It took a while for Nick Vujicic to find his purpose in life, but once he did, he took off, traveling around the world as a human illustration of the hope and direction he found in Christ. “I have no arms and no legs,” he said, “yet I am complete and lacking nothing.” Billy Graham, he added, has helped him put his life into perspective.
In a video from “60 Minutes Australia,” Nick Vujicic jumps backwards off the diving board and splashes into an empty pool. He resurfaces, yelling, “I can’t feel my legs!”
Why are people laughing in the background? Because Nick has no legs. Or arms.
Nick Vujicic (pronounced Voy-a-chich) is no stranger to the spotlight. He has appeared on “CBS Sunday Morning,” “Inside Edition” and “The 700 Club.” He’s a New York Times best-selling author, radio host and motivational speaker. His life has inspired millions of people around the world.
“Inspired” might even be an understatement. Based on comments from his website and Facebook page, he has transformed the way some people think about life – and God.
“I have no arms and no legs, yet I am complete and lacking nothing,” Nick said. “I’m not jealous of anyone having arms or legs because I’ve got something much more, which is faith in Jesus Christ. … He will carry me when I cannot walk.”
At 30 years old, Nick has traveled to more than 44 countries and has seen many people embrace new life in Christ. He calls Billy Graham his “evangelistic role model.”
Everywhere he goes, Nick connects with people. People are drawn to him despite age, culture or status.
“They know how it feels to feel alone and feel like there’s no hope,” he said. Above all, he added, they want purpose, and Nick’s story is full of it.
Nick was born in Melbourne, Australia, to Serbian parents. Although he was the firstborn in his family, no one sent his mom flowers as congratulations after Nick was born without arms or legs. As a young child, he was depressed about his seemingly dark and lonely future. At age 10, he attempted to drown himself in the bathtub but couldn’t because he cared too much for his parents.
Then at 15, Nick read John 9 in the Bible where the disciples see a man blind since birth and ask why that happened. Jesus said, “This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3).
As a child, Nick thought he would be happy if he had arms and legs. But that verse from John resonated with him, and instead, he found that happiness comes from doing what God created him to do: inspiring others and telling them that despite their circumstances, God can use them.
“[Theologian] William Barclay … said the greatest two days in anyone’s life [are] the day you were born and the day you knew why,” Nick once said. On his website, he writes, “If God can use a man without arms and legs to be His hands and feet, then He will certainly use any willing heart!”
Nick now lives in California with his bride of one year, Kanae, and their new son, Kiyoshi. Being a father “is a joy and love that you’ve never known,” he said, but there was a time when he thought it would never happen. How would he find a wife who loved him without limbs?
In his book, Unstoppable, Nick comments on faith in action. People might say they have faith, he says, but do their actions show it?
“Stop putting limits on God,” he said. “Whatever the fears are, God is bigger.” It’s God, he said, who gives people the power to overcome.
In an interview with The Christian Broadcasting Network, Nick talked about questioning God:
“The question was, ‘Why? Why did you make me this way?’ And the answer was, ‘Do you trust me?’ … When you say ‘yes’ to that question, nothing else matters. … There is no point in being complete on the outside when you’re broken on the inside. And I found out that God can heal you without changing the circumstance.”
Nick holds two bachelor’s degrees – one in accounting, and one in financial planning. He and Kanae married in February 2012 and welcomed their son in February 2013. While Nick has no limbs, he has two toes on his left foot that assist him in certain activities: He can get a glass of water, comb his hair, type, hit a golf ball and shave.
“But that’s all boring compared to skydiving, scuba diving, horse riding, swimming [and] surfing,” he said. Yes, he’s done all that.
“I can be angry with what I don’t have or thankful for what I do have,” Nick said.
And as he tells people around the world, he has a lot to be thankful for.
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