According to the Miriam-Webster dictionary, sidelined is defined as: to put out of action or put on the sidelines
Life on the Sidelines
To be honest, I feel like I’ve spent most of my life sidelined. For as long as I can remember there has always been things that I just could not do attributed to having Muscular Dystrophy. I have spent countless hours of my life sitting on the “sidelines” just watching and for the most part feeling left out and not really knowing what to do with that. There was even a time I felt sidelined at church.
My family had been going to our church for a few years and although the Lord was putting it on our hearts that we needed to be serving, we were just not sure of what this looked like or how we could. See, at the time my husband had to push me around in a manual wheelchair when we weren’t at home due to not having a way to transport my power wheelchair, which we felt would make serving a lot more difficult. Thankfully, we eventually came across a lightweight power wheelchair that could actually be folded up and put into our trunk. It was perfect! Within a couple of months, we felt led to help serve on Easter in the children’s ministry. We were placed in a kindergarten room and here we are 3 years later not only continuing to love on these little ones as we teach them about Jesus but we are co-leading a high school group as well.
I’ve said many times that this world was just not built for me. There are still many situations and instances where I feel “sidelined” but I’m so thankful for a church that is not only fully wheelchair accessible but that it is also a place where I can serve alongside the people there. One of the biggest joys in my life is being able to volunteer with the children at our church with my husband and daughter. If I were to be honest, we never really saw ourselves in children’s ministry but God had other plans.
Possibilities not Impossibilities
In a world full of wheelchair inaccessibility and obstacles, it’s easy to get distracted and discouraged and to just focus on what you cannot do. It even feels easier at times to just give up. All these are things that I have struggled with and some I still continue to struggle with but I am encouraged by scriptures like Hebrews 12:1-3:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
I have learned that God can use ANYONE to fulfill His purpose. God uses me in spite of being in a wheelchair with physical limitations and God can use you too! When you think, things are impossible, He can make them possible.