Please Don’t Assume I Need Healing

Hey, guys! This is just kind of a rant about an incident that happened two weeks ago. Some random man was ableist towards me on the street and it made me cry and feel very upset. I wanted to write a post about it the week that it happened but I was still too sad to. Don’t worry, I won’t take up too much of your time with this:

Why I Don’t Need Healing

A picture of me in my wheelchair

But before I talk about what happened, let me briefly explain something: I recently asked my family not to wish/pray for me to be healed anymore. Why? Because I’ve received the greatest healing of all – a love and acceptance for who I am, the way that I am. I honestly don’t want to change or be ‘healed’. Society often paints being disabled as a bad thing or a problem, but now I know that it isn’t. Being disabled doesn’t mean being ‘wrong’ it just means being different and I have come to love every single part of me that deviates from the norm.

That’s why I get a little frustrated when people pray for me to be ‘healed’. They simply don’t understand this concept. Doing so denies all of my personal growth and is projecting the idea that some part of me is ‘broken’ and therefore needs to be ‘fixed’ – all according to their point of view of course. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a follower of God myself, but people need to know that stopping random disabled strangers on the street and praying for them to be healed can sometimes be hurtful – no matter the good intention behind it.

What Happened

Photo of a bicycle in the middle of a path by Philipp M via Pexels.com

So what happened was this random man parked his bicycle in front of me while I was riding outside in my wheelchair. He asked if he could pray for me to be healed and I tried to refuse him and explain that I didn’t feel like I needed healing. However, he completely ignored me and continued to pray for me anyway. And since he was blocking my way – I couldn’t escape and roll away from him.

The entire exchange happened in Dutch but I’ll translate it here. His prayer included phrases like: “please let this young girl’s muscles and bones knit together in the correct way so that she may be made right again.” He talked about my body as if it was ‘bent’ and ‘broken’ and ‘desperately needed fixing’ – it was shocking to hear someone talk about me in that way. After how long it had taken for me to accept my disability, they were awful things to hear. His prayer also included many other offensive sentiments which I don’t even want to write down because they made me so sad and angry. Just know it was a combination of all of the worst, most offensive things someone could say about my body, combined and dressed up as a prayer that he expected me to be thankful for. They were honestly the worst insults anyone had ever said to me in my life.  

I just sat there completely shocked as he prayed a prayer full of his projected offensive perceptions of me. Once he finally cleared the path and left, I raced back to my sister and burst out crying. It was so difficult hearing all of the things I used to believe about my body said out loud by someone else like that. This entire situation was made a million times worse by the fact that, just moments later, someone was racist towards my sister:

Picture of a person walking a dog on a leash by Mitchell Orr via Unsplash.com

Some man with a dog on a leash approached my sister and his dog started jumping all over her. The man did nothing to pull his dog back so my sister kindly asked him to. He replied: “Oh why are all gekleurde mensen (Dutch for ‘coloured people’) scared of dogs?!” My sister tried to explain to him that not all black people are the same but he rudely cut her off by saying: “Whatever, enjoy tanning even though you don’t really need to.”

And that was it. The icing on the cake. We’d had enough discrimination for one day so we both got up and left. We’d come outside to enjoy the sunny weather (my sister wanted to read outside on a bench while I did some rounds around the park in my wheelchair for exercise) and we both left crying and feeling angry at the world. Anyway, I’m sorry for all of the negativity. I just felt like I had to get this off my chest. Next week’s post is going to be about wheelchair dancing so it will be much more positive than this!

Takeaway Message

Image of someone talking to a wheelchair-user by Josh Appel via Unsplash.com

The reality of being disabled is that people often stop us on the street and pray for our healing. I’ve heard countless other stories from disabled people who’ve experienced exactly the same. This is a quote from a BBC article about the issue: “Like many disabled people, I am often approached by Christians who want to pray for me to be healed. While they may be well-intentioned, these encounters often leave me feeling judged as faulty and in need of repair.” (Damon Rose, “Stop trying to ‘heal’ me” BBC News, April 28, 2019, accessed June 23, 2021, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-48054113)

Once again, I’m a follower of God too and I know that these people have good intentions, but this is unfortunately just another form of prejudices and assumptions about disabilities coming to light. Doing this for someone who you know and who has told you that they’re struggling? Fine. Doing this for a random stranger who was just trying to have a fun day out in the sun but ended up coming home crying? Please don’t.

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I can’t thank all of you enough for your continued support of The Wheelchair Teen. One of the best parts of my week is getting to read through all of your comments and messages. Thanks so much for reading, it truly means a lot ❤ See you soon!

179 thoughts on “Please Don’t Assume I Need Healing

  1. Oh! My dear sweetest, you know what?? though I have red your entire post, I am only able to speak about your beautiful smile sitting in that wheelchair like a Pretty Princess who’s truly different with confidence and winning hearts.

    I know facing such issues in the society would really not gonna be easy thing to just ignore n be happy but when you say that you are the follower of God no one will have gusts to lower your strengths. Stay blessed n happy always. Loves to you dear one. 😇❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw, thank you very much! I’m extremely happy that you liked my smile ❤ And thank you so much for calling me a Pretty Princess! All of these incredibly kind words made me smile so much and truly made my day 🌷 I hope that you’ll stay blessed and happy too. I also hope that you’ll have a wonderful day full of love and light because you definitely made mine ❤😊❤

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  2. I’m so sorry to hear about these awful experiences (yours and your sister’s). Thanks for sharing something so difficult and educating others. Wishing you a much happier experience the next time you’re out trying to enjoy the sunshine 💚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re welcome, I’m glad that by talking about it and sharing it here – it helped to teach others about how situations like this can sometimes be hurtful. Thank you for the kind wish, I wish that you’ll have an amazing week too 😊

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  3. I must admit that I am guilty of feeling that I should pray for healing for physically challenges persons. However, I would never do what that man did. He was egotistical and self righteous in his own eyes. His prayer did not reach anywhere. I am so sorry that you have to endure these behaviour. But I believe that sometimes they do not know better. I love that you said, “Because I’ve received the greatest healing of all – a love and acceptance for who I am, the way that I am” This is indeed the greatest healing of all. God bless you, my friend for sharing you heart to us.❤❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree, that man did come across as very self-righteous. I think he was more concerned about how good praying for me would make him feel rather than the actual person he was praying for. You’re right – he probably didn’t know any better though and didn’t mean to insult me so severely. I’m glad that you liked that quote – I believe that it is God who helped me to achieve that love and acceptance. God bless you too ❤❤❤

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  4. This is very bad. I’m very sorry that you and your sister had to experience things like that. This just goes to show how dangerously the world lacks empathy. Lots of love to you and your sister 🤍 YOU ARE ENOUGH! You are great as you are!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for the support ❤ It was very tough to go through. True, sometimes it really does seem like the world lacks empathy – luckily that only seems to be the case with a few people. Aw, thank you so much for the love! ❤ We both really appreciate it. You are very kind 😊 I hope that you’ll have an amazing week!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. These are such shocking experiences that I really want to be there to comfort you. This world has so much to improve and discrimination permeates many parts of our life. I live in a town with a big Asian population and this is why I don’t hear much discriminatory language, but I think if I live in other towns, I will certainly hear those ugly things being uttered. I hope you know that a lot of good people in the world stand with you and support you. A lot of love and hugs for you and your sister. Please do not despair and we will fight for a better world together.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Don’t worry, even though you’re far away – you’re kind words have still brought me lots of comfort 💙🌼💙 It’s true, this world does have a lot of discrimination in it which is very upsetting. I’m happy that you live in a place where you don’t hear much discriminatory language, I agree that it’s usually where in the world you live that contributes to whether people are more discriminatory or not. Thanks so much for the love and hugs, I truly appreciate them ❤❤❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Every human on this earth is special and some are extra special with their strength.. reading this post I really feel you are one; truly extra special! ❤️
    I’m glad we met here… thanks for following my blog .. will read more on your blog soon and I’m very eager to .. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, everyone is special – and that’s the beauty of life. Aw, thank you so much for calling me extra special! You really made me smile 😊 I’m glad that we met too, I really enjoyed reading through some of your blog posts ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You do not need healing and aren’t broken either. The man must’ve meant well but what he said was so wrong and that man with a dog has me so angry I mean why would someone even say that. I hope that you have an amazing day, sending love 💕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for these kind words, I really appreciate them 😊 I agree, that man meant well but what he said was very mean and the man with a dog was just awful. Luckily, I am having a great day today. I hope that you are too 🌻🌻🌻

      Liked by 2 people

  8. This is such a picture of how we judge people on the outside and not acknowledge how that person is already healed inside because of Jesus. We focus so much on the outside we fail to go deep with people. sometimes it’s all about us when we do that, let me pray for you piece. I don’t mind people praying for me but don’t allow self to bring attention to yourself. I use to have a lady who was a different belief about certain things, such as speaking in tongues. When she would see me out in a restaurant she would always stop by and lay hands on me and pray out loud for me to get the fullness of the Spirit. She never ask me once how I was doing, how my family was, etc, just thought I needed praying for. Here is my thoughts on your wheelchair, God has given you a platform to first witness from and a message that over rides your disabilities. Bless you and that wheelchair.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, sometimes we focus too much on the outside rather than the inside. It’s peculiar that the woman never asked you how you were doing and how your family was when she prayed for you. It does seem like sometimes the ‘let me pray for you’ comes from a place of happiness at how good it can make us feel rather than what it should really be about. True, I feel as if my love and self-acceptance have crome from Jesus. Thank you for sharing your kind thoughts with me and for your wonderful blessing ❤ I hope that you’ll have a lovely day 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m very sorry these things happened to you and your sister. The imposition of prayer after you declined is something I never would have imagined. I can’t image approaching a stranger in this way, but I have occasionally told a friend, I’d be praying for them without them asking. This is something I need to think about more carefully. Thank you for writing what happened. It’s important.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re welcome, I’m glad that you felt like you were able to take something away from this post. To be honest, I also couldn’t really imagine it happening until it did happen to me which is why I just sat there shocked while he was praying. Thank you for the support, I appreciate your feedback and your thoughts that you shared ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  10. You don’t need healing!! You already posses a fantastic heart much better than a lot of them, you posses amazing talents and u r a gem of a person! What else does someone needs? No change or healing is needed!

    And oh god! That guy with dog! How sick those words were! What the hell color has to do with it! Everyone might not feel the same around your dog! His words ! Reading them already pinching me!

    As a human being, I’m very sorry you and your sister had to go through this which came from someone who r also called “humans”

    YOU ARE AMAZING! BECAUSE YOU R SIMPLY YOU! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness, I can’t thank you enough for these amazing and uplifting words! I was already very emotional today but this lovely comment just made me smile like crazy! Thank you SO much for calling me a gem and saying that I have a fantastic heart. Words can’t express how happy that makes me feel 😊 I know, those man’s words were very sick and way out of line. We found it difficult to believe that it had even happened. It was tough to have to deal with, but amazing comments like this one have helped me to overcome what happened and to accept that those men just weren’t very nice men.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The pleasure is all mine.. you don’t know how happy even you made me by letting me know.. my words are one of the reasons for the smile you r having right now! It makes me so happy!

        I’m so glad I found your blog! Stay happy always dear ❤️lots and lots of love

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh Simone! What a horrible experience for you and for your sister too…People are just ignorant..honestly.. You have so much inner strength and it shows! You are allowed to rant about days like this with us..I know you will touch others who have also ended up crying because people just don’t want to understand how this affects them…Really ignorance is what it is and sad to say, there are many out there:( You, on the other hand, are so inspiring! ❤️🌟🤗🌹

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, sometimes people can just be incredibly disappointingly ignorant. Thank you so much for these kind words and this support though, it truly means a lot ❤ I am so glad that you think I have inner strength and am inspirational! It would mean the world if this touched others who have also felt the same. It would kind of make it all seem worth it in the end ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. You have to stop calling yourself ‘black and disabled’ teenager. Just teenager is sufficient if I quote “ Being disabled doesn’t mean being ‘wrong’ it just means being different and I have come to love every single part of me that deviates from the norm.” Is correct representation of your maturity level.
    If the other is having mud in his pot, how could he or she spray perfume on you. All these just represent who they are, and not who you are. Simple.
    This happens with everyone and our reaction decides further actions. If you react than be prepared for more such happenings. Instead bless them for their previous time with them, for this way you will able to see God in everyone in due course.
    Each human being is reflection of infinite, so look at the part beyond body till infinite in such people, there you may ‘see’ God one day.
    Blessings to dear ‘red blooded human’ teenager.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for these kind and wise words ❤ I agree that these men’s actions were a representation of who they are – not of who I am. I didn’t react negatively to these men because I know that wouldn’t have gotten me anywhere. Instead, I decided to share about the experience here in order to educate others about issues such as this so hopefully it won’t happen again to someone else in the future.

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      1. My dear angel, you have to take one stand, firm stand, to decide who you are, people will ultimately behave with you in the same way.
        If you keep writing ‘Wheel chair girl’, ‘disabled’ and ‘black’ for you, your aura will attract such people. If you decide today that you are a human being as others are, just your weakness is visible and other’s is hidden. Someone may be colour blind or poor vision or a cancer/aids/sugar patient or other such diseases that are yet to be detected but only on the verge of it. They also let feel one dependent on medicines or routine checkup or exposure to radiations to be able to continue to live life.
        I wear glasses and one person laughed at me, and after 10 years I went to hospital for his medical checkup for the post of Electric Train driver. He failed in ‘colour blindness test’ in front of me!
        Then I realised that everyone has a disability, some have visible and some have invisible disability, yet to be discovered.
        Best is to have visible one, because you have not to face such shocks like he got in front of me. And over a period of time the person learns to live with visible disabilities. Few even found the part only they can utilise better than others and worked on it to become a torch bearer in society all over the world. Nick. Link here

        I and my son both got inspiration from him in 2009-10.

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  13. Hi Simone, I’m just seeing this piece now! It would be great for The Rage Club series so I would love to repost this, if that’s alright with you:) I hope you know that even when you share things that gave you negative energy, you don’t have to balance that (I tell myself this too)… I know that the world sometimes feels like it’s stock full with unhappiness and we don’t want to be contributing to it, but there is a difference between spreading hate and spreading awareness/creating space for empathy:) I’m sorry to hear about yours and Olivia’s experience that day, I do hope there are fewer days like those in the future…thank you for sharing it with everyone here though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know that it’s been a while since you made this comment, but if you still want to repost this then go for it! 😊 I’m always happy for people to share my work. You’re right – I did feel a little guilty writing this post. But now I see that this was important information to share so that others were aware that this can sometimes be a form of discrimination. I greatly appreciate your love and support, thank you ❤ And don’t worry – we’ve managed not to have a day like this since so things have been looking up! 😊

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  14. Wow, I’m so sorry you had to go through this very inappropriate and hurtful experience Simone. It truly boils my blood hearing how trapped you were and that this man said so many atrocious things to you. You know.. I truly think pepper spray would be an appropriate and needed thing for you to have in situations like this and after a warning if someone continued to keep you captive you could escape them and rightfully so. I’m also really sorry about your sister. Take good care of you and sending lots of love. 💖💖💖❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It boiled my blood too – thank you so much for your love and support Cindy, they truly mean a lot. All of the positive and encouraging messages that I’ve recieved have helped me to come to terms with what happened that day so that I could move on. Pepper spray is a good idea! I also sometimes take a walkie-talkie along with me so that I can easily reach my parents if there’s ever any trouble while I’m out and about. Thanks for the well-wishing, things are much better now. I hope that you take care too! ❤❤❤

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  15. Start a conversation, right? Ask questions and believe the answers when they’re given to you. As you say, all the more important when we are talking with someone we don’t know.

    Thank you for sharing this story, and as always your willingness to offer helpful wisdom into the world.

    I pray you have a wonderful weekend, and that the sun is shining for whatever you make time for this weekend. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree – it’s very important to believe the answers when they are given to you, especially when it’s a person or situation that you are unfamiliar with. Intention may not always matter if your actions are hurting others. You’re welcome – I thought that it was important to share this story so that others hopefully won’t have to experience a similar encounter to the one that I had that day. Thank you so much for the well-wishing – I hope that you’ll have a lovely week full with laughter and love ❤❤❤

      Liked by 1 person

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