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The Key of Unity: Encanto and Disabilities.

We recently started having family movie nights all together requested from our oldest daughter, Hayden. These moments always leave me consciously aware that I am currently living in some of the best memories of my life.

This past movie night, I turned it on the Disney movie Encanto. I’ve seen it before with all its bright colors and upbeat music and thought, “oh wow this is cute.”

However, this time was different. The Lord started talking to me immediately about the narrative of this movie. A narrative definitely worth sharing.

The first things I started to notice was how everyone is praised for their special "gifts." The community and outside world put so much worth into this family and what gifts they brought forth. Even those in the family such as the grandmother felt the need to put on a facade of performance because the community "counted on their gifts." It was clearly such a disappointment when the main character, Mirabel, did not receive a gift that could elevate the families outward appearance. She ended up with no gift to offer the community.

Mirabel was happy and content with her life and who she was even though no one could understand why she would be. She was actually the only one in the house who was true and honest to herself. As the movie unfolds, you begin to see how both of her sisters were living their life out from a place of approval based in their performance towards their family and the community. This would be the continual perpetual cycle of the family if Mirabel had not been given the gift of "no gift."

If you have seen this movie, then you already know that Mirabel is the only one who sees the families house cracking and falling apart. She loves the family dearly and her heart is to save the family and their house. However, no one is able to see her heart in this until it's too late. The grandmother actual blames her for basically being a disgrace and destroying the family. At the end, after the house has completely crumbled, you begin to see the community coming together to rebuild the home and ripple effects of Mirabel's mission to save the family actually causes restoration inside the family. Her gift was actually a key to the house. However it wasn't as insignificant as that. The depth of her gift was actually the restoration of the whole family. The family had to face painful reconciliation with the false lie that their own abilities were not what made themselves valuable and worthy. The crumbling of the house exposed the truth in the hearts of everyone in it.

The Lord spoke to me and said, "families who are gifted children with disabilities have been given the best gift; the key of restoration." You don't see the cracks in the foundation without these individuals. Unless you understand the significance, calling, and gift that the Lord has placed in those with disabilities; you won't ever get to healing of the foundations in your heart. For it is not man's ability that we are capable and worthy. It is by God's grace and abundant love and in the Spiritual reality we are all disabled before Him when we approach His throne. Is He not the Potter who makes some cups with handles and some without? Who is the clay to say, "I don't like that you made me this way?"

“Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands’? Woe to the one who says to a father, ‘What have you begotten?’ or to a mother, ‘What have you brought to birth?’ Isaiah 45: 9-10

If you want a worldly inheritance, one based on performance and gifts to offer the world, then you will be highly disappointed and miserable in wrestling with a disability diagnosis. Just like the grandmother of this movie. She wanted the appearance and prestige. She fought hard against the fall of the house and family. And if we are being honest, aren't we all like the grandmother?! It's devastating when the house falls. It's painful and a depth of grief that can never be explained. However, if you are willing to surrender, to see the cracks in the home and let the Lord shake your house down to every last brick.

The Spiritual inheritance is rich. The inheritance is freeing. The inheritance is forever. The inheritance comes with eyes to see and ears to hear. The inheritance brings understanding. The inheritance brings unity. The inheritance extends love. The inheritance turns mourning into joy. The inheritance is Him.

My children and disabilities have knocked down every last brick in my house. There is a part of me that can fully relate to the devastation that God felt as we, His children, were robbed the future that He wanted for us. However, there is always greater redemption in the rebuilding. He gave our family a gift that not a lot of people obtain. The gift of unity which builds a house on solid ground and leaves a mighty inheritance this world can never understand. One that can never be shaken again because it's been built back up brick by brick with the truth of Christ.

As for disability; it's the ultimate gift. The key gift of unity for revival in the family and the church.

"Oh Lord, may we surrender and walk away from everything this world offers. Our inheritance is You. May the disability community wake up as a strong and mighty remnant and take back the mountain of the family unit restoring every lie and crack that they enemy has caused."

“In that day,” declares the Lord,

“I will gather the lame; I will assemble the exiles and those I have brought to grief. I will make the lame my remnant, those driven away a strong nation. The Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion from that day and forever."

Micah 4: 6-7

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