Slice of my life.
I grew up in a catholic home and struggled with my identity in Christ and with learning how to fully trust my creator. At first glance I may seem like a normal teen, however, once I pull my hair back you notice the thing that sets me apart: I wear Hearing Aids in both my ears. I was born with a slight hearing lost caused by the disease CMV. By the time I was about to start school the doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital told me that my hearing was at the point where I would need a hearing aid as well as attend speech therapy classes. However, this hearing lost was only in my left ear, my right ear still had full hearing. I moved around a lot as a kid so I do not really remember much about having to deal with my hearing loss then. When I was 9 years old my parents got a divorce and I moved to my 4th school. When I had moved to this school everything changed for me. The bullying I had already endured had gotten worse, yet the good thing about moving was that I was told I didn’t need to keep going to speech therapy. At this school no one knew I had a hearing aid because I never told anyone, my teachers were the only ones that knew. My 5th grade year I made the decision to not wear my hearing aid because I didn't want anyone to have another reason to bully me. So from 6th grade till 10th grade I didn’t wear it. During this time I acted as a normal hearing kid when in fact I was not. My hearing then was at about a 50% hearing loss in my left and full hearing in my right, so I didn't really have any problems hearing people. 2 years after I removed my hearing aid I had started to discover who Christ really is, and that I needed him as my Lord and Savior. So when I was 12 years old I gave my life to Christ and became a Christian. Yet, I still didn’t put my full faith and trust in Him. It wasn’t till the end of 10th grade I started discovering what Christ called me. It was then that I started seeing my hearing loss as a blessing rather than a curse. The new church I had started going to started showing me who Christ really is and showered me in Christ’s love. I saw that Christ called me his child and that I was created in HIS image and that I didn’t need to hide who I was from everyone. Along with that my ASL teacher began teaching me all about these different advantages to being Hard of Hearing. So I put the now 10 year old hearing aid back in my ear and began letting people know that I had a Hearing Disability. That’s when I started realizing that the kids that always bullied me had no authority over who I was. God created me this way for a reason and I should not have let those kids put me down. Because of these realizations I was able to help a friend of mine start a Anti-bully club at our school that allowed me to speak to students about what I had gone through as a child. Fast forward to the summer before my senior year, and that's when things drastically changed. I had gone on a mission trip with my youth group and by the end of the week I started noticing a buzzing sound in my right ear. Not long after that I noticed that I couldn't hear my alarm in the morning and the TV was having to be turned up even louder than before. The doctors couldn’t identify it but they did say that my hearing in both ears was now at a severe to profound hearing loss. Basically I can’t hear without my hearing aids. I didn't find out what was causing the buzzing until I met some Deaf people as I was going through some things with the state. I found out that I had a disease called Tinnitus in my right ear. Even though there is no cure for tinnitus, and my hearing is to the point I have to wear my hearing aids if I want to know what is going on around me, I have learned to accept it. I have accepted that my hearing loss was for a reason. God knows what he was doing. Because I have accepted this truth I have discovered my spiritual gifts that God has given me. I now can speak to others who are dealing with disabilities or with identity problems and encourage them though my story. I can say proudly that I know who I am in Christ because of my loss. I’m not saying it has been easy, because it has not been, but it has been worth it. Lastly, one really big blessing about finally showing who I am is that I am able to attend college with my tuition being paid for by the state, other wise I would not be attending Texas State University. So with that I encourage you to really seek Christ and begin to accept who he made you as. That is my slice of life J.