Birthday Love, Fun and Surprises

This morning Facebook reminded me of a memory – my 21st birthday party! Turning 21 was probably one of my favourite birthdays! It was so much fun with multiple celebrations and surprises! On the morning of my birthday I was home for present opening with family – I even got a jacaranda tree from my sister (such a beautiful tree). Next I headed down to uni for classes; it was really nice getting happy birthdays as I went through the day. With classes finished for the day I was looking forward to dinner with family and excitement was building for my party on the weekend. But there were going to be a few surprises before the weekend. Firstly, a bunch of us were just hanging out in our lounge room; then gradually more joined us (I didn’t think much of it as it was just nice to catch up with everyone) but it hit me when my old house mates turned up and a cake was brought out and everyone sang happy birthday, they had purposely gathered to surprise me for my birthday. Such a happy memory. For the second surprise I remember asking some of my friends if they wanted to join us for dinner as they are practically a second family to me but alas they couldn’t. I was a bit disappointed but it had been such an awesome day so far and I didn’t give it much thought. I got ready to go out for dinner and headed off with my family to the pub that had been chosen. Upon arrival there was a table full of friends – the very ones who said they were busy, were now celebrating with me – they had gotten me again!

The party on the weekend was just like heaps of icing on a very large cake. I got to wear a pretty dress, go barefoot and be surrounded by people I love so much!

I loved turning 21 so much with all its surprises that I have mentioned on numerous occasions ‘I really love surprises you can do that again’. So this year to top off a beautiful day of a pretty dress, presents, sweet messages, cuddling puppies, enjoying the sunshine, afternoon tea with my brother and dancing, some friends surprised me by coming for dessert. It was so good!

Jeremiah 31:13 “Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.”

I guess this blog post is to remind you how truly loved you are, that you matter to so many people and to embrace the excitement of every day not just on your birthday.

Love you lots!


6 Tips to Relax the Grip of Fear and Anxiety

A common comment I receive when I share my story to a live audience is “I could never do that” to which I reply “I have changed a lot”. Sure I still get nervous, but I am motived to encourage people in whatever storms they face in life. The old me would have never accepted an invitation to speak. When I had to complete oral presentations at both High School and University I would be counting down the seconds until it was over. So I would like to share 6 tips that have helped me to relax the grip of fear and anxiety.

Bite size pieces: I had a lot of built up struggles: self – hatred; crippling fear and anxiety; emotional baggage from past traumatic experiences; a struggle to find happiness; grief; and the list goes on. It was very overwhelming as I looked at all the walls in my life. By focusing on one or two at a time those walls that seemed impossible now appeared shakeable. As an additional note, sometimes I have to revisit something or explore a new layer, much like an archaeologist.

Identify your triggers: In 2016 when I hit rock bottom (suicidal thoughts) it was because I hated myself and desperately wanted to be someone else; but a thought occurred to me in the midst of the turmoil ‘I would always be me’, so I figured I had better start liking me. Lack of self –love was a trigger for me so I began to take small steps in being more loving towards myself, of seeing myself more as how Jesus saw me.

Put strategies in place: My counsellor suggested one session that I write down every fear that I have. It was a long list as I was practically afraid of everything. The key themes in the list were powerless, vulnerable and trapped. Then we worked through that list, and giving me strategies to cope, targeting those three themes so I don’t feel so afraid.

Outside help can give a different perspective: Truth be told I wasn’t thrilled about having to use a counsellor, I guess I went and saw one because my family was really worried. The insights and strategies were helpful. I spoke to my counsellor via phone so I had no excuses and I liked the convenience. I am in a much healthier place now that I don’t need to have counselling, but it was really important while I worked through some really challenging stuff and I can always go back to my counsellor if need be.

Have a holistic approach to health: Our health is interconnected i.e. physical, mental and emotional health etc. I have found that improving behaviours in all areas has really helped reduce my anxiety and fears and increased my ability to cope.

My not so secret ingredient…: Is Jesus, in my own journey it has been Jesus who has helped me break the strangulating grip of fear and anxiety in my life. He fought beside me with power, strength, patience and love.

Please notice that the title of this blog post is NOT, ‘6 tips to have no fear or anxiety’ that is unrealistic; everyone struggles with fear and anxiety to some degree. I wrote this to share what has worked for me as a starting point to discovering what works for you. Everyone is different and as such have different journeys. I still struggle with fear and anxiety but I am continuing to learn how to live free, despite its presence in my life.

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Love to you!


6 Things I Am Trying to Remember in My Unemployment Journey

I am sorry I haven’t blogged lately but truthfully, I didn’t feel I could encourage you in what I am going through because I have felt so discouraged lately. Sure one minute I can be hopeful and happy the next, well, in tears.

An update on my individual employment agency journey:

At the end of both appointments to date I have ended up in tears. Yep tears. And not happy tears mind you. But of great disappointment. I thought heading to an employment agency for help would be the answer to my unemployment struggle. Instead I am finding out what it truly means to never give up. The experience so far has made me start addressing some old wounds. Here are 6 things I am trying to remember over these past few weeks:

You are not the same person you once were: Your past doesn’t need to become your future. That girl who struggled to apply for jobs because she thought she wasn’t good enough. You are not her anymore. You are a different person free to make different choices.

Your worth is not attached to a job: You don’t need a job for worth. There are plenty of reasons to have a job but your worth as a person should not be one of them.

The employment agency is simply an avenue not the only solution: Being unemployed really hurts; I want to contribute to society by working like everyone else, plus earning would help me achieve some goals perhaps faster. I am learning that it is a partnership between myself and the employment agency. Which means they will advocate for me when they have time (there are many people in the same boat as me) and I continue applying for jobs.

Remember all the things you have achieved: Many times in my life the odds have been stacked against me but that didn’t stop me from achieving. Reminding myself of this helps me to remain hopeful and know I can continue achieving.

This is but a season in my life: Just like every other difficult season in my life when I felt like it wouldn’t end. Each season eventually had a finish time. Even though it is hard to believe that in this moment, it has been proven true many times before.

A different mindset: Going into this round of applying for jobs I have embraced a different mindset. I see the fun in applying to various places, choosing to hold on lightly to the position, deciding to give it a go because if I am not in the mix they can’t pick me and keep moving forward. When I have rough days I remember the new mindset I have adopted.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Love to you!


Little Miss Perfectionist

I have always been a perfectionist. It has been how I approached life from a very young age. Due to Cerebral Palsy I knew as a little girl I was not perfect physically and would get very frustrated when my body wouldn’t cooperate with what I wanted to do. All in an effort of having a semblance of normal life. The more I tried to involve myself and came up short, my anger and resentment grew for a disability I couldn’t ditch, although I tried. The worst was sport, or any athletic ability for that matter, including my favourites of dance and swimming. My family is sporty, or at least my Dad’s side is, and I too badly wanted to be.

That’s where the origin of my perfectionist comes from. Of wanting to fit in. Of wanting to be loved and accepted. Of wanting to be admired for an achievement, an accomplishment.

As I got a little older I approached schooling in the same way, never being truly satisfied. Perfectionism ruled my relationships with my family and friends. I had to be the perfect friend, sister, daughter, etc.

In my head I knew no one was perfect, but in my heart I was urging myself to be more. It is a place of immense pressure and anxiety. Sure that one wrong move would be catastrophic in the stakes of love and acceptance. I was my own worst critic with expectations just out of my reach. I did not expect others to live like this (I would still love them regardless) but I could not say the same for myself.

Fast forward to 2016 when I hit rock bottom and deliberately chose to tentatively start loving myself. Then July 18th 2016, the night I finally knew in my heart that Jesus truly loved me, just as I am. It was like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I felt incredible joy and peace, but mostly I felt free. That freedom flowed into every part of me and out into the areas of my life. Then in the past few months I found out for myself that I am NOT a burden to my family and friends.

These moments had amazing effects. For the first time I felt I could relax in so many different ways – I no longer get to the same level of anxiety over parties and I love myself more than I could have imagined. It reduced my perfectionist trait by addressing the source. It also had added bonuses of reduced anxiety, more happiness and more confidence.

Jeremiah 17:7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”

Yet when I was preparing to share part of my story recently, I really struggled with my talk needing to be perfect. It caused a lot of anxiety because I felt I had to live up to the response of the previous times I have shared. As I was traveling in the car on Friday, due to speak on Sunday, I realised (light bulb moment) that each time I had shared previously something (or multiple things) had not gone according to how I prepared. Like when the chair I sat on to share my story was so slippery I had to keep readjusting, all the while wondering whether I would finish sharing on the floor! It was a huge relief for me when I didn’t; but also knowing that God had it covered. You see Jesus and I prepare together, present together and then the rest is up to Him. I can’t control everything. I can have plans and contingencies but we are human after all.

Speaking on February 4th went well although not perfect (surprise, surprise). I used a microphone on a stand for the first time which was freaky as I usually have a microphone attached to me and the hosts either forgot or didn’t feel it necessary to do a sound check – moral of the story everyone has different views of how things should be done, just be flexible.

So I guess this week is a story of how my perfectionist character trait has over time lessened to be just one part of me, not an all-consuming focus. I want to encourage you to never give up on yourself in the areas you struggle, progress can happen little by little.




Move Forward Not Backwards

Due to Cerebral Palsy I struggle to walk backwards it is a lot easier to move forwards. Yet in life, figuratively speaking, I can bolt in the opposite direction at a moment’s notice. But I don’t want to be who I once was: full of fear and anxiety, lacking confidence and, at times due to these things, afraid to try; because let’s be honest not many of us like to fail even though falling down is a natural part of life. I read on Instagram one day that it is not failure OR success, but that failure is part of success.

I am preparing to share part of my story for the first time this year. Although this time will be the fourth time I have shared, the anxiety and panic attacks have been coming in droves. Yes, my anxiety is pushing me down wanting me to not only walk but run in the opposite direction (ie not speak).

I know what life is like when you back down and away. It is lonely and unexciting. It happened when I was in High School, I was a shy teen lacking confidence being bullied from multiple adult sources. My parents fought for change for me because I wasn’t listened to, but the changes were too little too late. I shutdown and withdrew, I no longer competed/participated in anything (despite doing so in Primary School) with the exception of being a member of the debating team one year because I was bored with my life, and getting pushed (in my wheelchair) around the Cross Country course one year – I can’t remember the reason I chose to do so. Maybe friendship persuasion? But that was it. Despite the beautiful friendships I made that I still have today and the subjects I enjoyed learning (PE and Art were my favourite), I was all too glad to close that chapter of my life. But I walked away with regrets. Missed opportunities and missed moments to make happier memories. I have forgiven myself because those years were REALLY tough, but I vowed to myself that I would be different and that I could make different choices.

As they say each day is a new day. Ever since that decision, I have had to make the deliberate choice to be better than I was yesterday. Am I perfect? No way! Is it easier to be my old self? Absolutely! But despite really intense lows. The highs, the better me is always worth fighting for. I would like to encourage you with some tips that I have found helpful, as a starting point, to keep moving forward towards a better you and a better tomorrow every single day.

Support team: Never underestimate this! When I don’t feel like getting up again they are there giving me multiple reasons to keep at it. You know who you are; I love you!

Talk it out: If I bottle stress or worry etc. that is making me want to run backwards it generally gets worse. By talking about it I release it gaining calm and perspective.

Pray and meditate on scripture: This centres me. Giving me calming reassurance that Jesus is with me always.

Exercise: The benefits are numerous; for healthy body and mind.

Find enjoyment in every day: This has been a relatively new habit for me but life changing!

Be kind to yourself: Keep your progress in perspective. Yes it is true I am still not super confident but my levels of confidence have grown to levels I haven’t seen in years or, if truly honest, I have never seen before. Remember yelling at yourself doesn’t get you there any faster.

Dream: What does your better self look like? What does your better tomorrow look like? Don’t lose that dream. It will give you a sense of determination and hope.

Psalm 18:19 “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”



Some of my Favourite Chocolate Recipes

This week I have been wanting chocolate. I don’t have it that regularly due to the reactions it gives me because of Non –ulcer (functional) Dyspepsia. But occasionally I treat myself not; only because I enjoy it, but also because I am trying to have a healthier relationship with food which is no longer filled with anxiety, but balance. So I thought I would share some of my favourite chocolate recipes with you all.

The first recipe a friend told us about from

Chocolate Mousse in minutes

300g good quality dark chocolate (our family prefers milk chocolate), roughly chopped

3 eggs

1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar

1 tablespoon good – quality cocoa powder, sifted

300ml thickened cream, plus extra whipped cream to serve (if you wish, our family doesn’t usually have the extra)

Grated chocolate, to serve (optional)


  1. While the recipe calls for chocolate to be melted over a water bath we have found melting in the microwave works just as well
  2. Place eggs and sugar in a large bowl and beat with electric beaters for 5 minutes, or until mixture is pale, thick and doubled in volume. Fold in cooled chocolate and cocoa powder until combined
  3. In a separate bowl, whip cream until thickened, be careful not to over – beat. Use a large metal spoon to carefully fold the cream into the chocolate mixture, trying to keep the mixture as light as possible. Spoon into 6 serving glasses and chill in fridge for at least 1 hour. Remove from fridge 15 minutes before serving, then top with extra whipped cream and grated chocolate to serve

The second recipe I adapted from a cookbook by The Australian Women’s Weekly to suit my own tastes.

Mississippi mud cake                                                                                   

250g butter, chopped                                                                                    

150g milk eating chocolate, chopped coarsely                                    

2 cups (440g) caster sugar

1 cup (250ml) hot water

1/3 cup (80ml) milk

1 tablespoon Milo

1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour

1/4 cup (35g) self – raising flour

1/4 cup (25g) cocoa powder

2 eggs, beaten lightly

Chocolate ganache

1/2 cup (125ml) cream

200g milk eating chocolate, chopped coarsely


  1. Preheat oven to 160˚C/140˚C fan –forced. Line base and side of a deep 20cm – round cake pan with baking paper
  2. Combine butter, chocolate, sugar, water, milk and Milo in medium saucepan. Using wooden spoon, stir over low heat until chocolate melts
  3. Transfer mixture to large bowl; cool 15 minutes. Whisk in combined sifted flours and cocoa, then egg. Pour mixture into a prepared pan.
  4. Bake cake about 1 1/2 hours. Stand cake in pan 30 minutes before turning, top – side up, onto wire rack to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, make chocolate ganache; spread over top of cake
  6. While the recipe calls for a water bath, melting chocolate in microwave, then stirring in cream until smooth works just as well

We discovered the third chocolate delight at a Christmas shop opening; Mum is not sure if she found the recipe online or recreated it at home.

Chocolate balls

Your choice of favourite chocolate cake

1 tin condensed milk

100g butter

1 tablespoon cocoa

1 1/2 blocks milk eating chocolate (note: 1 block coats 22 balls)


  1. Crumble cake in medium bowl. In a separate bowl melt condensed milk and butter in microwave. Combine cake, melted condensed milk and butter and cocoa. Depending on size cake you may need more or less of the butter/cond milk mix as the mixture needs to be really moist
  2. Chill mix
  3. Roll into balls
  4. Chill balls and tray
  5. Melt chocolate
  6. Use teaspoon to roll balls in melted chocolate, cover tray in foil and place balls on tray. Chill coated balls and transfer to container

Psalm 107:8 -9 “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”

Invite your family and friends over and enjoy!



Don’t Lose Sight of Your Goal

The day I finished up my volunteer position in November last year I chatted to my supervisor about ways I could improve. After offering a few suggestions and encouragement she said “you are really just lacking opportunities”. I knew in that moment I had been building to [dramatic music please]…APPROACHING AN EMPLOYMENT AGENCY!

This is a huge step for me as it shows progress in acceptance, confidence and love of myself. As well as, to be honest, choking down my pride. My reasons for avoiding this avenue before was I didn’t want to be any more disabled and I wanted the satisfaction of knowing I could get a job by myself.

So I rang an employment agency I knew of only to be told I needed a referral from Centrelink. Undeterred I rang Centrelink to be told my paperwork would be reviewed and I would be rung with the outcome. Two weeks went by – no contact. I rang again wondering on the progress of the referral – “an urgent email to my local Centrelink office would be sent”. New Year’s came and went. Third time I called Centrelink an appointment with an employment agency was set up over the phone just like that.

When Mum (I am blessed that my parents are supportive with a unique blend of hopeful and realistic) and I attended the appointment, we were informed that it would take 3 – 6 months before they could start advocating for me because they needed to get to know me before they could do so. And then the right position and employer has to be found. I was frustratingly devastated to the point of tears today that it is going to take so long.

After some tears and talking out my frustrations and stresses (about many things) and praying about my attitude and current circumstances I felt some peace. Do you know what came to mind after I found peace again? Past accomplishments. Two really stood out for me.

  1. My surgeries and the road to recovery to a better quality of life
  2. Achieving my Bachelor’s Degree

Luke 12:24a “Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.”

The road to reaching each of these goals wasn’t easy, quick or with the best attitude at times. There were even times I didn’t think I would even get there; let alone thrive instead of just survive. As I walk (with a walking frame) along the beach (or anyway for that matter) and as I walked across the stage to accept my degree it is pure elation.

Do I forget the challenges I overcame for both accomplishments? No. Surprisingly, for me, the hardships make the achievement sweeter and filled with more gratitude. That is what I am holding onto – the moments I did achieve that goal, dream or hope. It carries with it hope and determination for my future hopes, dreams and goals.




Happy New Year

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. I had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s. Having more energy was definitely a big factor in enjoying the festive season but it was more than that for me. It was making memories; for instance we played cricket as a whole family and welcomed in the New Year with family friends, glow stick bracelets, sparklers and fireworks on TV. So different from last year (Turning Over a New Leaf)!

The festive season gave me hope and excitement for the New Year. This year I am not going to have a New Year’s resolution. Goals, yes. Resolution, no. Why? Because I allowed my last year’s resolution so called failure to define me as a person (when will I learn?!). That without achieving it my value as a person somehow went down in my own mind.

Resolution is defined as a ‘firm decision to do or not do something’; whereas goal is defined as ‘the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result’. A goal offers more flexibility whilst still being determined to achieve; that if you encounter obstacles in the process of achieving your goal you just revaluate, adjust and keep going. It offers a healthier mindset. I did not consider this when choosing my New Year’s resolution for 2017.

My 2017 resolution was, I wanted to learn how to drive. Everyone was super excited and supportive when I first announced this resolution, especially with the sense of freedom it would give me. The driving lessons went pretty well for the most part. I progressed from going round and round an oval to the open road. Despite this there was something glaringly obvious that I struggled to do that no amount of practice would improve. That was looking around corners. Kind of important I know. I had to hold my hand on the brake (hand controls) rather than the traditional foot on the brake; I don’t have enough leg strength to do so not to mention my ankles are fused which provides greater stability when walking but limits range of motion. Consequently I couldn’t pull myself forward in the driver’s seat to gain a better view and therefore make sounder driving decisions. Don’t worry I didn’t crash into anyone, but it scared me enough to not want to learn to drive anymore.

Interestingly when I gave it up the desire to drive was happily shelved although not given up entirely. For me this was new. When dreams haven’t worked out in the past, like when I wanted to be a midwife, I have struggled big time to let it go and not let it get me down. This time however, not so. What I wasn’t counting on though, were other people’s reactions to my not learning to drive anymore. They were so disappointed that many times it left a lag in the conversation; they couldn’t quite understand my reasoning. This only added fuel to my negative self –talk which in late 2017 I realised I needed to work on – thankfully I have noticed a change in myself.

When I first embarked on the decision to learn how to drive my Dad encouragingly said ‘just have a go’. Then my Mum recently reminded me I didn’t fail at learning how to drive, if you want to get all technical, I did actually learn how to drive (the barest of basics) but I did it. I drove the driving instructor around which he indicted for me.

I guess the moral of this story is:

a) You can get hung up on everything you can’t do (I never learned how to parallel park) and compare yourself to others (I do this constantly unfortunately)

b) Or you can go about kicking your very own goals in your own unique way encouraging those around you to pursue their own dreams.

Numbers 6:24 – 26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace.”

Wishing you a very happy 2018.



Variety is the Spice of Life

A few weeks ago I shared in Your Attitude Can Change Your Perspective on my diagnosis of Non –ulcer (functional) Dyspepsia in lay man’s terms an oversensitive stomach. It was heartbreaking. Sure I wanted answers and that’s what I got but I wanted something that could be fixed simply and quickly.

After the shock and devastation wore off I entered the management stage. There is not much information about Non –ulcer (functional) Dyspepsia management. But this is not an unfamiliar road to travel as there is not much information surrounding Chronic Fatigue management, both tend to be quite individual. So it comes back to trial and error and finding what works for you. It can be frustrating and disheartening at times (to the point of tears) but when you get a personal breakthrough it is such an awesome feeling.

One of the things that was highlighted as a characteristic of Non –ulcer (functional) Dyspepsia during the gastrologist appointment was that the stomach will enjoy certain foods for a while then not like them. By nature I eat similar things out of habit, because well, I enjoy them. But when my stomach became upset and nauseous three plus years ago I went on a journey to try and have a happy tummy again. One of the last things I tried before going to the gastrologist was a sulphite elimination diet which stripped a lot of things out of my diet before reintroducing them. It actually worked (for a time at least). As a result I ate the same thing, especially for breakfast, for about three months. Before you say ‘but that is so boring’ keep in mind I was so tired and frustrated of being sick all the time (even when I just woke up) that I was excited that I didn’t have to feel this way for the first time in a long time. Plus other foods I would reintroduce would make me feel sick and would have to be removed therefore the limited foods I could eat became like a safety net.

Ecclesiastes 3:12 – 13 “I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil – this is the gift of God.”

Armed with the knowledge that my stomach could hate a food that it had previously loved. I decided to try and beat my stomach at its own game. How? By a varied diet. I now try to not eat the same thing two days in a row and I eat more intuitively; listening to what my body wants to eat. Although nothing is off limits anymore I have found sugar i.e. chocolate, ice cream, cake and processed foods to be triggers for reactions (increased nausea, needing to pee lots, stomach cramps, etc.) so I only eat these foods from time to time. I have also found if I am tired, stressed or have my period I feel more nauseous.

Do you know one thing that has been surprising? I have started having a healthier relationship with food. Perfect? No way! I still have to fight panic surrounding food from time to time. But I have noticed small changes.

I wake up excited for breakfast wondering what I want to eat that morning rather than eating out of obligation.

I eat when I am hungry; listening to my body; rather than starving myself because I had the silly notion that only one snack is allowed between meals.

I make eating enjoyable (I like to put some golden syrup in my porridge recipe) previously I would have had a panic attack over supposed excess kilojoules. During Year 12 I ate bland crackers, with nothing on them, because I was worried about the excess kilojoules. Definitely not the highlight of my health and fitness journey.

To be honest I think what has helped most is not only a positive mindset (which I have been working on) but I am finally at a weight I am happy with. I don’t know how much I weigh but I feel beautiful (at least most days) despite having health and fitness goals I am working to achieve.

If you haven’t been following my insta stories over on my Instagram page, here are some photos 🙂 .


Recipe by @zocobodypro



Recipe by @healthyfrenchwife 












This week’s blog post is unintentionally a follow on from Your Attitude Can Change Your Perspective. Sure I have been working on my attitude to consciously choose to be more positive, happy and hopeful; but there are still days, frequently I might add, where I feel crushed by the past that undeniably shapes my future.

It is no secret that life with Cerebral Palsy comes with daily challenges as I described in Letting Go:

I struggle with having to use a walking frame; let’s face it, it’s noisy, ugly and creates a force field which I swear has isolating powers. But I can’t leave the damn thing behind because I would get nowhere. Literally. I wish my life could have a more spontaneous spirit to it where I could go everywhere I want; unfortunately, my friends and family’s homes are often not accessible or public places have flights of stairs. I have always had a love of dancing, I even wanted to be a ballerina when I was growing up. If I want to dance with my brothers or dad at a wedding without a walking frame they have to hold me up which is physically demanding on them as I rely on them not to drop me, they haven’t – yet, thank goodness they’re strong!

As I was in tears yet again this week, over having Cerebral Palsy, I realised my personal challenges in life were being lived with the same crushing, heart – breaking intensity as if it were ten to 15 years ago. Yet I was at a loss as to how to change that. My Mum gave me advice that has worked wonders for her. Choose to stop being the victim. Choose to rise above your circumstances and move on.

This piece of advice allows my Mum to live life and share her story with others without the intense emotions of anger, hurt etc. Mum also pointed out this doesn’t mean she didn’t take time to work through her past and heal, neither does it mean she doesn’t cry or experience those emotions again in certain situations. It just means she has drawn a line in the sand and, despite what has happened in her past, she chooses daily to live free.

For me it means another, much needed, change in mindset. It means not ignoring the past because it did happen. The surgeries, the panic attacks, the bullying, the fears, the isolation, the wanting to fit in and many more painful life events did indeed happen, I was there. Yes I needed to go to counselling to work through things. I don’t know how I managed to stuff down the anger and hurt etc. deep down inside for so long. But it means I change the branding iron (negative) to seeing myself as a warrior (positive).

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

What I went through was so tough; what I struggle with today can break my heart. But… I AM A WARRIOR I have overcome challenges with the help of Jesus and my family and friends. With these people with me in every battle I know I can face the challenges to come and furthermore live the life of a warrior. Determined. Courageous. Happy. Hopeful. Free.

Love to you my fellow warriors,