Tourette Syndrome: A Gift Found Amid Trouble

(Facebook/Janet Swanson)

Have you ever had a struggle in life in which others made fun of you? Have you ever struggled with something attached to your identity? Have you ever questioned God about your struggle? Did you ever think that the thing you struggled with would be the platform God uses to promote you, bless you, gift you and bless others through you? That is exactly what happened to Caleb Ely.

He was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome. Hear his story of how he overcame bullies and so much more while growing up on this episode of One Voice on Charisma Podcast Network. Still to this day, God helps him in every avenue of his life, but he truly is a blessing to the body of Christ.

When I first met Caleb, I knew he had visible issues like his tics. But his giftedness stood out more to me than his tics did! Honestly, I don't know what I would do without him. He's the brains behind my podcast. He's the voice of the intro and outro. He has a servant's heart and a heart after God. He loves the Lord so much. He's a friend that will go the extra mile and would do anything to bring comfort to a broken heart.

Maybe you are like I was before I met Caleb, and you don't know a lot about Tourette syndrome. Since I was a hairdresser for over 30 years, I have met a lot of people from all walks of life. I remember working with a child one time who had Tourette syndrome, and he was so mean and angry. I was afraid of him as a young girl in my 20s. Many times, we are afraid of what we are not familiar with, so we run from the things we don't understand. Today I want to bring to the front what the church has swept under the rug long enough: struggles that have gifts attached to them. Just in case you don't know, here are a few facts about Tourette syndrome.

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Facts About Tourette Syndrome

— The official name is Tourette Syndrome, but it is also known by Tourette's or TS.

— TS is not rare but is often overlooked or misdiagnosed.

— You can't "catch" TS. It is a hereditary disorder manifested through genetics.

— People with TS live normal lives. While it may be annoying, it is not typically debilitating or life-altering in a major way. It's often not even noticed by others.

— Uncontrollable cursing and swearing, called coprolalia, only occurs in 10-15% of cases and is not a part of a typical TS diagnosis.

— There have been many famous people with TS, including English poet Samuel Johnson, American singer Billie Eilish and Christian artist Jamie Grace.

— The Tourette Association of America website is a great place to learn all about Tourette's.

— If you know someone with TS, don't make fun of them or think they are crazy. Instead, ask about their tics. Chances are they will love to talk about them and help you better understand what is happening and how you can assist them.

Join Caleb and me on this podcast episode and hear his story! I pray you will have more insight and compassion after hearing what all he's been through. Find the giftedness even in the struggle.

Listen anywhere podcasts are available, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Connect with Caleb Ely by visiting his website, blog and podcast.

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