Strong Words from a Brittle Boy

Last night, I was cuddled up, under my blanket, with my head on the arm of the couch in Lyme Flare-Up mode, feeling sorry for myself. I’d spent the last few hours, freezing my butt off at the kids’ Flag Football game. As I sat there, I focused on the pain radiating up and down my body and started to sulk. I flipped through the TV channels and landed on Little Big Shots, where 12-year-old Sparsh Shah very quickly put me in my place.  Sparsh is an amazing young man, who was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta. (He was born with more than 30 broken bones.) He tells Harvey he’s had more than 125 bone fractures throughout his life, “I have a fracture right now,” he says. When Harvey asks “Then why are you here?” Sparsh says loudly and proudly, “I want to inspire the world.”

Wow, this 12-year-old blew me away. “Why waste your life in sadness, when you can enjoy a life of happiness,” he says when Steve Harvey asked him how he was doing. Really? This child is wheelchair bound, suffering from a debilitating disease and he can have that kind of attitude? Didn’t I feel ashamed?! Here I am throwing myself a pity party because I’m having a Lyme flare-up and my body is achy from watching my healthy, happy kids play sports. Whoa is me.

This past week, I’ve spoken with two different women that are just now starting their own Lyme journey (technically one has been suffering for years, but is now ready to take the bull by the horns and become her own advocate). As I listened to these stories, it reminded me of how far I have come. Yes, Lyme is still and probably always will be a part of my life. But it doesn’t have the same control over my life that it used to. I’m once again, a contributing part of my family. Just today, I’ve done three loads of laundry and cooked dinner – that’s quite an accomplishment for the old-Lisa. I’m still trying to walk that fine line between being productive and active, without over-doing it. Sometimes I’m more successful than others…. but it’s a work in progress.

I find myself looking up all of the local 5K races and actually consider signing up for one, but typically I chicken out at the last minute when it comes time to click the SUBMIT button. I fear that when I finally do sign up for one, I’ll wind up having a Lyme flare up on race day and end up being stuck in bed, instead of crossing the finish line. But I’m close. I’m considering it. Three years ago, I couldn’t say that.

But what would Sparsh say? I don’t think that boy has a fearful bone in his body. And if he did, it’s probably broken and he’s ignoring it 🙂 So, maybe it’s time for all of us to step out of our comfort zone and take that leap of faith. Sign up for that race, without fear of the being able to finish. Stop letting life pass us by, while we watch others live.

Maybe I really was born for a time such as this . . .  as my favorite bible verse quotes. In Mark 4:40 Jesus says one word – SILENCE. And the stormy sea calms and the whirling wind stops.  He asks the disciples, “Why are you so afraid? He asked. “Do you still have no faith?” 

I say I have faith . . . . but do I really? The key is to step out of the boat,  just like Peter did, but not make the same mistake he did – not take our eyes off Jesus. If we all stay focused on HIM, we can accomplish any task, no matter how big or small. So, what’s stopping you? I dare you to be like Sparsh . . . find joy in your current situation and go out and inspire the world! 

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