Friday, April 30, 2010

How will you meet adversity?

I discovered this video on the blog Aimee, who was born without calf bones, had both legs amputated below the knee as an infant. In this talk, she reimagines adversity and disability and lifts up the power inherent in all of us.

She says, "Implicit in this idea of overcoming adversity is the idea that success or happiness is about emerging on the other side of a challenging experience unscathed or unmarked by the experience, as if my successes in life have come about from an ability to sidestep or circumnavigate the presumed pitfalls of a life with prosthetics or what other people perceive as my disability. But in fact, we are changed, we are marked, of course, by a challenge, whether physically, emotionally or both. And I'm going to suggest that this is a good thing."


  1. I think of adversity as an offering. An offering of hope. Like you.

    Reminds me of Romans 5:3-5
    We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

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  3. Pig Woman, I've never thought of the adversity itself as something to embrace, but rather to be ready to be gobsmacked (or God-smacked) by the transformations adversity brings. For me, it's about rejecting the very American idea that we should be able to avoid pain or, failing that, we should be able to duck and weave to remain unchanged by pain. Somehow we've come to equate victory with being unmarked. I don't think this means rolling over. If I was going to do that, I'd give up on the diet changes, the meds, the exercise and just let the arthritis run it's course. But it means looking this disease in the eyes unflinchingly, accepting what I can't control (trusting that God's on it!), and finding God's fingerprints in the ways it is changing me. Of course, all of this is easier said than done, a work in progress.

    I'm going to post the weekly reflection I write for the parish e-letter. I think it has some relevance to this conversation. See what you think . . .

  4. Fight on sisters! Whether fighting EVIL by the very hand of GOD or hanging on for dear life on a steep trail, FIGHT on!