Pastor Daniel Ritchie was born without arms and despite growing up being told he was a "hopeless mistake, woefully insufficient and unable to lead a full life," he is using his experiences to glorify God.
Growing up, Ritchie was bullied, laughed at, and left out. At birth, doctors asked his parents if they would rather "let him go," but thankfully they chose life. Now he's showing the world that God always had a great plan for his life in his new book, My Affliction for His Glory.
The Huntersville, North Carolina, native uses the book to explain how he found "identity, value and purpose" in life after coming to Jesus as a young man who was crippled with depression because of how others treated him and devalued his worth.
"I'll never amount to anything. I'll never find someone to spend my life with. I'll never do anything that matters in the long run," Ritchie once thought of himself, according to a statement shared with The Christian Post. "Never is a word I've heard a lot in my life. Having been born without either of my arms, I spent the first few years of my life being told all the things that I would never be able to do.
"Adversity can lead to doubt at the deepest levels," he said. "Comparing ourselves to others who (seem or pretend to) have it 'all together,' can lead us to wonder 'what's wrong with me?' Our troubles and obstacles many times seem beyond our ability to conquer. And tackling everyday tasks, let alone things like purpose, love, or faith, can seem an impossibility."
Now a pastor, writer, sought-after conference speaker, driver, husband and father, Ritchie is making the most of his life. He enjoys wrestling with his children, reading, drinking coffee, watching football and the outdoors. "It seems he's having the last laugh," he bio adds.
My Affliction gives readers true insight into why he is able to laugh despite all the ridicule he's received. Ritchie explains how he "found identity, value and purpose and was freed from the debilitating comparisons and limits placed on him by others. His story will undoubtedly inspire readers to tackle life's challenges with grace and creativity," the book's synopsis reads.
"God rescued and redeemed me at the age of 15, and He slowly began to show me how precious my life is in spite of my disability," Ritchie testified at the top of the year on DesiringGod.org of how God's glory has shined through his life from his teenager years until now.