Disability Diaries - Part 6: Ashleigh's Story
Ashleigh from Scotland has Cerebral Palsy. Her church recognised her gifts and asked her to lead in the Roofbreaker team of disability champions. Below is the text of her story - or you can listen to Ashleigh tell her own story in this short video.
Using your unique gifts
"Hi, my name's Ashleigh. I live in Edinburgh. And I got involved in Through the Roof a few years ago which has been really good.
I'm on the coordinating team of the Edinburgh network. I first got involved through the Enabling Church Course, and that was really interesting because it looked at different aspects of church life and different inclusion aspects of the different disability worlds so that was really, really interesting and from that I got asked to be part of the co-ordinating team. We put on a few events and meet up regularly to pray about things and it’s really good.
Accepting yourself as you are
I used to get very frustrated about what I couldn't do and why I was, why I have a disability and stuff, but now I'm very much like what are my gifts, what am I going to tell?
It's so important to use the gifts that God's given you, as you, not as the person that you think you need to be. Because, you know, Jesus came for everybody, you know.
Jesus says ‘come to me all who are weary’, and I have been. I have struggled with inclusion in the past, like at school trips or even just weekends away - just access and details.
Freedom in relationship with Jesus
For a time, the only thing that was totally, totally inclusive was your relationship with Jesus. Also it's the only thing that you can do completely on your own, because you need help with everything else in your life but your relationship with God is like the one thing that you can do completely yourself. So that's really special as well."
Is your church or Christian community including disabled people in its ministry? – so that the God-given gifts and talents of disabled people can be shared with others...
You can use Disability Awareness Sunday as a positive message to disabled people. Find out more at https://throughtheroof.org/forchurches/disability-awareness-sunday/