If I could choose to wake up tomorrow and not be disabled- would I?
It seems like such a dumb question with such an obvious answer. How could the answer be anything but "yes", right?
This is a question I've thought about for hours. And I go back and forth between yes and no. And here's why:
We'll start with why I would say "Yes":
If I were to sum up my feelings about being disabled in one word it'd be frustrating. It's frustrating to always have to adapt and find a unique way to accomplish a goal/task. It's frustrating that it takes me 3x longer to accomplish something than it does for everyone else. It's frustrating to know that whenever I'm out in public, kids (and people in general) are staring at me. It's frustrating that my body will randomly hurt for no reason at all and then be completely fine after a couple of days. It's frustrating to always have to think about whether a place/building is handicap accessible when I go out. It's frustrating to live in a society that is so focused on superficial beauty, and how you look on the outside (especially if you're a girl); and have a body that doesn't even slightly come close to fitting in with the world's definition. The list goes on and on...
There is not one single day where I don't at one point think to myself, "If I wasn't handicap- this situation I'm in right now would be so much easier!" Even small things like getting the mail, checking out a book from the library, wanting to reach something up high, etc. Being disabled effects EVERY ASPECT of my life in one way or another.
However, here's why I might say "No":
First and foremost, I believe- no I KNOW (thanks to my Patriarchal Blessing)- that there is a divine purpose to why I am disabled. I know that this is Heavenly Father's will for my life. If it wasn't His will, I wouldn't be disabled. Simple as that.
Being disabled has also given me, and others, many blessings throughout my life. It has helped strengthen my testimony of the gospel more than any other part of my life has. It has made me more spiritually inclined and in tune. It's made my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior deeper and stronger.
Being disabled has made me who I am (however it does NOT define me as a person. There's a big difference, I promise.). And while I have my many flaws and aspects I don't like about myself- on the whole I do like the person I am today. I am more compassionate and empathetic than I otherwise would be. I am able to adapt to situations/circumstances. I have learned how to not let hardships be an excuse for not being successful in life. Instead I've learned how to overcome hardships and make me a stronger person. I've learned how to not measure my self-worth by my outside appearance and the world's definition of beauty (remember above in the "yes" section).
Those are some pretty amazing blessings I'd have missed out on if I wasn't disabled huh?
So here's the short-ish answer to my really long explanation:
Ultimately, yes I would choose to take away my disability and wake up tomorrow in a normal body. The chance to live a life without all the added struggles and frustrations of being disabled sounds absolutely fantastic! HOWEVER, (and this is really important) I wouldn't be any more happy in life if that were to happen than I am right now- disability and all.
Don't get me wrong- I'd be deliriously ecstatic if I were to wake up tomorrow in a normal body. But overall in my life- I'd be just as happy with a normal body as I am now with my disabled body. Because although life is really frustrating and hard; it's also fantastically good too.
To just name a few reasons: My disability could be so much worse, and I'm blessed with all the abilities I do have- and how independent I actually am. I am in good health (I could be suffering from a life-threatening disease). I have an amazing family that love and support me in all I do. I have wonderful friends who accept me just the way I am. I have clothes on my back- and in a closet! I have food in my stomach- and in the pantry/fridge! I have a roof over my head that feels like home. I have an education, and a degree to go along with it! I have a car that gives me independence. I have good finances. I think you get the point... I have so much to be grateful for in my life.
However, most importantly than all of that is I have a strong testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Which teaches me that I will someday receive a perfected body- and THAT body is mine for eternity. Knowing that makes it slightly easier to be patient in this life with my disabled body. The gospel also teaches me that while I am waiting, I have a Savior who knows exactly what I am experiencing and how I feel. And He is there comforting and blessing me every step of the way.
*Here's a link to another, much shorter, post I did on my body awhile ago: My Body. Enjoy!