- (Photo: Candida Sullivan)
Candida Sullivan spoke with The Christian Post this week. The author is releasing two books this month that detail her personal faith journey and experience as a survivor of Amniotic Band Syndrome.
Sullivan was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS), which “occurs when the fetus becomes entangled in fibrous string-like amniotic bands in the womb, restricting blood flow and affecting the baby’s development.”
ABS can leave a person with disfigured limbs, cleft palate. It can cause miscarriage if a band becomes wrapped around the umbilical cord. There is no known cause of ABS; it happens spontaneously and randomly.
Sullivan started a blog “Underneath the Scars” to share her story of faith and healing. One of her books has the same title and will be released later this month. The other book, “Zippy and the Stripes of Courage” deals with similar issues, but in a child-friendly manner.
She told CP that she wrote these books now “because as a little girl, I had so many questions and fears. So often I wished for someone to help me, who had experienced and understood my feelings. Now, I want to be that person for others.”
“I think that we should share our experiences as a way to help those struggling with their own issues. If someone had information or a life experience that would potentially help me, then I would want them to share it with me.”
Sullivan wants people to know the following about life with ABS: “The medical community cannot truly explain what causes amniotic bands to form. While some call it a fluke of nature, I believe it is a symbol of God’s amazing miracles. God doesn’t punish us with scars; He blesses us with life. The scars show the world that there is a God and He is great.”
She shares this message with those who are survivors of disease or feel different due to extenuating circumstances. “You are a survivor! You’re alive to love and be loved. God doesn’t give us trials and tribulations to break us, but rather to strengthen us and mold us into the person He wants us to be.”
She said: “Every day that we are blessed to live is a gift from God. Instead of complaining about our situation, we should strive to make a difference in someone’s life and give him/her a little glimpse of God through us. So often it’s not the trial we go through that inspires other people, but how we go through it. “
Sullivan continued: “It’s the people who praise God through the worst of times that inspires and helps others. Sometimes the only thing we need to change everything is a positive attitude and a new perspective.”
“Faith changed my perspective of it all. Through faith I learned to see myself as a survivor. I stopped believing that God had punished me and realized I was so blessed to be alive. I have realized all things that happen to us are for our own benefit. I believe God has a plan and purpose for each life created.”
She concluded: “It’s when we succumb to His will for our lives that we prosper and grow. Through my journey, I have learned I am capable of so much more than I realized. Through God all things are possible, and I realize my scars are a wonderful blessing on so many levels.”