My friend Jenny (pictured above, immediately to my left) is 29 years old, and she was born at 29 weeks, with cerebral palsy. She spent six weeks in a full body cast at age four, which was probably a killer halloween costume, but not a fun reality with which to live. Jenny walks with a limp; her body whispers the secret story of living with the tension of her disability.
She is one of my heroes, but I’ll get to that later.
I met Jenny at a church volunteer training. I was up front, dressed in my trademark outfit: dark jeans, black shirt. I was telling a group of would-be mentors that it’s important to see the invisible kids. Jenny tells me now that she immediately thought, “Great, another hipster who doesn’t know anything about living on the margins is going to talk to us about helping needy kids.”
It was when I told my story of stuttering all the way through my childhood that we made a connection. When I talked about feeling so defective and broken, and how people who didn’t know me treated me like I was, Jenny and I became friends.
Brokenness has a way of revealing itself when we tell our stories, and in listening to each other, we are slowly healed.
Jenny is an honest and compelling storyteller, and she’s in the final stages of writing a book. Soon it will be published, and I’ll tell you how to get a copy or seventeen on this blog when it comes out. For now, you can read her blog here. It’s inspiring, one of the few blogs I read every time a new post comes out. And let’s help get her story out there: Subscribe to her blog and follow her on twitter.
My message last weekend tells the story of what it means to find yourself scattered out into the world, armed only with your story and God’s incredible ability to transform it into something that heals others. Near the end, I tell Jenny’s story, and about a well deserved award that she recently received.
So really, this is just about me introducing you to a dear friend of mine, in the hopes that she’ll become a friend of yours.