I have noticed on Facebook lately, that a lot of my friends are posting about what they are thankful for in their lives, so I have decided to join them! Being thankful for one thing can lead to another and to another and another! It is easy to let the opposite happen also, especially on these rainy days in Oregon. One bad thought can just start a downward spiral.
I remember not too long ago, my friend, Jill, and I were coming back from a fantastic conference at the Joni and Friends International Headquarters in Agoura Hills, CA. As we made our way toward the plane, we were happily reflecting on the events of the conference. My friend and I boarded before anyone else and I told the flight attendant that I wanted to use the restroom since I hadn’t had the chance to go before we boarded the plane. She turned to Jill and asked her, “Can she go to the bathroom by herself?” Jill looked at me with a puzzled look on her face and breathed a sigh of relief as I answered for myself, “Yes, I live alone.”
Frankly, I don’t know where I would have put Jill even if I did need help, because there was no room for two of us in that restroom; maybe in the sink?! When I opened the restroom door to go to my seat, the flight attendant exclaimed loudly, “Good job!” At this point, I just smiled and shook my head.
That interaction with the flight attendant challenged me to decide how to respond. I could have gotten upset, but I let my Heavenly Father know how frustrating and painful her comments were and He comforted me. I could even just laugh about it. When the flight attendant came around with the garbage bag later on and we put some of our trash in there, I looked at Jill and said, “Good job!” We both got a good laugh at that.
It is just a reality that sometimes people see my disability and they make certain assumptions about me. I do not have any control over their perceptions, but I’m thankful I have the choice of whether or not to let them put a damper on my day.