Born With No Arms, Chet McDoniel Says “I’m Not Perfect, But I’m Worth It”

National   Melissa Ohden   Jun 28, 2013   |   10:52AM    Washington, DC

“I’m not perfect, but I’m worth it.”

To read these words through the lens of a pro-life message is powerful.  Despite what the world around us may try to communicate about the standard of perfection set for us in today’s day and age, as human beings, we are, in all actuality, perfectly imperfect.  Yet, as individuals, we are worth “it.”  We are worth the gift of waiting until marriage to have sex, women are worth choosing life for their child in the face of abortion, and children who are targets for abortion due to concerns of fetal abnormality, due to how they were conceived, in rape or incest, or the sick or disabled who are targeted for euthanasia and assisted suicide, are worth “it.”  They are worth loving, they are worth protecting, and their lives are worth living.

Yes, to read these words, “I’m not perfect, but I’m worth it,” is powerful, indeed.  But to hear these words from inspirational pro-life speaker, Chet McDoniel at the NRLC Convention in Dallas on Thursday night was more than powerful.  It was transformational.

Soaked with joy, sprinkled with satire, and overflowing with inspiration and encouragement, Chet’s statement and his overall message about the value of life and enjoying life to the fullest resonated with the pro-life audience, as he shared his life story of being born in 1980 without any arms and with shortened legs.

The third child born to his parents, Chet was “given the opportunity to die” by one of the hospital professionals after he was born, due to concern that he may be “as mangled on the inside” as he “was on the outside.”  Chet’s condition was not borne of any discernible genetic disorder, and as he points out, although his parents didn’t initially know what to do with a child with no arms, they loved him and they would have certainly chose life for him even if they would have known of his condition before facing the shock of it in the delivery room, his story could have been so different.

“The treatment for an adverse pregnancy is abortion….I wouldn’t have made it past the first sonogram,”  Chet shared, as he talked about how the world today treats children in the womb with suspected abnormalities.

Despite the obstacles that he has faced, the bullying that he endured as a child, Chet’s joy for life, the love of his family, and his faith has helped him to not only survive but thrive.  Chet graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Texas in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Radio, Television and Film production. As well as leading worship and speaking around the country, Chet owns his own travel agency.  Chet, his wife, Joni, are blessed to be the parents of daughters, Hannah and Olivia.

Although Chet’s favorite place to be is, understandably, with his family, his favorite place to share his testimony is “right here, right now….with people who believe I should be here.”  As Chet proceeded to stand up from his wheelchair as he delivered his closing remarks, I couldn’t help but think about how Chet was exactly where he should be and how he is exactly WHO he should be.

For more information on Chet’s life and speaking ministry, please visit www.chetmcdoniel.com

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