Facing My Fear

I have been in a wheelchair since 1999 due to a medical condition called Transverse Myelitis. My life as I knew it changed forever, and I had to adapt to my life and surroundings as a person with a disability. For the longest time, I doubted myself and my abilities. I may have portrayed confidence as I was trying to cope with my "new normal," but on the inside, I was insecure. My fears and insecurities would often hold me back, but what was I afraid of? Finally, I realized that the only thing holding me back was me! I had a choice to make: to be paralyzed with fear, or to push forward.

From being a social butterfly in college, to being named "Smiles" in rehab, I gained a new perspective on life that can be summed up by a Bruce H. Wilkinson quote: "People often feel that because they are afraid of something, they do not have the courage to conquer it. However, courage is not the absence of fear; rather it's choosing to act in spite of fear." The joy I've experienced as a result of conquering my fears has been incredible, and I no longer see myself as physically disabled, but physically able.

While it's true that I am an outgoing and energetic person who has been known to do some crazy things, I think I surprised myself when I impulsively volunteered to do runway in the 2013 "Western Canada Fashion Week." You see, at the end of every show, the MC would ask the audience for volunteers to do their best runway walk, in order to score free product. When I first heard the call, my heart started pounding in my chest. I really wanted to go, but thought, "I can't do that, can I? I mean, I'm in a wheelchair, and I'll probably look funny up there." When no one jumped up at the second call, I quickly raised my hand and said, "I'll go!" The MC looked at me, and with her eyes open wide in surprise she said, "You can do that?" "I sure can!" was my bold response, and without hesitation two of my friends whipped me up onto the runway.

Vahen King on the runway

This was a lot, even for this outgoing social butterfly. I was terrified on the inside, but I knew if I was going to pull this off, I had to fully commit myself to the experience. If I learned anything from those years of watching Top Model, it was definitely, "Fake it 'til you make it." So, smiling from head to toe, down the runway I went. I held nothing back. I even did a little twirl. When I reached the end of the runway, I could feel my heart beating out of my chest. I heard the cheers and saw the cameras flashing, and without hesitation, I looked up and gave my best "Look at me! I'm beautiful!" pose. I thought, "Wow, I can't believe I'm doing runway at 'Western Canada Fashion Week'."

"Is it always easy for you?" "Do you ever fear?" When I hear those words directed at me, I don't know if I should laugh or cry. However, my response would always be the same: "Oh yes!" I still fear. I am stronger emotionally, spiritually, and physically than I ever thought possible, and it is not because it's easy or that I'm fearless, but it's because my faith in Jesus has helped me act in spite of my fear. Facing my fears has lead me to some of the most amazing experiences of my life. Now, after 17 years I have been able to take my first unassisted steps, write my first book, and travel the country sharing my story. No, the journey does not get easier, but with confidence I can say, "You get stronger!" What's holding you back? Sometimes, the only thing standing in the way of you and a truly amazing future is you! Face your fears!

Read Part 2 of Vahen's story here.

About the Author

Vahen King

Vahen King is a graduate of Theological Studies, Credentialed Licensed Minister, author, motivational speaker, and Certified Life Coach. Vahen feels that because of her own emotional, physical, and spiritual brokennesses, God has enabled her to help those who have ever felt fearful, unworthy, or unloved. Vahen currently lives with her husband in Edmonton, Alberta.

To see how you can get a copy of Vahen's new book "Going Farther," to check availability for life coaching, or to invite her to speak at your event, visit her website.

Vahen's ride is a Quickie 7R.

Most of the stories here on Live Quickie were submitted by readers. Do you have a story to tell? We'd love to hear it. Submit your story here.

Date: 8/8/2017 12:00:00 AM

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