Friday, 9 November 2012

Nick Vujicic goes out on a limb


Imagine being born without any arms… that would make simple things like cleaning your teeth pretty tricky. I broke my shoulder a couple of years ago and was amazed how difficult everything was with just my right arm out of action.

Now imagine being born without any arms or legs… Well that’s what happened to Nick Vujicic, who was born with a rare condition called tetra-amelia syndrome.

In place of his legs was a small foot with two toes, which allowed him to learn a number of key skills as he grew up, but early life was extremely tough for the young Australian.

Struggling to perform the mundane tasks most people do without a second thought, Nick was bullied mercilessly and became very depressed. In fact, he tells me in an interview for Sorted that he was so down as a child he became suicidal, and if it hadn't been for his parents’ deep love for him and his for them, he would have taken his own life at the age of ten.

How would he ever get a job? Or have a family? What was the point in going on?

But life certainly wasn't over for Nick; it turns out there were lots of reasons to keep going. Ever done a skydive? Nick has. Ever travelled to 44 countries to share your story with millions of people? Nick has. Ever set up your own company or written a series of books? The list of what Nick has achieved just goes on and on.

I first saw this guy on Russell Howard’s Good News. He appeared in the end section, when Russ picks his favourite good news story of the week and shares it with his viewers. In the clip he showed, Nick was speaking to a group of school kids. They were captivated and visibly moved by his courage and by his humour; it was pretty hard not to be.

What the Youtube clip (well worth a watch) didn't explain, though, was that it was Nick’s relationship with God that changed his early outlook and the way he lives his life. At the age of 13, he sprained his foot playing football and had to stay in bed for several weeks. It was at this point that he decided to focus on the things he had rather than the things he didn't have. He started to see life differently.

His parents were Christians, but Nick had always found it difficult to believe that a loving God could allow this to happen to him. He blamed God for his physical and emotional pain and couldn't accept that He could possibly have a plan for his life; everything was such a challenge.

It wasn't until he turned 15 that his heart towards God changed. He found himself saying: “Here I am God, use me. If you want to give me arms and legs, great. If not, use me anyway.” He felt God had lifted away the fear, sin and shame that had hung over him all his life and that he suddenly had fresh hope.

He discovered that he had a gift for motivational speaking and, while his physical condition is still problematic, he refuses to stop him doing the things he loves doing. “God is not the author of pain, but what the enemy tried to use for evil, God has used for good,” Nick explains.

He is now enjoying a fantastic career, feels he is living out the plan God has for him, and is about to have a baby with his beautiful wife. Thank goodness he didn't end his life as a child!

That’s not to say life has been a piece of cake for Nick.

He shared with me that he had been through a time of depression between 2007 and 2010 after a business venture fell through and he experienced a burnout. It reminded him that he can’t do everything in his own strength; that it is God’s strength that keeps him going. “We need to be carried by God,” he explains. “It’s about knowing Him.”

I ask him what he would say to people who make excuses in their own lives about the things they can and can’t do.

“Life is meant to be enjoyed; a lot of people rob themselves because of fear,” he concludes. 

“You don’t know what you can achieve until you try it. Fear disables people more than having no arms and no legs.”

Read the full interview in the next issue of Sorted magazine.

2 comments:

  1. Wow this is so inspiring!! Thank you for posting this. May I follow your blog??

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    1. Please do! So glad you enjoyed it, Nick is an amazing guy.

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