Hey there! My name is Jody Michele Powers, and I have stuff to say. That is why I am starting this blog. I wanted to do this long ago, but I had placed way too much pressure on myself. I wanted to have a great impact on the world. I wanted to change people’s views on people with disabilities and help them see that we are people first. I also wanted to help motivate people to see their value. I wanted to share my relationship with Jesus in such a way that it would challenge Christians and non-Christians alike. In short, I wanted my writing to alter how we interact with others, God, and ourselves. Obviously, my expectations were way too unrealistic. No wonder I avoided writing like the plague!
In 2011, I self-published a short novel called Unmasking. The story narrates the experiences of Mandy Morgan, a woman with cerebral palsy. It is loosely based on my own experiences as a woman with cerebral palsy. I took it off the market because I became afraid it would not make as big of an impact as I thought it should. I was also afraid it would be criticized, and back then, I was too insecure to deal with that.
However, now is a different time. It is time to trust in the Lord. It is time to share my insights through this blog. It is time to rework my short novel Unmasking and put it back on the market. It is time to work on its sequel. It is time to embrace the woman God has called me to be. It is time to let the outcomes be whatever they will be because I have no control over outcomes anyway. I can just share and encourage. And that is enough because that is what I have been called to do. The “changing the world” business was something that had never been my responsibility, so I am abandoning that suffocating notion.
I was born with moderately severe cerebral palsy, and it has definitely had a huge influence on how I view and interact with life. Cerebral palsy just means that I suffered brain damage due to oxygen deprivation, either before or during my birth. (We are unsure when or why this actually occurred.) Cerebral palsy affects people in vastly different ways, depending on which parts of the brain were damaged and to what extent. In my case, I can’t walk, have limited use of my left arm, and my speech and vision are impaired.
I am also a follower of Jesus, and that also greatly influences how I interact with life. Although my views have definitely changed over the years, one belief has remained unchanged: God is love, and the cross is proof of that.
My husband has a mental illness called schizoaffective disorder. Schizoaffective disorder is a mixture of bipolar and schizophrenia. For Jay, this means dealing with manic episodes and delusional thoughts. It also means dealing with medications and their side effects. Being married to a man with a hidden disability, obviously, also influences my take on the world.
My intention for this blog is to encourage people, along with myself, to get real with who we really are. I think we can come out of hiding and stop pretending we have it all together. This is why I am giving this blog the same name as my short fictional novel Unmasking. It is through unmasking, no matter how uncomfortable it may be, that I believe, we can truly connect with people, God, and ourselves.