Most people assume that because I have a disability called cerebral palsy, I always pray for my healing. 

This is partly true. Being disabled has its challenges. It takes me longer to do simple things like eating or getting ready for the day. Sometimes my parents talk with each other while they are helping me, which slows down the progress. Not that I’m against them talking. It’s good for their marriage and even for their small business, but there are some nights when I feel exhausted or have to go to the bathroom so bad that it’s hard to wait. I think God’s teaching me patience in times like this, but I’d like to hurry up and learn this lesson already. 

Despite my prayers, I’m still disabled. But I’ve actually already experienced a lot of healing in my life. My mother tells this story about when I was born. Apparently, I experienced trauma at birth, was without oxygen for a couple of minutes, and became very sick. A call went out to my parents’ church, asking everyone to pray for my life. Everybody was praying, especially my mother. She finally gave me up to God, asking him for his will to be done. After about a month in the hospital, God answered their prayer for me to live. It was a miracle! However, my mom started to notice that I wasn’t developing motor skills like “normal’’ babies would, so she took me to see the doctor again. This is where they learned that I had something called cerebral palsy. 

Despite my prayers, I’m still disabled. But I’ve actually already experienced a lot of healing in my life.

Now I pray for my own healing too. However, I believe that God has healed me in different ways. For example, little by little, he is healing my speech by helping it develop and grow stronger. God has blessed me with technology called a communication device—although it has a very robotic voice, so it can be tricky to understand if you’re not used to it. But some people tell me that they can understand everything that I say without any help. I have found that most people can understand me if they stop and listen carefully. 

I would love it if God decided to instantly heal my body. But honestly, there are times when I don’t want to be healed. I’m comfortable in a wheelchair because it’s all I’ve ever known. I know God could heal me now if he desires to, and I’m looking forward to being completely healed in heaven. Still, it would be very different from the life I’ve come to know and it scares me sometimes. I don’t know why. It just does. 

Even though I have a disability, I pray for different things besides my healing. I’m praying for the world to experience God’s deep and rich love, and for his followers to be an example of love and peace. I’m also praying that God will make himself real to everybody, so that they will understand and accept his gift of grace. Of course I’m also praying for God to grant me my wish of having a boyfriend and eventually a husband some day. 

I trust that God knows everything that is going to happen and that I’m in his strong hands so nothing can harm me. I believe in the power of prayer, that there’s nothing God cannot do. After all, the children’s song says, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” This includes my body, my family, my friends, and his church around the world.

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About the Author

Olivia Eder

Olivia Eder lives in Waterloo, ON with her family. She was born with a disability called cerebral palsy. Olivia currently writes blogs for university students on different themes and works at Kidsability, after graduating from Heritage College and Seminary.

She also gives some of her time mentoring a high school student who lives with the same disability. Olivia enjoys giving presentations to her former elementary school educating students about disabilities and how to treat people with disabilities. In her spare time she reads, sings, travels, swims and spends time with family and friends.

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