As a child of a single mother with three children, I knew that my life was different than my best friend's. While her mother created beautiful dresses and often volunteered at school, my mom worked long hours in a factory to provide for us and I often wondered where my father was. I didn't have someone home to go over my homework with me, but like Ben, I enjoyed learning and found school to be an environment where I was challenged to think beyond what was missing at home. Learning of his mother's encouragement despite her inability to even read the assignments she required reminded me of my mother's encouragement and high expectations, despite her inability to be home when I was doing my school work. She too, valued a strong work ethic and believed that I could do more than I could imagine with enough hard work.
Ben's story is more than just a biography. It is a calling to be incredible so that you can do extraordinary things to bless others. As the first surgeon in the world to successfully separate Craniopagus Twins, he used his unique, God-given ability and acquired skills to give a family a chance at life and opened the door for other surgeons to change lives. This allowed me to see that a diligent, wise and sacrificial spirit didn't just impact me, God could allow to the impact to reverberate far beyond my own abilities.
I remembered his story when, like Ben, my family moved away from my friends. I remembered his story, when like Ben, I was bullied. I remembered his story when my step-father was abusive. I remembered his story when despite graduating at the top of my class, my own choice caused me to become a single mother at 19 and brought on its own set of challenges--ones that could break me or make me stronger. I remembered God's grace in Ben's life & continued to seek God to be equipped for the purpose that He had for my life. I remembered that like Ben, despite my brokenness, I am called to finish the race and make an impact. I remembered his story when I became a mother and knew that despite my own inabilities, God could use me to inspire the life of a child to step up to God's higher calling.
So when I found out that Ben Carson would be in Chattanooga, we had to go to meet him! Stay tuned for more on Ben Carson's visit to my hometown.
If you don't know Dr. Ben Carson, I would encourage you to read more about Dr. Ben Carson HERE or pick up one of his many books:
- (2011) America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great, Zondervan Publishing. ISBN 978-0-310-33071-4
- (2009) Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, Zondervan Publishing. ISBN 0-310-21469-6
- (2008) Take The Risk, Zondervan Publishing. ISBN 0-310-25973-8
- (2000) The Big Picture, Zondervan Publishing. ISBN 978-0-310-22583-6
- (1996) Think Big, Zondervan Publishing. ISBN 0-310-21459-9
- (1990) Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, Review & Herald Pub., ISBN 0-8280-0669-5