Gosh, where do I begin? I've been designing this new website for months now and kept putting this particular task on hold until now. It's not that I don't love writing, because I do. The problem is that I'm not sure where to even start. Many on here know all about Amber Stewart, but many have never heard of me or my story before. How I was given a death sentence, but God in His sovereignty gave me life. A hard life, for sure, but also a really good life.
So who am I? I am the face of Broken & Beautiful. I was making some random craft one day back in 2019 with a glass picture frame, when it accidentally broke in pieces. Call it inspiration or a revelation, but that moment sparked what is now the Movement of Broken & Beautiful.
What began as a way to make money turned into a growing burden of my heart to help others in similar situations as myself as well as those who want to better understand and connect with special needs adults. You see, I'm not exactly what you might call normal. I have a disease known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 1. Mentally I'm better than fine, but physically, I live in a shell of a body that doesn't work the way it should. My muscles don't receive brain commands that initiate movement, and as such I can't move anything aside from some facial muscles and a thumb. I'm also ventilator dependent.
Anyone in my position or something similar about "quality of life"; the dreaded terminology that physicians use to determine whether someone's life is worth living on not based on how physically abnormal they are. They have no right to dictate whether our lives are worth living, though. They don't know that I have hopes and dreams, and that I'm an incredibly hard worker for someone who controls everything with her eyes. Many don't know that I have four college degrees and am not done my educational journey. Many take one look at me and those like me and label us as "vegetables", people with nothing to live for, with no purpose.
What a lie from Hell that is.
So many special needs individuals are looked down upon with pity or even disgust. It's not OK, but how can we stop it? No one person can bring about lasting change, but each person's contribution is like one drop of water in a bucket. With enough people standing for what is right, that bucket will tip one day.
Being different is not easy, but many of us wouldn't trade our struggles for anything because they have made us who we are. We are here and we are capable of achieving great things, many whom already have. We're tired constantly being counted out based on snap judgments. It's time to come together and form and family of warriors, if for no other reason than to tell someone that they're not alone.
Broken & Beautiful is completely revamped with a new vision and purpose. We will cover all aspects of life from the perspective of special needs individuals. Topics will include everything from managing care and coping with illness to dating advice and how to spend your next weekend. We will also be hosting events to bring everyone together.
Why would someone even want to attempt such an endeavor? It's quite simple, really: where there is love, there is hope.
Welcome to the new. Stay tuned.