Marissa - My life with Amniotic Band Syndrome



We received this wonderfully uplifting blogpost from Marissa Shouse, a joung woman who was born with amniotic band syndrome and who lives in the USA. 


My name is Marissa Shouse I am 27 years old, I have the vision to see the purpose.  There is no glory of myself, for I know it was God who whispered in my ear not to lose hope that it would all come full circle and make sense.  I learned to do everything as any other child, and maybe even better at some things, just as a blind person who has exceptional hearing or a sense of smell.  I know that I can talk with others like myself who have these limb differences they will all say we have special talents that most people cannot understand.  If they have yet to figure out that talent, then I know with a little thought it will come to mind, or ask those who know you best.  People around you seem to see things that we may not be able to see in ourselves. 

My advice is to be your own cheerleader, get in that mirror and declare you are fearfully and wonderfully made that you are beautiful from the outside to the inside.  Self-pity, resentment, depression I would say are the chains that come with these hand, feet or any other limb differences always at different stages of your life.  Honestly, for me it would always creep in and, try to hurt me when I was succeeding, the moments when I was actually proud of myself.  I know that should be the happiest time, but anytime you are rising up from the dirt there will always be something that tries to knock you back down - sadly it will be your own mind sometimes that creates negative thoughts about yourself.

Get ready for war anytime you do something great, because opposition is always there to test that faith you have in your abilities to do good work.  As I grew in wisdom, and it comes with age, also many times biting that dust.  I began journaling as a kid, it has been a way of release as well as a tracker of progress so I can go back to see how I handled those moments.  I read over those pages and even though maybe not all my circumstances have changed I noticed that my attitude has changed.  I still whine some days, even ask God why sometimes and that is okay, but staying there is NOT what we are going to do!

Let's move past WHY and get to WHAT!

  • What can I do to change what I do not like about my situation?
  • What can I do to help someone and I will not focus on just me?
  • What is my purpose in this world, how can I leave my mark?


It has taken me a long journey on the road to accepting, learning to be less self-conscious.  I used to never show my hands in a picture that people would see, or may notice.  I even learned how to hold the camera when I would take my infamous selfies that people wouldn't see them.  I thought myself that if someone seen that first they would judge me as ugly or weird.  I just wanted them to meet me, talk to me, or even hang out with me first, then when they found out about it that I would feel a level of comfort with them already.  Sadly, this was very foolish because 80% of people I meet and ask they said they never noticed it until months, even years after knowing me!

You see, being self-conscious is something even super models go through.  When next to someone who they may feel has that tiny perfect nose, or the perfect pouty lips, same goes for men.  When around that guy with the awesome six pack, when you yourself may have just a little extra to love! That is OKAY learn that no two people have the same appearances, even twins have some sort of distinction, you are you and that's all you ever need to be.  We were created, each with things we consider flaws or things we are working to change, but in the process never lose sight of the fact that the moment you were born you were loved.  Loved by God and family, who treasured you for the jewel that you are and I hope that you overcome every obstacle with a grace and great joy along the way.  If you ever you are feeling down YouTube Lizzie Velasquez: see, don't you get an attitude adjustment?

There will be days that we are frustrated because it is a legitimate reason when we have to train ourselves to do things that people take for granted every day.  Let's show them, even remind them so that they will appreciate those limbs by our stories.



You can find Marissa on Instagram or contact her by email at .