“At the age of 13, Rion Paige mesmerized the crowd and judges on Season 3 of The X-Factor with her infectious smile and soulful singing. Under the guidance of pop superstar Demi Lovato, Rion went on to finish fifth place in the competition, using her experience and talent as a platform to reach today’s youth. Nothing has slowed Rion down from reaching her dreams, not even arthrogryposis multiplex congenital, a lifelong condition that causes the joints in her hands to curve, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks. Rion owns her condition with grace, describing it as her “difference,” rather than a disability. “I just have to learn to do things differently,” she explains.
Now at 17 years old, Rion’s journey is just beginning, as she continues to use her gift of singing to inspire others. Through her worship apprenticeship with The Church of Eleven22, Rion is discovering her purpose and growing in her spirituality. Rion also continues to travel all around the U.S. to tell her testimony to inspire others to look beyond themselves and pursue God with their whole heart.”
I distinctly remember seeing Rion’s audition when it originally aired and thinking to myself, “This girl is set apart, she definitely knows Jesus intimately…” You could just see it so clearly illuminating from within herself. Now, fast forward to five years later, through God’s incredible sovereignty, I have the pleasure of calling this sweet girl a dear friend! Rion is by far one of the sweetest, humblest, and kindest people I have ever met. Her voice is pretty amazing too! I’m so excited to share her story with you… Here is The Identity Movement: Rion’s Story:
When you think of this word it obviously means that you aren’t able to do something. Maybe this word makes you think of a loved one, or even yourself.
I was born as being categorized as a “disabled” person. Being diagnosed with “Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congential” at birth, my life was filled with constant reminders that my hands are different from everyone else’s.
This soon became my identity.
As I got older people would say, “You’re so inspirational. I couldn’t imagine going through that.” I took this as an offense and thought that they must have felt bad for me. Looking back, I should have taken their words to heart and looked at my disability as a blessing.
This is when I decided words MATTER. Not only the words others speak to me, but the words I speak to myself.
From this point forward, I put my foot down and started referring to my hands as a “difference” because, I am abled not disabled.
I wasn’t believing God’s promises to me and I kept repeating lies to myself.
Truth: For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
Lie: If you can’t even do something as simple as tie your own shoes, then honestly, what is the point?
Truth: I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them
Lie: Does he really know me?
Part of me actually believed this had something to do with me. Was it my fault? My parents sin? Finding my worth in Christ was not even in my thought process. I became obsessed with how society saw me.
The fact is, this had nothing to do with me, my parents, or even my shoes. God has always provided hands for me simply because of the people He has placed around me. In 17 years, I have never gone a day with my shoes being untied. My hands had everything to do with the glory of Christ Jesus. As His children, each and everyone of us is created in HIS image. That applies to anyone who believes in him.
What a freedom.
John 9:1-3 says, “As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
The bottom line is this, we all have diffrences. They may be visible or invisible… But trust me when I say, every earthy pain is worth bringing glory to the King! His plan is greater and His promises are true 100% of the time. Don’t let Satan’s lies control you. You are valued and your life has a purpose!
More importantly: You are ABLE through Christ.
You are able.
Rest in this.
Because I’m able,
If you want to tell your “Identity Story”, you can send it in for the chance to be posted on the blog! Tell us about who you are, what your identity used to be (what Satan and the world told you you were, EX: unworthy, broken, unloved, disable), and then tell us what Jesus says you are (EX: worthy, whole, loved, able). We want this to be a movement that not only sheds light on the identity crisis we as women face everyday, but above all else, we want this movement to be for Jesus and His glory! So let’s celebrate all that Jesus has done! Send in your story to [email protected]! Please send in a picture of yourself with your hand out in front with whatever your identity used to be written on it (example below). Please make sure the picture is horizontal!