How many times have you been told “just do it anyway,” but it doesn’t seem as simple as it sounds?! Isn’t it funny how from the outside sometimes everything seems so easy, but internally it feels like you can’t take that leap?
There have been points in my life where I felt scared of the unknown, such as right before my book was published. I thought, “What if nobody connects with it enough? What if they don’t like it?”
Heading into my book tour I wondered, “What would happen if no one shows up?”
Truth is, everyone has a different unknown, and for Emily Norton, author of The Seven Longest Yards, the unknown was quite different than most.
Emily and I sat down to talk about how she met her husband in college after he suffered a spinal cord injury while playing football, leaving him with less than a 3% chance of moving anything beneath the neck ever again.
She was drawn to him quickly after they met, the way he looked at life in a positive light after such a traumatic injury, how he chose to not let the circumstances of life let him down, and in the meantime find ways to impact others lives, drew her in. They have been married for a little over a year now and have fostered 17 kids and adopted five.
WOW… I can’t even imagine this many little ones running around our home all at once!
BUT IT WASN’T ALWAYS A DREAM COME TRUE…
First, I want to say I am so thankful that Emily was willing to open up with me so much and be vulnerable while sharing her story about how God helped her get through the darkest part of her life.
So I began by asking Emily the obvious question: when did you really realize it’s going to be hard?
She told me that it truly hit her when they began to consider marriage. That’s when she realized he most of the physical work would be on her when it came to raising a family.
For example, Chris wouldn’t physically be able to help change a baby’s diaper in the middle of the night or run to the grocery store for groceries.
Emily sharing her viewpoint on this unique experience really makes for a perspective shift – and her honesty, vulnerability, and positive overall outlook and gratitude is not only inspiring but also so hopeful and challenging to those of us who may feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders in our own way, too.
AND THEN CAME THE HARD PART…
Emily mentioned how she would often compare her relationship to others, thinking about all the things they couldn’t do, that many other couples could do easily, such as hiking or traveling.
After college graduation Emily explained that she fell into an extreme depression. She felt like life had been sucked out of her and anger was the only emotion she could feel.
Listen closely in this episode to hear how she overcame this, as well as to learn about the realities of life that’s not “typical” and the beauty of appreciating what you do have instead of dwelling on what you don’t.
A BEACON OF HOPE FOR MILLIONS
In spite of the challenges, Emily and Chis became a beacon of hope to millions when the video of their wedding walk (yes, I said walk) down the aisle together after saying their vows went viral.
The two worked for months for Chris to be able to take one baby step, then another, and another, and eventually, enough to be able to stand up from his wheelchair and walk side by side with his bride.
Although the moment was shared by People Magazine, and is a powerful example of what’s possible with perseverance and trust in God, Emily shares the behind the scenes details of all the work that when into that epic moment they shared on their wedding day.
The big win the internet celebrated wasn’t experienced without a long uphill battle beforehand, and today, you get to hear all about it.
I am so amazed at the bravery of both Emily and Chris, how beautiful of a life they’ve built while supporting one another. I believe their life is a true testimony for perseverance, and a beacon of hope for anyone looking to take the first steps to getting unstuck.
Regardless of whatever circumstances you may feel stuck in or held back by, whether it’s a physical ailment or financial struggles, mental health battles or deep insecurity, this story won’t just reignite hope in your heart. It’ll also give you tangible advice to walk away with.
Instead of spoiling all the details here, tune into this episode to hear all the behind the scenes details that led up to that legendary wedding day walk, and to learn the first tiny steps you can begin to take when you feel stuck.
This one will give you goosebumps, it will show you how pain and suffering can lead to unlikely impact, and that what’s worth having often doesn’t nothing comes easy — but that it’s always worth the work.
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November 6, 2019