Tuesday, April 4, 2017

#weread2017: Everything Is Possible

Friends, today I get to tell you about an incredible book. I know I say that a lot, but Jen Bricker's story is incredible! In Everything Is Possible: Finding the Faith and Courage to Follow Your Dreams,  I was challenged and encouraged by Jen's amazing story. Jen was born to Romanian parents, and as you can see from the cover, she was born without legs. Her parents didn't know how they would raise her within a culture that was very harsh to children who were not "normal," so they made the difficult decision to make her eligible for adoption. Jen was adopted by a loving Christian family within the same state of Illinois shortly after birth, and that's where her story changed forever.

Jen describes a childhood in which she didn't really know she was "different." She pushed herself and challenged herself to do everything she could, even when others thought she couldn't. It was incredible to read about how she played all the sports, rollerbladed, and was an accomplished gymnast! Even though people were skeptical of her ability, she never saw herself as someone with a disability. She just believed she had to try to do things a different way, and when she did, she inevitably succeeded just about every time. And now, she's an incredible world-renowned aerialist!

Jen writes, "I will never apologize for being who I am or doing what I love. Whenever you follow your passion, you can bet people will judge you, stand in your way, or make you feel bad about your choices. They will watch and wait for you to mess up so they can jump in and say, 'Told you so.' Or when something great happens, they will rain on your parade and try to make you feel unworthy...respond with love. There's no need to argue or prove anything. Instead, be kind, compassionate, and calming. It's possible to change hatred into love, negativity into positivity, envy into friendship. It all starts with understanding."

I was struck by Jen's honesty and her ability to have an unwavering faith and positivity in the midst of challenges, obstacles, and setbacks that would have caused most people to give up. She blew through barriers and was determined to do what she knew she could do, defying the odds and shocking people left and right. Reading Jen's story helped give me perspective about my attitude. Oftentimes I employ phrases like "I can't" and "I don't think I can do that" or "That's impossible." But Jen decided that the impossible was possible, and she watched it happen. I think we could all use a little more gumption in our attitudes, and it just might change the way we pursue our dreams and goals. 

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