I was born a dwarf. And although, at 114 centimeters, I am taller than my expected adult stature, I remain a dwarf. I live as a dwarf, and I will die as a dwarf.
But can I let you in on a little secret? At least 75 percent of the time I don’t even think of myself as different. I feel just like everyone else. That’s not just because I live in a wonderful ward and stake. I have also tried to make my life into something worthy of a child of God, and my Heavenly Father has blessed me with a devoted family, good friends, and abiding faith.
Last year I reported to my doctor. We had a full surgery scheduled for my right hip, which would mean a body cast for several months, perhaps even endangering my ability to attend my senior year of high school. We’d known about this for a year, since the last checkup when he told me my right hip was in bad shape.
When my dad and I got in the examination room, my doctor held the X-rays to the light. After looking at them, examining me, and looking back at the X-rays again, he announced, rather astonished, that there seemed to be nothing at all wrong with my hip. He could see no reason to perform the extensive surgery he had planned. He said that, except for some work that needed to be done on my feet, I was in fantastic health and would need no more surgeries.
That was surprising news to someone who had already had eight major surgeries and several minor ones.
It is more than important to note that our family and others had offered many prayers prior to my examination, and many dear friends were praying and fasting.
Sure enough, my hip was healed. I know only Heavenly Father could have accomplished what I experienced. I know I have been healed by a miracle, but a miracle is not always required. Sometimes the greater miracle lies in how we deal with not having a burden eased.
My condition has brought me much closer to God. As a result of the many times I have had to face the reality of surgery and the consequent recovery, I have learned to pray—fervently and with real intent, exactly as Heavenly Father wishes our prayers to be. Without the constant surgeries and the hindrances keeping me from many physical activities, you might see me today participating far less in scripture study and far more in sports.
Despite the everyday trials I face, my life is a blessing. My experience is merely an example of how Heavenly Father influences our lives. A description of what Heavenly Father does for us is found in Jeremiah 18:6 [Jer. 18:6]: “O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand.”
Heavenly Father is not trying to break us, as is Satan, but is trying to mold us into celestial beings like Himself. Let us be certain that we never mistake Him for the enemy. He loves us more than we can comprehend.
When faced with challenges, we can get bitter or we can get better. I’ve learned that no matter how difficult or uncomfortable our lives may seem, our Heavenly Father knows of our trials—and knows how to turn our trials into triumphs.