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Inspirational Stories: See Life

Hopeful choice as a woman holds a small yellow flower in her hand

This isn’t how it was supposed to be.

Pain, confusion, questions, and anger can all happen when our story is “interrupted” by things we don’t want. We can feel alone and abandoned even by God himself when we are surprised by pain. Yet, God has not abandoned you. God loves you deeply and completely. He sees you.

Regardless of what is happening in this chapter of your life, He knows His larger story for you. The truth is God created you with a purpose unique to you alone! He desires that you have a whole and meaningful life. That doesn’t mean that all the “problems” go away, but if we lean into the pain and look for His face, we may find that our “problem” is a gift.

Take a moment to breath. Let His love rest on you, and read some of these short inspirational stories. Perhaps you will see how God worked in other people’s lives amid challenging times. We pray their stories will inspire you. You are not alone. You are not forgotten.

Story to Inspire: Unplanned Pregnancy

Terror turned into mission to help others embrace grace.

When I was 19, I was pregnant and unmarried.

The shame and guilt that I felt were crippling. Growing up in church, I knew to save sex until marriage, but I still messed up. My boyfriend and I loved each other so much, but we had begun looking to each other for validation instead of to God.

I believed abortion was wrong. Even as a child, I would prayerfully march outside abortion clinics with my family. If anyone ever asked me about that topic, I would adamantly say that I could not understand why someone would make a choice like that. But when I found out I was pregnant, fear took the wheel and being brave was the last thing on my mind. I convinced myself that an abortion would be the easy way out.

Every baby is planned. It may be unplanned by the mom, but it is not unplanned by God.

I came within moments of having an abortion, having made it as far as being in a medical gown and sitting on the cold table. While the nurses described how they would perform the abortion and what was about to happen, I had an anxiety attack, hyperventilated and passed out.

Then, as the nurses were fanning me, one of them looked me in the eyes and said, “You’re too emotionally distraught to make this decision today. You’re not getting an abortion today.”

Inspiration: Overcoming Cerebral Palsy

No one thought he could be a doctor. A champion for kids.

Tyler’s extraordinary courage began when he entered preschool with braces on his legs and was pushing a walker. He proved to everyone that he could adapt and fit in with the more mobile kids, overcoming his Cerebral Palsy (CP). 

In fourth grade, Tyler participated in the President’s (Fitness) Challenge to prove any doubters wrong. Finishing a mile run was a physical and spiritual accomplishment. Tyler recalls that God answered his prayers, giving him the tenacity and strength to do the “impossible,” circling the school track four times.

That same year, the towheaded youth was assigned to give a speech. Tyler titled it “Why Me?” He spoke about having CP. “I wanted my listeners to learn to accept people who were different from them,” Tyler remembers how his story inspired his class. Yet sadly, from grade school to medical school, he was bullied. “Brutally,” he recalls. He endured 16 surgeries during that time. Defying the odds, he earned his driver’s license. Told he couldn’t scuba dive, he became a dive master.

Dr. Tyler Sexton and his wife, Laura, and their daughter, Harper Grace (photo by Jennie Tewell)

Life after college also had challenges. Upon graduating from the University of South Florida with a stellar GPA, he was told by a medical school dean, “On paper you look amazing, but I don’t think you’ll fit here.” The other U.S. medical schools he’d applied to also denied him admission. At one point the rejections seemed overwhelming; he grabbed hold of his assistance dog, Danny, and wept for half an hour. Yet his faith in God remained. “My belief in [Jesus] and faith in His Word has blessed me all of my life,” he says.

It was hard, but Tyler wouldn’t give up, believing in miracles. And his inspirational story did change. He eventually received his medical degree, specializing in pediatrics. He met his wife and went on to a prominent role in the hospital. Through all that, Dr. Tyler Sexton shares his story of faith with others and works to encourage them. He shares, “I stand in front of you as a man with cerebral palsy, not in shame, [but] because God took tragedy and turned it into triumph.”

Read more:

Inspiration Story: Armless but Capable

Daniel's parents were asked if they should "let him go."

The moment I was born, there was silence in the delivery room. Immediately, the doctor pivoted to my dad held me up and asked, “Do you want us to let him go?”

Without pause, my dad’s response was quick and clear. “Do whatever you can do to bring him back to life.” The doctor then rushed me into an adjoining room and immediately attempted to revive me. A couple of minutes later, he walked back into the delivery room with a kicking, crying, armless baby boy.

Fast forward 38 years, and a lot has happened in my life since that integral moment. I learned to eat, write, clothe myself and even use a computer – all with my feet. Trusted in Jesus as my Savior and Lord at age 15. Graduated high school with honors. Graduated college with a double major. Married my wife Heather and had two amazing kids. I am now entering into my twenty-second year of ministry.

Daniel Ritchie Profile

Across all these years, God has been remarkably kind to me; all of it started when my dad chose life for me. In saying yes to life, my dad was willingly embracing both the good and difficulties of raising a son with a disability.  His choice in that moment was one that was reflective of Godly and sacrificial love.

I have a deep passion for people to know how much God loves them. The world looks at people with special needs, and they see a life full of hindrances; They see a life not worth living. But what does Jesus see? He sees God’s power and purpose put on display.

Every single person is made in God’s image to reflect His glory and dominion through all the earth. God does not make any accidental image-bearers. There’s not a disability or birth defect that can tarnish that.