare feet and delivered her song in perfect pitch. She sang barefooted so she could feel the drumbeat.
It seemed impossible but there it was. She went all the way to fourth place in the competition.
Wayne Connell, the founder of Invisible Disabilities, said in an NPR interview, “We’ve created an idea of how people are supposed to look when they’re broken, and so when you don’t fit that imaginary mold, then it’s a trick, or you’re a liar―or you’re not really broken, so you shouldn’t be doing certain things.”
Mandy Harvey ignored conventional wisdom and went for it.
Then there’s Victoria Arlen who came back from a four-year vegetative state to become a Paralympics athlete, sports commentator, and celebrity dancer on “Dancing with the Stars” this fall.
She can’t feel her legs.
I’m not sure she even knows how she’s doing what she does. In an E! News interview she said, “I’m feeling good. It’s definitely a shocker to the body, but I can’t feel my legs. I can say that they’re sore, but I don’t really know if they’re sore.”
Again, hard to process.
In Discerning the Voice of God, Priscilla Shirer writes, “. . . God’s plans are frequently different from our own. His plans do not placate our low standards or personal expectations. His agenda far exceeds our tiny, myopic, narrow perspectives, requiring things of us that His Spirit must strengthen us to accomplish. Carrying the cross He gives us requires a grit and tenacity we may not have intended to exercise.”
This means that the usual excuses, which we have tried to appease ourselves with in the past are not going to fly―too afraid, not enough money, not enough talent, don’t have the time, too hard, takes too long.
Enough already. If one young woman can sing without hearing and another one dance without feeling her legs, with God’s spirit empowering us, we can do whatever He asks us to do. I’m sounding all-bold right now, but the truth is, that first excuse about being afraid is the one that haunts me. I feel as if I live constantly challenged with my own version of impossible with the blank page or blank canvas almost seeming mocking at times. In fact, before I started oil painting, I had a blank canvas that actually became mildewed before I ever attempted to put anything on it. What may seem easy to others is actually so very hard to me and something I can only do with God’s empowerment. I remind myself, “For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke1:37).
After I finished writing today’s post, I came across this quote from Richard and Henry Blackaby in our Discerning the Voice of God study, “Human reasoning instructs you to know your limitations and live within them. God says he will do the impossible through you.”
And there you have it.
So, if you need inspiration to face your version of impossible, watch the videos below.
You’re going to need tissues.
Mandy Harvey (click on blog title to go to site if video will not load).
And HERE you see the reason behind her overcoming life as she sings "It Is Well."
Victoria Arlen HERE in Dancing with the Stars debut.
And HERE is an interview with Victoria on James Robison. She, too, is a woman of faith.