Here it is, the film from Sunday. My mother sharing her testimony, and my Susannah on stage reading my words, without a shred a nerves in front of thousands of people.
Here is a transcript of my words:
Throughout my life I have known Jesus spirit with me: cradling me in pain, sheltering me from darkness and beckoning me forward. Personally Jesus’ presence with me sustains and carries me through life’s journey with a contented calm in my soul knowing that whatever happens he will at last bring me home.
But Jesus’ spirit is not just to encourage us on our personal pilgrimage through the highs and lows, but God’s power working in us for His glory. Wonderfully, the Holy Spirit’s use for us is not limited by our weaknesses, rather sometimes it is through the cracks that the light is brightest.
Having a body as dysfunctional and disabled as mine it would be easy to assume that God only has special jobs for others, but even at a young age God used me, not in spite of my disabilities, but because of them. When I was younger and before I could spell a recently retired teacher took me out in my wheelchair to visit anyone who was old and lonely. Sitting on their doorstep, I would wave and smile and make their day a little brighter, before we moved on to the next house. None of my able bodied toddler friends would have had the patience and sit-ability to do my special God-given job.
Three years ago, almost to the day, I was recovering from a brief but intense illness and felt quite annoyed with God that he hadn’t taken me home. Questions turned to prayers and prayers turned to answers. The Lord has a purpose for us all, and mine was to be a voice for the voiceless calling for all children to be taught to read and write regardless of their educational label. Despite having a slow and laborious way of spelling out every word I want to say or write, God has used my voice to speak up for children to be taught literacy. Through his power he has transformed my weaknesses: people seem to listen and take my message on board when I share it with them.
Like water flowing through a watermill the Holy Spirit enables us to be used as God intended and so he gives me the courage to speak up for the voiceless, changing perceptions and prejudices through my charity Teach Us Too and my book Eye Can Write.
My prayer is that through God’s Holy Spirit we will all know Jesus’ presence with us, and God’s purpose for our life.