A couple months ago I wrote to my family and friends saying that, using my paternal grandmothers wedding ring, I was making a commitment to give my heart to my God. Saying that if I was going to have a romantic relationship I was going to wait until seminary school. A couple weeks following this, I realized that I was being called to become an expert in Critical Disability Studies. In realizing this changing path, I prayed.
I gave my life letting go of my plans, including the secret certainty that seminary romance was going to happen. Not only did advocacy connections fall into my lap but my true love came in: Jesus. As shocking as this may be to those who know me as the hopeless romantic, the search for a prince is over, I found him in my heart.
As a Christian, I believe Christ lives in me (Colossians 1:27) not just as an idea but a being. This very well may get me some criticism. His love makes it worth it.
Despite this my ego questions leaving the best friend zone. What will my family and friends say? Will they think I’m just being overzealous? Am I just saying this because I’m scared rejection is my lot in life when it comes to romantic relationships? Isn’t this just reinforcing the perspective of pop culture that says disability means being single forever (Ingham, 2018)? Isn’t this an all or nothing response?
Believe me, I have thought long and hard about each of these questions at different times. Including right now. In truth, the logical answer is maybe, and perhaps, and even most likely. Fortunately, I have used reason. And in thinking about things I have come to this foundational question.
Do I want to be logical and try to fit in, making myself miserable in the process ? Or, do I choose love and let that be my source of ability by way of personal happiness? With the second perspective in mind, here are my answers.
My parents and family want me to be happy even if my choice might surprise them.
By not rejecting the love I feel from God around me I accept who I am. Which is the greatest form of advocacy in my opinion.
If I truly believe Christ is in me and in everyone who shows love I’m never alone and now or ever!
For me, not giving my all would be coming from the internalization of the cheese and crackers mindset. That is I can’t expect much because of my disability. A mindset that is pervasive and effects every aspect of life.
No more! I gave my heart to the beloved. I’m not giving it to someone else.
Ingham, E. (2018). Attitudes towards disability in society viewed through the lens of critical disability theory: An analysis of me before you. Counselling Psychology Review, 33(1), 2-12.