By Hilda Bih Muluh, author of The Girl with Special Shoes.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have suffering or pain, or are rejected, hungry, frustrated, degraded, or disabled? No, despite experiencing all these things, Hilda Bih Muluh has experienced overwhelming victory through Christ, who loves her.

The Girl with Special Shoes is the story of one woman’s incredible perseverance, her family’s incredible support, and God’s incredible love.

Hilda Bih Muluh suffers from Muscular Dystrophy, which has progressively reduced her mobility over the course of her life. She is unable to walk, and is quickly losing strength in her hands. Walking half a kilometre to school, writing an essay, and preparing a meal—tasks most of us take for granted—are difficult or impossible for Hilda to perform.

Growing up in Cameroon is not easy for someone who suffers from a disability. Many still see physical impairment as a curse or a bad omen. As a result, many children are mistreated, looked down upon, or even killed. Even for those who survive, Cameroon is largely inaccessible to those with disabilities, making even simple tasks like entering buildings extremely challenging.

This was Hilda Bih Muluh’s daily reality. Her life story includes suffering that most of us can only imagine. She is familiar with the dark valleys of despair and depression. She knows what it is like to suffer discrimination and sexual assault. She has doubted that God is good, or has any sort of plan for her life.

But Hilda’s story is not ultimately defined by the suffering she has experienced, but by the God who loves her. Though her life has not been easy, God has provided for her in remarkable, even miraculous ways.

Her family has made incredible sacrifices on her behalf. Despite the opposition of many who viewed educating a disabled girl as a waste of time, Hilda’s mother and father worked ceaselessly to ensure she could attend school. Her brother Elvis and sister Tewah have sacrificed their own life plans to care for Hilda’s daily needs. Godly friends have given time, money, and resources to help Hilda move forward in life.

The one who has strengthened Hilda most of all is her beloved Jesus. In her youth, Hilda frequently hoped that God would heal her body. But though well-meaning friends, overzealous preachers, or even complete strangers would pray for her healing, her condition only grew worse. Over time, Hilda began to feel like God had abandoned her. Her suffering grew so severe that she became filled with bitterness at the God who had let this happen to her.

As Hilda describes, “I thought faith in Christ was meant to make my life better, not to strengthen me to trust God through affliction. I expected healing, not acceptance.”

However, God wanted to offer Hilda more than she had ever dreamed. While her body was never healed, Jesus healed her heart, and gave her strength to continue living her challenging life. Before long, Hilda decided to follow Jesus, and surrendered her will to his.

Through much perseverance and grit, Hilda eventually became a popular news anchor for Cameroon Radio Television. She used her platform to tell her story, inspiring many people with disabilities across Cameroon, and empowering them to tell their stories as well.

Seeing the remarkable way that God has used her, Hilda asks, “could it be God was letting my trials act as a backdrop so that his glory would be even more conspicuous? Did my suffering constitute the root and stems on which the flowers would later bloom?”

While others said that Hilda was good for nothing and worthless, Hilda persevered. She learned to see her great value, and changed the world for Christ. Her inspiring triumph over adversity will give you hope, no matter how dark your trials.

Walk a mile in Hilda’s shoes, and learn from the wisdom of this incredible woman. Learn from her about the God who refashions pain into purpose. Your faith will never be the same.

The Girl with Special Shoes will be out soon! Visit The Girl With Special Shoes to learn more

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