Friday, December 2, 2011

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

   In one of my earliest post I mentioned that I have Dyslexia. Seriously, that was one of the first times that I had admitted it publicly. As a child, no one really talked about it, which is partly due to the fact that my Mom wanted to believe there was nothing wrong. If I were honest she still won’t talk about it and is shocked that I would be willing to admit such a thing. This, I find a bit funny due to the fact that if you have receive more than an email or two from me you aware of the fact that something is not quite right. Whether it was talked about it or not, I knew I wasn’t keeping up with my classmates and with three of my six siblings testing in the gifted range there was no keeping up at home either. With that said, I don’t remember anyone treating me as if I were stupid, but I do remember feeling trapped. Trapped in knowing that how I spelled and read limited me in how I communicated. I think at an early age I knew that based on what I did produce my intelligence was constantly being measured more by my weaknesses then my strengths. Honestly, this is a reality I know still exist today and I am aware of the fact that I have been passed over on opportunities due to my written communications. Even with the use of a few editors it is a constant struggle for me to find the courage to share, because with each Tweet, Facebook, blog post .... I know there are at least one or two people out there who are judging the grammar and spelling rather then the content of what I have said. 

    About five years ago, I was blessed to have a young lady entered my world and classroom that truly helped me bridge the gap of understanding about Dyslexia. Although this child’s intelligence measured in the gifted range for many reasons she struggles with reading and language. After exploring several different avenues to help their child her parents took her to a neurologist and it was through that visit that it was discovered she too had Dyslexia. Following her diagnose her Mom and I read a book that had been suggested to me through a friend entitle The Gifted of Dyslexia. Before this time, all I had heard about Dyslexia was that it involved seeing words backwards, which I learned was not the case. Honestly, that was a relief to me, because I did not think that I read words backwards. Anyway, as I made my way through this book it felt like a mirror was being help up in front of my face and parts brought tears to my eyes. Finally, there was something that explained how my mind works, why language is such a struggle and how some of my other strengths and weaknesses fit into the picture. For instance, for years I have taken kidding from family and friends about my huge issue with klutziness, which has been very well deserved. Only to read that is also a sign of dyslexia. It is not often that a book comes along that changes how you see yourself.
     Then this summer HBO did a documentary entitled  Journey Into Dyslexia. During the documentary different people with Dyslexia were interviewed (artist, CEO, Nobel Prize Winner.... and thriving students). From those interviews I think the best line came from Erin Brockovich, "I would not be who I am if I did not have Dyslexia." This very true and simple statement really helps put things into perspective and reminded me of one of my favorite Bible verses.  Psalm 139:14  “I praise you (God) because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  I found it interesting that nowhere in this verse does it say I would praise you if I did not have Dyslexia or had been made perfect.  Now, I would never say that having Dyslexia has been a cakewalk, but it is part of what makes me fearfully and wonderfully made.  

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