For the most part, and by God’s grace, I would like to believe that Jeff and I live this life with a good amount of positivity. Although daily challenges arise and frustrations occur, we have learned to hunker down, say a prayer and march in forward motion. Bu t… there is one thing I must admit that tends to leave us in a bit of a rut, literally sometimes a ditch, not just emotionally but physically; that being issues with “the” ramp.
Before marrying Jeff and seeing this world through a lens of someone with a disability, I never knew what an inhibitor a non-functioning ramp could be. Now, you see, there are different situations we face around the ramp. We have our personal one that mechanically functions by the push of the button on the van (well theoretically). Then there is the portable ramp, that we cannot forget to take to our friend’s house; if forgotten, it means facing the embarrassment of moving the entire party to the backyard just for our sake. There’s the permanent one you wait two months for to be built in your brand new house, causing you to switch to a manual push chair, just so you can be lifted in/out each time you want to enter or leave your home. And then there’s the blue striped ramp that leads through the curb cutout, allowing accessible entrances to and from parking lots (usually blocked by bad parking). You see, this can be frustrating, can cause strife in one’s relationship with their spouse, causing us to react to all the other challenges that extend beyond the ramp. It’s a trigger, waiting to be pulled on a loaded gun.
Staying positive through these obstacles takes work, it takes prayer and forgiveness, it takes looking outward and viewing other’s challenges, humbly accepting you aren’t the only one. We fail at this a lot. We fight, we argue, we c ry …we move on. Much to our surprise, people are intrigued by the life God has blessed us with.
While departing from an amusement park a few weeks back, we were reminded of our differences, and how by being positive God can work in and through us. As Jeff was backing up into the van, via the ramp, a little boy passing by stopped. As he tapped his mom’s shoulder he yelled out, “Mom, why can’t we have a car like that?” With a huge smile Jeff and I waved and encouraged him to watch as Jeff continued into the drivers side.
What that little boy saw that day was not what the world tells us to see. He saw the good, he saw the positive, he saw the ramp; and he wanted one! This is something Jeff and I pray for, we want our ramp, not only do we want it to work, but we don’t want to hate our need for it. We are who we are, we are who God is intending us to be. We have to embrace that, even through the storm, and allow that to work for the good. We need to encourage those around us through our story, share our ramp with those who fall, and not pull the trigger on that loaded gun, relying on patience and love in our partnership.
So here’s to that little boy who’s Wishin’ for a Ramp: Stay positive, don’t let the world taint your view, you can do mighty things when you allow God to use you! And remember life’s ramps aren’t all that ba d …heck often times they give you a lift.