Love Without Limits
An inside look at the courtship and marriage of one of today's most intriguing and inspiring love stories. In Love Without Limits , two young people of strong Christian faith, both of them yearning to love and to be...
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An inside look at the courtship and marriage of one of today's most intriguing and inspiring love stories.
In Love Without Limits, two young people of strong Christian faith, both of them yearning to love and to be loved, tell how improbably they found each other, fell in love, and then fought to overcome doubts and skepticism from others about their relationship to form the powerful bond that led to a truly joyful marriage.
Nick and Kanae write candidly about their early fears and insecurities, then explain how despite their concerns about the impact of Nick's disabilities on their relationship, their shared Christian faith and mutual trust brought them together and became the foundation for their marriage. Readers will cheer the triumph of an unusual but destined love! Born without arms or legs, Nick is a beloved figure known worldwide for his inspirational, overcoming attitude toward life. Now his life is enriched by a family formed with wife Kanae and their son Kiyoshi.
:It Doesn't Take a Perfect Person to Find a Perfect Love
Even though he was born without arms or legs, Nick Vujicic created a "ridiculously good life." But after dating disappointments and a failed relationship, he reached his mid-twenties worried that he would never find a woman to love him and share his life.
Then Nick met Kanae and everything changed. But even with undeniable chemistry, they would have to navigate twists and turns worthy of a romantic comedy before becoming "one" in marriage.
In Love Without Limits Nick and Kanae tell how they improbably found each other, fell in love, and then fought to overcome skepticism from others about their relationship. Filled with practical insights that will benefit any couple, this inspiring book describes a godly courtship and the early years of the Vujicics' marriage and parenting journey.
Above all, Love Without Limits is an inspiring reminder that when Christ is at the center of a relationship--even with serious challenges--true love will triumph.
"Despite my optimism about other parts of life, I decided that love in this world had limits after all. I'd become convinced that no woman would want to marry such an obviously imperfect man as me…."
As a boy growing up in Australia, Nick Vujicic could not understand why God had allowed him to be born without limbs and if He would ever bring a woman into Nick's life.
On the other side of the world, Kanae Miyahara-a girl growing up in Mexico--saw dysfunction sadly separate her family. She wondered if a loving, lasting marriage was even possible.
Later, when Nick realized that God had a purpose for him, his life took on new meaning. But after a long-term relationship ended in heartache, would he ever find someone to marry?
Kanae experienced relationships based on superficial attraction, but she longed to find a mate with strong character and faith-a man who would be a godly husband and father.
When Nick and Kanae met in the most amazing way, they realized that God-the ultimate Matchmaker-- had used even their discouraging and painful experiences to prepare them for each other…for the love of their life.
Imagine getting through your busy day without hands or legs. Picture your life without the ability to walk, care for your basic needs, or even embrace those you love. Meet Nicholas Vujicic (pronounced VOO-yee-cheech). Nick was born in 1982 in Melbourne, Australia, without arms and legs - a rare condition known as phocomelia. Before his birth, three sonograms failed to reveal complications. And yet, Nick's parents Dushanka and Borislav were destined to cope with both the challenge and blessing of raising a son who refused to allow his physical condition to limit his lifestyle.
The early days were difficult. Throughout his childhood, Nick not only dealt with the typical challenges of school and adolescence, but he also struggled with depression and loneliness. Nick constantly wondered why he was different than all the other kids. He questioned the purpose of life.
Nick has two vestigial feet, with one of which he learned to operate a wheelchair, computer keyboard, and mobile phone. He was able to graduate from Griffith University at 21, with a Bachelor of Commerce degree.
According to Nick, the victory over his struggles, as well as his strength and passion for life today, can be credited to his faith in God. His family, friends and the many people he has encountered along the journey have inspired him to carry on, as well. Nick holds to a born-again faith in Christ and to the truth of the Bible as God's Word to man.
Since his first speaking engagement at age 19, Nick has travelled around the world, sharing his story with millions, sometimes in stadiums filled to capacity, speaking to a range of diverse groups such as students, teachers, young people, business professionals and church congregations of all sizes. Today this dynamic young evangelist has accomplished more than most people achieve in a lifetime. He's an author, musician, actor, and his hobbies include fishing, painting and swimming. In 2007, Nick made the long journey from Australia to southern California where he is the president of the international non-profit ministry, Life Without Limbs, which was established in 2005. In 2012, Nick married Kanae Miyahara, and they make their home in California with their two sons.
Nick says, "If God can use a man without arms and legs to be His hands and feet, then He will certainly use any willing heart!"
:Chapter One: Someone to Love
Welcome to Love Without Limits, a book that I hope will inspire and benefit you and many others looking for guidance on finding love and sustaining loving relationships.
This book’s title springs from a couple of sources, one of which is Life Without Limbs, the nonprofit organization that supports my evangelical work around the world. The name relates to the fact that while I was born without arms or legs, my God-given purpose to inspire others has resulted not in being disabled but rather in my becoming highly enabled to live a full life without limbs.
My first book spun the life without limbs phrase and took it a step further. We called that book Life Without Limits, because in it I shared my experiences and thoughts on building a ridiculously good life no matter what challenges you face, whether they are physical, mental, or emotional.
That brings us to the origins of this book’s title, Love Without Limits. I’ve often written and spoken about the insecurities that dogged me as a child and young man. Because of my lack of limbs, I feared no woman would ever love me or want to marry me. I had many doubts about my fitness as both a husband and father. Frankly, there were people close to me who had their own concerns in that regard. Some thought I would never marry or be able to support a family of my own.
For a long time, it seemed they might be right. I had the usual grade school crushes, but no long-term relationships in my teenage years. Only in my twenties did I begin to feel more confident. By the time I was twenty-seven years old, I’d had some relationships that started out strong but ended sadly. One of them, in particular, was quite serious.
When this girl broke it off because she would not move forward without her parents’ blessing, I was devastated. At that point, it seemed there were very real limits to the amount of love in this world, at least for me in my quest for a wife. Even though my family and closest friends were there for me, I’d become all but convinced that no woman would want to marry such an obviously imperfect man as me.
As you will learn in the pages that follow, I was flat wrong about that. So wrong, in fact, that I’m a little embarrassed to remember how despondent and self-critical I’d become after losing at love. Many people think of me as an upbeat, undefeatable person, but when it came to matters of the heart, for a while I struggled to stay positive.
I didn’t give myself enough credit, for sure, but even scarier, I didn’t give enough credit to God or to His gift of lasting love between two people. I don’t want you to make that mistake if you’ve struggled as I did while waiting for God to send someone to love you. As you likely know, God brought me an incredible woman whose capacity for loving me astounds me every day. If you take nothing else away from this book, please put the following thoughts in your heart and live accordingly. They are the primary messages I want to share.
• Never give up on love if love is what you want, because God planted that desire in your heart for a purpose.
• You are worthy of love because you are the creation of a loving Father.
• There is someone who could love you and share your life.
• A successful marriage requires reciprocal and unselfish love   as well as a shared, deep, and lasting commitment.
• Parenthood will test your marriage. It will also strengthen your bonds of love, but only if you develop deep empathy and unwavering support for each other by putting your family’s welfare above self-interest.
• The “work” of being married is mostly about giving up our naturally self-centered ways and learning day by day to put God first, our spouses and family second, and ourselves third.
• Your marriage, your family, and your home should always be a safe, loving, caring, and comforting place—a refuge from the world and all of its challenges.
If you need further proof of the truthfulness of the previous words, look again at the book’s cover photograph. There you’ll see the lovely face of my wife, Kanae, who taught me that there are no limits on love.
My wife is physically beautiful, for certain, but you can’t see the half of her true beauty in any photograph. Our perfect God has filled her with His perfect love, and she, in turn, loves me, such an imperfect man! For that reason, I know without a doubt that love has no limits.
Still, to be loved, you must feel worthy of love, and to be worthy of love, you must be willing to make sure you are deserving of this wondrous gift. Here’s the thing that many people fail to grasp: To receive love, you must first give it to someone else. This means, in essence, that you must love someone so much that you will put that person’s needs ahead of your own.
You must give up “me” to create “us.” Once you have abandoned yourself to the love of another, you open the door to a rich and powerful relationship that elevates your life beyond anything you might have imagined.
Kanae and I are still on the journey to building our lasting relationship. In fact, we are in the very beginning stages. We have certainly had some stumbles. It turns out that I am not a perfect husband—yet! I’m a husband-under-construction. So we don’t present ourselves as experts in any way. Instead, this book is meant to share our love story with you and also to offer what we have observed and learned so far, sometimes from our own mistakes and sometimes with the help and guidance of others.
Our goal is to inspire you and to prepare you for your own quest to find lasting and unlimited love with one who fulfills you and wants to share a ridiculously good life with you.
Each of the chapters that follow focus on certain aspects of the search for love, the decision to give yourself up to love, the steps toward marriage, getting married, starting a family, and strengthening the bonds between you and your spouse over the years and through the challenges. The topics we explore include the following:
• preparing to love and be loved by giving up your “self ” to another
• understanding that it doesn’t take a perfect person to find a love that is perfect for you
• building a loving relationship on a solid foundation by first creating bonds of friendship, mutual respect, honesty, trust, and trustworthiness during the courtship or dating period
• trusting not only your heart but also God’s plan for your life in determining whether someone is “the one”
• setting the right course for a marriage by making the decision and the proposal based on your desire to serve each other first, and also to embrace each other’s families and friends as part of the relationship, as long as they bring you closer
• creating and carrying off a wedding day that focuses on your love for each other and the life you intend to build together, rather than on material things, status, or other distractions, so that wonderful memories are made and a wonderful marriage is begun
• exploring the complex challenges and undeniable joys of sexual abstinence before marriage
• submitting to each other in marriage through loving attentiveness and empathy, rather than setting unreasonable or selfish expectations by demanding that your own needs and desires come first and foremost
• handling the joys and challenges of pregnancy by adjusting to changes in the woman’s body, then creating lasting paternal and maternal bonds with your child from the moment the baby arrives
• strengthening your love for each other through the years as you progress from being a couple to being a family and as adjustments have to be made in finances, housing needs, and expectations
• embracing the fact that your spouse will change over the years, just as all people do, and learning to accept each other with a maturing love through many stages and transformations brought on by changing circumstances
• communicating with empathy and the desire to understand, rather than to react or to “fix” problems, so that conflicts are resolved through forgiveness and love triumphs over resentment, anger, and bitterness
• keeping love and togetherness strong by creating family rituals, traditions, and experiences, such as reading the Bible together, family trips, holiday gatherings, and family projects.
• remaining equally yoked in a marriage built upon growing in faith and purpose together through partnering in roles that complement each person’s strengths and weaknesses
• establishing the family and the home as a safe, nurturing, harmonious, and fortifying sanctuary so that when challenges arise and tragedies occur, you will always have each other and your love to depend upon
The Awesome Power of Love Without Limits
The bonds of love that connect me to Kanae and the two of us to our son, Kiyoshi, seem to grow in strength every single day. Our life as a family is more wonderful than I’d ever dreamed possible. That thought has struck me many times since marrying Kanae and welcoming our baby boy into the world on February 13, 2013, exactly one year and a day after we were married.
Most recently, I was overwhelmed by their love while traveling without them in a commercial passenger jet at thirty thousand feet. I was returning home from a thirty-three-day trip, which was the last long leg of a rewarding but grueling four-month tour of twenty-six countries, most of them in Asia and South America. There are no words to describe how difficult it was to be away from my wife and Kiyoshi that long.
My schedule allowed for just a couple of brief visits in that four-month period. Usually there was barely enough time to exchange my dirty clothes for clean ones, so there wasn’t much of a chance to connect with them.
On the road I spoke to many thousands, and I witnessed God working in amazing ways, but I’d also had some major challenges. The worst was a severe fever that struck in Bolivia. It left my bones aching and my poor body baking from the inside out for a week. I managed to keep my speaking engagements despite feeling like I’d been dragged across a thousand miles of dirt road in the Australian outback.
While it was a very rewarding trip, it was also a rough go. But those trials and tribulations weren’t the reasons I found myself in tears on the final flight taking me back to Los Angeles. I was not just homesick. I was Kanae-sick and Kiyoshi-sick. I missed my wife and son like crazy!
The thought of once again receiving hugs and kisses from them was so overpowering I broke down sobbing. My caregiver, Gus, was seated next to me. I didn’t want him to see me going all weeping, so I pulled my cap down over my face and pretended to be sleeping. I don’t think I fooled him, though. I’m sure Gus just pretended not to hear me. I’m not a quiet sniffler. He knew I was suffering from family withdrawal.
Even though Kanae and I had been video chatting during the trip, it just wasn’t the same as holding them and being close to them. I love the smells of Kanae’s hair and Kiyoshi. I love his baby breath! While I was traveling, my son had his first baby tooth appear, and he stood without help for the first time. I had missed so much.
I vowed that I would never again be apart from my wife and son for so long. I don’t want to be the evangelist who loves the Lord but misses out on family. If I neglect my own family and I gain the world, I lose. If Kanae and Kiyoshi are the only two people in this world I make happy, that’s fine with me. I believe that this is a God-given priority in our family lives. I wanted to hold them, squeeze them, and never-ever leave them. (Hmm, might there be a song in this?) I did actually put together some lyrics for a song about returning home to my family. (Stay tuned for the single!) As I wrote the song lyrics, I was a mess. I couldn’t even read what I’d typed into my cell phone, because my tears blurred the screen.
What’s wrong with me? I wondered.
Then the answer came: No, this is what’s right with me! I have so much love in my life, I can hardly breathe without them!
I was flying home to my wife and son—my family—and a life I’d often feared I would never experience. What a gift the love of another person is. And the love of a child is beyond priceless. I have never felt like a whole person until these two wonderful, loving people came into my life.
Finding Love Without Limits
I’ve been traveling around the world since I was nineteen years old, and I had never been so, so happy to be returning home. Of course, for most of those years I was a single guy returning to an empty house. Back then it was always sort of a letdown to open the door after a long road trip and step into utter silence.
Some people are perfectly happy living alone and even thrive being on their own. I respect that, and there is nothing wrong with leading a solitary life if that is what fulfills you. But from the time I was a teenager, I yearned for companionship and a loving relationship.
When you want a loving partner in your life so badly and you don’t have someone, there is an aching void. I’ve heard it said that there is a God-shaped hole in each of us. It’s the place that God fills with His love while we follow His plans for our lives. I was complete and lacking nothing because of my relationship with Jesus, but I still desired strongly to be with someone. At times, I feared that day would never come. And I’d been looking to fill that void for many years before I finally found the love of my life.
For much of my childhood, I could not understand why God brought me into this world without limbs. When I finally realized that He had a purpose for me to serve as an inspiration to others, it gave my life new meaning.
For much of my young adulthood, I could not understand why God had not brought me a woman to love with all of my heart for the rest of my life. I grew angry and impatient when I put myself out there in relationships that ended in heartbreak. What I didn’t know at the time was that my failed relationships offered lessons I needed to learn so that when I met my future wife, I would have a full appreciation and abundant gratitude for the wondrous gift her unconditional love represents. And then God brought me Kanae, and I finally realized that He had been preparing me for her all that time.