Have Faith. Stroll In Faith. Walk in Faith.

In Just My Bellybutton, Opinion by Nathasha Alvarez

Warning. This article might trigger you into thinking outside of your norm. I had to say that because we have now entered a new world where anything and everything will upset someone. I have brittle bones and many people with my disease have slept on these egg crate shape foam mattresses to avoid fracturing while in bed. But now I feel as if we all have to walk around or roll around on egg shells. We must be careful to not crack any eggs. Did you see the egg connection there? *shrugged* I tried.

So what is it? What am I going to say that will upset someone while reading this article? Who knows? I guess we will have to read on to see what happens.

Many disabled people, not ALL, but many will rant on social media about non disabled people asking to pray for them or tell the disabled person that they will keep them in their prayers. The disabled people feel insulted, offended, upset, and every other emotion out there. To be honest, the only time that it has ever bothered me is when the non disabled person touches me without my consent to pray for me wherever we are at the moment. Sometimes it’s the middle of the mall. I can’t be praying when I am out scouring a good sale.

However, if someone approaches me with a smile and tells me they will pray for me, I will warmly smile back and say thank you. Really? What can it hurt? I’ve never heard anyone blame prayer on a tragic tale.

You Gotta Have Faith

I believe in God. I might not believe in your God. I might not believe in their God. But I believe in a higher being. That’s how I feel. I expect others to respect that. So why do so many disabled people get upset about when people discuss God or praying? Some people feel that if there was a God, they wouldn’t be disabled. Hmmm…maybe. I can’t say they are right or wrong because…guess what? I am not God. Some people have faith that they are disabled for a reason. Guess what? Maybe. We don’t know that for sure either.

We all have to deal with our faith or our lack of faith in a God. It’s a personal decision. For the record, I am not religious. I am a Christian, but I am not into confessing to another human about my sins. There are some other rituals and traditions that I steer away from too. My faith is in knowing that there is something more powerful than us mere mortals. I believe that we are all here for a purpose. And I believe we should respect each other’s thoughts on this topic. The late singer, George Michael might not be the best role model for God fearing/worshipping people but hey, he did say you gotta have faith. And I do.

Claudia and Her Relationship with God

One of my favorite people in the world and best example of having faith in God is Claudia Leal. We met face to face at an OIF conference in Nebraska many moons ago. Claudia is one of the sweetest people I know. We met online in one of those group chats and decided to share a hotel room with two other women who had Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Sofia Moore and Tess Tubbs.

That night, we spoke about everything under the sun. When we wandered into the topic of love, Claudia said that she prayed that God would find the right husband for her. I loved it. She had such faith back then. I’d never heard anyone say that except in those sappy romance movies.

She is an excellent example of being Christ like. Claudia led her life by the faith of God. While I am not a fan of the church, Claudia strolled by her faith and is an active member of her church. I speak comfortably about Claudia and her faith because I’ve never seen her behave like those people who criticize, insult, and lead a less than Christian like life. I think that those type of people are the reason so many of us are turned off about God and religion. Be like Claudia. Have faith and practice what you preach.

Years later, she found her love. Fernando Leal became her husband. Claudia’s prayers were answered. A few years later, they had a son, Fernandito. Claudia’s life is full. She credits her grateful life for her faith in God.

Believe in Something Bigger Than You

While I am not always thrilled with religious fanatics who can ignore personal boundaries either in politics, the mall, work, or in family gatherings, I do appreciate and respect people like Claudia who lives her disabled life with the strength in her faith not the spotlight in her disability. At the time of this publication, I have yet to see Claudia use her disability to expound her achievements in every day life. Her hashtags aren’t to spotlight her disability, they are to spotlight her interests, her life, and her love for family, country, and God.

Having a disability like ours requires us to have an inner strength that must be fueled on a daily basis. Some of us declare it is our loving family, friends, support group that give us that inner strength. Some of us give credit to our faith in something higher that guides us, strengthens us, and connects us to the right people.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. If someone wants to pray for you, why not? Have you looked outside? It’s not as if society is throwing out the welcome mat and opening doors of acceptance.

What’s your stand on faith in God? Do you have it? Did you lose it? What’s your story?

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