Nathan will be turning 18 this Friday and we are having a birthday celebration with him on Saturday. We have always done just small family birthday celebrations and this is the first time we are having a major event. We will be having a time of blessing for him, where people can read scriptures. Dan & I asked Nathan to give his testimony.
This has been very hard for him to do because he struggles so much with reading and writing. He had a melt down one night and said he didn't want a party and he doesn't like attention on himself. This is true but we felt that it was important for him to stretch himself and do something that was uncomfortable for him.
He finally finished it and I wanted to share it here with you all:
I would like to thank all of you for coming and celebrating my 18th birthday with me today. I am very nervous about this because is an important birthday. The age of 18 is one of the most important ages in this society.
I was asked to give my testimony today. I am going to tell you about things that are very personal to me and I’m not comfortable talking in front of people so you should consider yourselves lucky! Sometimes you have to do things that you do not want to and sometimes it is important to stretch yourself.
Today I am going to share about my life dealing with dyslexia and Tourette’s Syndrome and how God is using me.
James 1:2-3 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” I picked those verses because they are one of my favorites. If you were to read further in the chapter, you would see that perseverance must finish it’s work so that you can become mature and complete, not lacking in anything.
Do you know what that means to me? I have to work three times as hard just to read and write. Even then, I mix up many of the words and I have a difficult time getting my thoughts on paper. I get frustrated and overwhelmed. On top of the learning disability, I have Tourette’s Syndrome. This means that I have uncontrollable tics which are both motor and vocal tics. There are times when I hit myself in the face or smack my hand or head on the table. I hit my face hard enough to give myself a bloody nose one time.
When I focus hard on something – like playing the drums or building with legos, I don’t have the tics. Most of you probably never notice them because I work really hard to keep from ticking at church. However, the longer I hold them in, the worse they are at home.
I’m not sure why God allowed me to struggle with these things and I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life yet. I still have two more years of high school. However, God gave me these struggles and I know He has a plan for my life. My faith has been tested many times because at times I feel discouraged and don’t know why God has allowed this in my life. But I know that through the struggles I’m learning to trust Him and never to give up. I’m trying to be joyful in the midst of my problems and to persevere.
Romans 8:28 says, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God has a purpose for everyone of us and He doesn’t allow anything to happen to us without using it to benefit us and glorify Him.
Thank you again for coming and enjoy the food!