Imagine being born without arms. No arms to wrap around a friend; no hands to hold the ones you love; no fingers to experience touch; no way to lift or carry things. How much more difficult would life be if you were living without arms or legs? No ability to dance, walk, run, or even stand. What would you do? How would that affect your everyday life? Meet Nick Vujicic, pronounced ‘Vooy-cheech’. Born in 1982 in Brisbane, Australia, without any medical explanation or warning, Nicholas Vujicic came into the world with neither arms nor legs. Imagine the shock his parents felt when they saw their first-born brand new baby boy for the first time, only to find he was what the world would consider abnormal.
Struggling with life’s issues
A limbless son was not what nurse Dushka Vujicic, and her husband Pastor Boris Vujicic had been expecting. How would their son live a normal happy life? What could he ever do or become when living with such a massive disability? Little did they or anyone else know that this beautiful limbless baby would one day be someone who would inspire and motivate people from all walks of life. Throughout his childhood, Nick dealt not only with the typical challenges of adolescence such as bullying and self-esteem issues; but also struggled with depression and loneliness.
Victory over his struggles
He constantly questioned why he was different than all the other kids surrounding him; why he was the one born without arms and legs. He wondered what the purpose behind his life was, or if he even had a purpose. According to Nick, the victory over his struggles throughout his journey, as well as the strength and passion he has for life can be credited to his faith in God. His family, friends and the many people he has encountered along the way have also encouraged him.
Finding his purpose
After school, Nick went on with further study and obtained a double Bachelor’s degree, majoring in Accounting and Financial Planning from Griffith University in Logan, Australia. At age 19, Nick started to fulfil his dream of being able to encourage other people and bring them the Gospel of Jesus through motivational speaking and sharing his testimony about how God changed his life and gave him a future and a hope. “I found the purpose of my existence, and also the purpose of my circumstance. There’s a purpose for why you’re in the fire.” Nick wholeheartedly believes that there is a purpose in each of the struggles we each encounter in our lives, and that our attitude towards those struggles, along with our faith and trust in the Lord can be the keys to overcoming our challenges.
Finding hope and new love
Today, this limbless young man has accomplished more than most people accomplish in a lifetime. Nick moved from Brisbane, Australia to California in 2007, where he is the President and CEO of a non-profit organisation, Life Without Limbs. Since his first speaking engagement, Nick has travelled around the world, sharing his story with millions of people, speaking to students, businessmen, churches and even the homeless in New York.
He has ministered in South Africa a few years back and recently married his sweetheart, Kanae, in February this year. I recently interviewed Nick who has just released a new book.
Nick, you came to Christ at a young age; have you ever felt
despondent enough, even as a believer, to take your own life?
I gave my life to Jesus at age fifteen when I read in the Bible that Jesus knew that the works of God would be displayed through the blind man in John 9. However, before having faith in Jesus, I was angry at God and blamed Him for my lack of limbs and the fact He didn’t seem to care. The reason why I thought He had forgotten me was because He didn’t answer me when I asked with much faith for limbs miraculously. Because of being bullied at school and experiencing a lot of negative attention, feeling like I was a burden to my parents and not seeing a right future, I attempted to commit suicide by drowning myself in a bath tub.
As I was in the process, the thought of leaving my parents with much grief helped me to not go through with the suicide. It was by God’s grace that I am still here, and I can hear the words ring true in Jeremiah 29:11-14:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord...”
What advice can you offer to other people who are mentally or physically disabled, and feel like their life is pointless?
Any negative lies and thoughts that come to you are not from God if the statements are not in-sync with the Word, the heart of God. Pray daily that the Lord guards our heart and minds as we warfare through this battle of principalities and powers of darkness. Remind yourself of the truth of your identity, purpose and destiny in Christ. Put on the full armour of God. Ask God for the gift of faith to believe every loving word of the Bible and the discipline to have time in worship or prayer or reading of the Scriptures to grow of your faith.
Take one day at a time. We all have a fear of being lonely. Some have been abandoned, but Jesus is with you. Trust Him, and if you don’t know Him, seek Him.
Describe an average day...
As a teenager, I wanted to prove to myself that I could be independent, and it would take me an hour to get ready, brush my teeth, shower and dress myself. These days I like to focus on what gives me more joy and save my energy for the things that are truly rewarding after proving to myself that I could be independent. So, I have caregivers who take care of me and get me ready, especially when travelling.
How did you meet your wife?
Kanae and I fell in love at the top of a Bell Tower in Texas. I was addressing 16 people at a function, after we watched the Butterfly Circus [a movie Nick starred in]. I shared about my ministry’s goals and heart in reaching the world. Fireworks were in our minds and hearts when Kanae and my eyes connected that night...and for the rest of the story...get my new book!
What attracted you to her?
She is my best friend, and I adore her. She has unimaginable grace, love, patience and meekness. She is such a focussed and gentle giver. We are very excited - she is pregnant with our first child will be born next year. We can’t wait to begin a family and look forward to having many more children in the near future.
Where do you live/attend church?
We live in Southern California but having travelled quite a lot over the years, it has been difficult to find a home church that we truly see our children growing up in for the long term. But we genuinely enjoy the fellowship of the Apostolic Christian Church in Pasadena.
What inspired your latest book?
Since finishing my first book ‘Life Without Limits,’ I experienced two major life-changing experiences - I went through a personal crisis in December 2010 and shortly after met my wife and started courting her at the end of 2010. I love how God lets us go through difficult challenges to help each other and encourage one another. That’s what family is for. In my new book, ‘Unstoppable’ I want to communicate a message of hope and love that continues to evolve as I walk closer to Jesus. I trust it will inspire other people too!
You minister around the globe; what message is on your heart?
In such a world and generation where there is so much vicious pressure to be someone you’re not or to get something you don’t have yet, my message is to preach the truth. To know our true worth and knowing that we are all loved and we are here for a greater purpose.
By- Jackie Georgio