In January 2020 we shared how Valerija battled through disability, abuse and rejection to become a young person full of bright hope for the future. Two years on, and Valerija is doing well, but her progress has not been without struggle. Here, in her own words, Valerija talks candidly about her health, her faith and her growing sense of contentment. Crowded waiting rooms of people in bandages and plaster, white coats and blue uniforms rushing down the halls. Wheelchairs, crutches, wounds and blood. These words may bring memories of time spent in hospitals that can arouse discomfort or fear in many people. But for me, such words bring a very different reaction.
These words represented my whole life. Until seven years ago, the Lovran Orthopaedic Clinic was my refuge, my military base that supplied me for my fight against an incurable disease, cerebral palsy. I was treated at the clinic from birth until I was 15 years old. Therefore, leaving that clinic for me meant abandoning everything I had known until then and losing the battle against cerebral palsy forever.
With all my heart I wanted to keep fighting, but I no longer had any weapons. I was like a disarmed soldier. An unarmed soldier, in spite of all his training, loses every battle against the enemy because he has nothing to fight with. A soldier without weapons is simply no longer a soldier, he loses his purpose and ability, what it means to be a soldier. It took me several more years to realise that I was looking for the meaning and purpose of my life in the wrong places. It was only when I surrendered my life to God that my view of my illness and my battle changed completely. Since then, I no longer look for a way to make my life easier, but I want God to use me and my illness for His purposes. Therefore, I sought His will to continue my healing. I was willing to accept everything, even being in a wheelchair one day. All I wanted and wanted was for Him to guide me.
Then, at a time when I did not expect it, I was able to begin treatment at the Šalata Orthopaedic Clinic in Zagreb. I cannot describe in words what joy and gratitude I felt towards God when I was told that I was a candidate for surgery! God had answered my prayers and cries. He put me in the hands of an excellent specialist who really loves his job, for which I am immensely grateful. I am equally grateful for the indescribable love and care that God shows through my fiancé and my House of Opportunity family. This operation marks the beginning of a new time in my life, in which strength and power no longer belong to me, but to God!
“I will run the race until I see You, but not with my strength or strong power, but with the Spirit of the Lord.”
Valerija is now recovering from her operation and is looking forward to getting married and continuing her studies.