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"Maybe your 'flaws' have given you strength. Use it. Keep fighting, and keep choosing to live."

Words cut deep. Much deeper than the surgical instruments used to slice me open, and give me an ostomy bag. I received an ostomy when I was 25 years old. I thank God daily I didn’t have to wear this thing to high school, because kids are cruel.

Adults can be equally as hateful. After my surgery, I quickly realized not everyone is accepting and kind (gasp). I was rejected. Literally, he defriended me, and never spoke to me again when I told him I would have to wear an ostomy bag. I have been told I am gross, and I have been made to feel less than, because of this bag that literally saved my life.

Here’s the thing. No one really chooses an ostomy bag. Sure, lots of people meet with a surgeon, and due to cancer, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, or a long list of other things that can happen, you decide this is the best option. You make the choice to live, even if that means you poop in a bag attached to your abdomen.

Who decided it was okay to make someone else feel like garbage, because of something they didn’t “choose.” I’m not just talking about ostomy bags. I’m talking about all the THINGS. The things that make us different. I’m talking about your hair color, having freckles, losing a limb while serving your country, birth marks, a stuttering problem, and whether or not you were given name brand jeans in the 5th grade (12-year-old girls can be EXTRA harsh).

How much different would our world be if we all truly rooted for the underdog? We like the idea of it, but what if we were determined to help the underdog become the TOP DOG. What if we helped others recognize their worth instead of tearing them to shreds?

I’m convinced the world would be better for it. I know there might be one more 10-year-old boy running around Kentucky with a colostomy bag. I know that his parents might not be aching in the depths of their souls because their son was bullied to the point of suicide.

I try to remind myself of Ephesians 4:29 every day, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” In other words, be kind. Be kind to everyone, always. Build people up. Don’t tear them down.

To all the underdogs, people who feel unworthy, or anyone who feels like a flat-out loser. YOU HAVE VALUE. “Flaws” make you unique. Wear them as badges of honor. Because maybe you’re not the underdog at all. Maybe you’ve been given a gift from God. Maybe your “flaws” have given you strength. Use it. Keep fighting, and keep choosing to live. Peace and Blessings Ya'll.

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