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Love Without Limits: A Remarkable Story of True Love Conquering All Hardcover – November 18, 2014
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About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
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.
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From the Manufacturer
Q&A with Nick and Kanae Vujicic
Nick, you were worried that you would never find a woman who could love you. How did those insecurities affect your relationship with Kanae? How did she help you overcome those doubts?
Nick: All my insecurities were gone out the window as I saw how Kanae looked at me, held me and how we both felt about each other. There is nothing better than a reciprocated love that's unconditional. After a relationship that did not move onward, I desired to have a bride whose family would welcome me into their family and hearts. The biggest test for us during our courting period was when I went through a personal financial crisis. Seeing Kanae’s commitment to stand by my side no matter what was the most amazing discovery of how deep her love was for me. She looks at me, and I can tell she doesn't see limbless Nick. Shshsh :)
How did you overcome the challenges of a long-distance relationship, especially with Nick’s busy international travel schedule? How did you make your relationship a priority?
Kanae: Well, thank God for technology. We were on video calls a lot. Nick kept his phone bills a secret from me, especially when he was overseas. We talked nearly every single day. Even after his long day speaking, jet-lagged and with the stresses of traveling, he did his best truly to help me feel like the most important thing in his life. He and I would pray always together and text like crazy. I think he got a cramp for two days in his big toe from the texts. He would do his best to try to stop in Dallas to see me instead of going home. It was hard sometimes, but we were thankful for every moment we had even when we were on opposite sides of the globe.
What was the biggest adjustment once you were married? Was there anything you dealt with that surprised you about being married?
Nick: There were several adjustments we handled once we were married. My caregivers never slept over anymore. There was the balance of me needing care sometimes, but not always, and then balancing the fact that I don’t want my wife to assume the role as a caregiver either. I think the biggest surprise was actually seeing what our counselors said was true—that it's always more about giving than even sharing from a day-to-day basis and that goes for both sides. Also we learned that nothing the counselor could ever tell you can completely prepare you for marriage. Lastly, I am reminded daily of what I need to work on in my character as a man to be all that I want to be for her and our son Kiyoshi.
What was it like to write a book together? Did you learn anything new about yourselves during the process?
Nick: It was a totally awesome experience, but at first we were a little nervous because we knew that there would be a 'digging up' of the past and some things we would rather leave behind. But we did it, with the help of our amazing ghost writer, in understanding that there would be someone who could read our story and truly benefit and be blessed by it. I think the biggest fear of all in one's life is to be alone. We want all to know that God is with them, and He does have a plan. It sometimes takes longer and takes turns down unexpected paths that lead to a future we could not foresee.
Top Customer Reviews
Sooo.. This book. This is my first encounter with Nick. To say he and his wife have inspired me is an understatement. Since I began reading this book I've felt changes in me for the good and best. My heart has opened at a time I felt it already was. I find myself more hopeful to spend the rest of my life with my Forever. And the neatest part, to me..... I found myself praying and having a conversation with the big guy above for the first time in 20- 25 years.
I'll admit, like most, I've had my share of heartbreak and challenges. We all have our stories. But Nick and Kanae have found a way to share their story in such an inspiring way that this book and their story will always remain close to my heart.
A tender book of encouragement, I believe this is a good book for anyone who is single out there and still looking for the one. Nick tells about true love that conquers all fears and insecurities whether it be personality wise or figure wise. He shares some of the humorous stories from his search for love and even some moments after he got married. As a Christian evangelist, he also shares his foundation for his faith and how even in his darkest moments, God was there for him the whole time as well as some brothers and sisters in Christ who encouraged him to never give up in his search if it was truly a desire of his heart.
Nick will encourage anyone who is single to keep hope if marriage is truly what they want because things will work out in God's time. This is a great book to read for anyone who has tried again and again and failed at love. You will find hope in this book that truly, God can help you find someone to love for the rest of your life and will bring someone into yours that will love you for who you are.
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.
Um, it was by Nick Vujicic and his wife. I didn't even read the backcover I was just like "YES!" and requested it. I mean, come on people! It's got to be good. :)
What I thought:
I guess maybe it would have been a good idea for me to read the backcover and at least get an idea about what the book was about but I think I would have requested it anyway because I really like the other stuff I've read, watched and heard by Nick Vujicic.
The book was centered around relationships. The first part of the book I was like "This is really good, it applies to pretty much everyone." As the book progressed though, it centered more on dating/engaged/married population of the world, which makes sense, because that's who the book was written for. That didn't resonate with me as much because that's not where I am in life, but it was still good. (Just a note: There were some parts that are for older audiences.)
Overall it was really good. I'm sure there were some things I don't agree with, but I can't recall anything at this moment. The whole book was chocked full of painfully real and extremely funny stories. I was amazed and blessed by how honest they were with us, their audience. There were times when I was just like Oh no, that's so sad! and other times when I seriously laughed out loud. Their story is pretty crazy.
It was a great book. I would recommend it for people who are in a serious relationship, but I'm sure other people would enjoy it and learn from it as well.
I'm giving it four stars.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.
This book records their love story from the time they met, through their dating, early marriage and first child. It is a very realistic book. In many ways, the dating and early marriage accounts are geared more for those who aren't married and looking for a partner. It offers tips on what to look for, standards to have, etc. But then once Kanae found out she was pregnant after only three months of marriage, (not in their plans), it moves on to the struggles of adapting to a child and making the necessary adjustments in the marriage relationship as well.
To be honest for me, it painted a rather gloomy picture of life after kids. But it was a good reality check for me. It probably stuck out to me more because of realizing these changes are going to be our changes in just a few weeks, give or take a little.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I highly recommend this book for those who are about to embark in a serious committment, engaged to be married or about to be married. Read morePublished 23 days ago by L. Karres
Awe inspiring book! So glad that God is blessing our lives with Nick's witness!Published 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
If you’ve ever felt unworthy of intimate love, surely Nick Vujicic has been there. If you’ve ever felt unworthy of the person you loved, then meet Kanae. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Sheila Deeth
I greatly admire Nick and Kanae, and I am SO, SO happy for Nick!! At one time in my life, this book would have been great for me. Read morePublished 1 month ago by PJJOJO
Nick Vujicic, born without limbs, wrote this with his wife, describing how they met, their courtship, wedding, and birth of their first child.. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Angie A.
I have known about Nick Vujicic for a few years, but have not had a chance to read any of his books...until now! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Katie A
I loved this book. It is so well written and Mr. Vujicic is a wonderful Christian and his writing inspired me.Published 2 months ago by Geraldine M. Mahan