Imagine being born without arms. No arms to wrap around a friend; no hands to hold the ones you love; no fingers to experience touch; no way to lift or carry things. How much more difficult would life be if you were living without arms and hands? Or what about legs? Imagine if, instead of no arms, you had no legs. No ability to dance, walk, run, or even stand. Now put both of those scenarios together... no arms and no legs. What would you do? How would that affect your everyday life?
Meet Nick Vujicic (pronounced "Vooy-cheech"). Born in 1982 in Brisbane, Australia, without any medical explanation or warning, Vujicic came into the world with neither arms nor legs. Imagine the shock his parents felt when they saw their firstborn, brand-new baby boy for the first time, only to find he was what the world would consider imperfect and abnormal. A limbless son was not what nurse Dushka Vujicic and her husband, Pastor Boris Vujicic, had been expecting. How would their son live a normal happy life? What could he ever do or become when living with such a massive disability? Little did they know that he would one day become someone who would inspire and motivate people from all walks of life.
Throughout his childhood, Vujicic dealt not only with the typical challenges of school and adolescence—such as bullying and self-esteem issues—but he also struggled with depression and loneliness. He constantly questioned why he was different than all the other kids surrounding him—why he was the one born without arms and legs. He wondered what the purpose of his life was, or if he even had a purpose. According to Vujicic, the victory over his struggles throughout his journey, as well as the strength and passion he has for life, can be credited to his faith in God. His family, friends, and the many people he has encountered along the way have also encouraged him.
After school, Vujicic pursued further education and obtained a double bachelors degree from Griffith University in Logan, Australia, majoring in accounting and financial planning. By the age of 19, he started to fulfill his dream of being able to encourage other people through motivational speaking and sharing his testimony about how God changed his life: "I found the purpose of my existence, and also the purpose of my circumstance. There's a purpose for why you're in the fire." Vujicic wholeheartedly believes that there is a purpose in each of the struggles we encounter in our lives, and that our attitude toward those struggles, along with our faith and trust in the Lord, can be the keys to overcoming the challenges we face.
Today this limbless young man has accomplished more than most people accomplish in a lifetime. Vujicic made the massive move from Brisbane to California in 2007, where he is the president and CEO of the nonprofit organization Life Without Limbs. Since his first public speaking engagement back when he was 19, Vujicic has traveled the world and shared his story with millions, He has addressed a range of groups including students, teachers, youth, businesspeople, entrepreneurs, and church congregations of all sizes. He has also been interviewed on various televised programs worldwide. Says Vujicic, "If God can use a man without arms and legs to be His hands and feet, then He will certainly use any willing heart!"