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Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Survivor: How I found acceptance through Zippy

I will never forget the horrid feeling of being bullied. Words, sharp as knives, swiped at me over and over until it felt as if I would crumble. I remember trying to escape the pain and running to my safe haven. Looked inside a bathroom stall at school, restrained tears fell and begged God for help.

Scarred and ashamed, I believed the nasty words. When the bully yelled that I was ugly, it just confirmed what my heart already thought. And when they made fun of my scars, I had tried to pray away, my heart broken into a million pieces. Their words were so devastating and heartbreaking because I had already thought the same things daily. Even though the pain was unbearable, I kept it locked inside me. I didn’t want to share my feelings or heartache with anyone.

The day I looked into a coffin of a child, who had taken her own life, my feelings changed and my heart decided to do something to help. Years prior that could have been me. There was a time when I begged God to remove me from my pain—when I no longer wanted to live.

In my efforts to help others, I penned a children’s book about a little zebra without stripes.
But I couldn’t get it right. One million drafts later, God opened my eyes and allowed me to see things differently. When I finally wrote the ending, a lifetime of burdens and heartaches were destroyed. My scars and condition no longer hurt me. Acceptance is powerful. It transforms our heartaches into blessings.

My scars were no longer a burden, but beautiful blessings. God did not curse me with scars. He blessed me with life. The only thing about my life that changed was how I viewed it. We can cry over all of the things we don’t have, or we can learn to be thankful for our unique blessings. Sometimes we put too much thought into what we want for our lives ,and fail to see that God has a greater purpose for us. All I wanted was unscarred hands, arm, and foot, but God gave me so much more.

Every day I’m thankful to be alive and for the opportunity to raise my children. I’m so thankful to go into schools and promote kindness and encourage everyone to celebrate their differences and life. My scars have transformed me into a stronger person. I’m more compassionate and willing to help others along their journey.

I have learned that words and actions can only hurt us if we allow them to. Stares and whispers no longer have any control over me. All a stranger might see is my scars, but it is up to me to show them my heart. If they are staring at me that just means I have their undivided attention, and should use that moment to reflect God.

I know that every single day comes with challenges and obstacles, but I’m so grateful for each one. If given the choice, I would keep my scars. And I pray every day God will bless me to help someone in some way.

 “Zippy and the Stripes of Courage” is free on Amazon June 22, 23, and 24 only. I sincerely hope that you will download your free copy and share the information with others. You never know who might be struggling with their own issues and would benefit from reading Zippy’s story.
It can be downloaded on the kindle, kindle app for iPhone and iPad, or your computer using the free kindle app.

While I’m no poet, this poem slipped out.

The Survivor

Scarred and ashamed
Filled with pain
Afraid to live
Bound by fears


God and acceptance
Squelched the bonds
Purpose and thankfulness
Transformed the inside


Now a window to God
Inspiring and helping others
A testimony of power
Reflecting God’s ultimate plan


Author shares message through Zippy the zebra