My name is Jen Bricker-Bauer. I was born without legs and put up for adoption. I lived in foster home for the first 3.5 months of my life. You might think I would be destined for a pretty hard and sad life, full of hardships. However, the hand of God brought me an amazing adoptive family, who gave me one simple rule, “Never say the word Can’t.”

 

I competed in softball, basketball and volleyball all against able-bodies athletes. I was also the first person without legs to compete in power tumbling. I won State Champion and went to Jr. Olympics and got 4th all around! Now as an adult, I have moved to performing professionally as an acrobat and aerialist all around the world, as well as a professional speaker. I even toured with Britney Spears!

‘Never say can’t’ has played out practically in my life as long as I can remember. Knowing that we ALL have challenges is kind of interesting and amazing, because it’s the ONE thing that we all have in common! No matter how different our lives and back stories are, this is the one thing that no one will escape. So, when we have an obstacle or a ‘mountain’ in our lives, knowing that ‘Can’t isn’t allowed’ helps us to see that somehow, some way we can get over, around, or through it.

The title of my book is Everything is Possible. This is tied hand-in-hand with my parents’ rule and equally as important to our ‘mountains’ in life.

“I think where we win or lose our battles is the moment we look at our mountain.” – Jen Bricker-Bauer

Sure, we can be afraid, confused and not know the how yet. But, if we can look at that moment and say “I know it’s possible to get past this and overcome it” (even if we don’t know everything yet), then that is where we’ve already won! Rather than looking at the mountain and allowing the fear to overcome and overpower, we need to never move or run away. We know that ‘Can’t’ is not part of our vocabulary and that everything is possible!

One of the most important things I can leave with you is that every one of us was born with a purpose and FOR a purpose! You are not a mistake or an accident. You have tremendous eternal value. Every one of you was born with gifts, talents and abilities that have equal value. No one is more important than the others.

Different? Absolutely! Diverse? Yes! …and thankfully so, because diversity in gifts is what makes life so creative, unique and beautiful. But it also allows us to all reach different people. Maybe you can reach someone that I can’t and vice versa. All of this is only possible when/if we BELIEVE. No one can believe for us. This is something we have to do on our own.

So, I will ask you:

Do you believe everything is possible?
Do you believe you were born with and for a purpose?
Do you believe that you can touch and change a life?

I know you can! I know you’re beyond special and valuable beyond belief!

 

This article first appeared in Edition 31.

Jen Bricker’s photo credit: Daisy Seilern

Author

Jen Bricker-Bauer

Jen, born without legs, is an acrobat and aerialist. Her story is detailed in her memoir Everything Is Possible: Finding the Faith and Courage to Follow Your Dreams, which was a New York Times bestseller.
jenbricker.com

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