Beauty in Brokenness - Part 1 (Transcript)

Dr. James Dobson: Well, hello everyone. I'm James Dobson and this is Family Talk. I have the privilege today of interviewing a charming lady that I've known for a year and a half, I think, and she is just a great woman of God, and Shirley loves her too, and our listeners are going to enjoy getting acquainted with her. Her name is Judy Squier and her husband is David, they've been married for 45 years, and he's here in the studio with us, but he's going to let Judy do the talking. Judy is the mother of three grown daughters who are all married, and she has a master's degree in speech therapy. Judy has written two books that we're going to be talking not about, but around, her story is in these books. And so, Judy, I'm so delighted that you could come be with us today.

Judy Squier: You aren't as delighted as I am, Dr. Dobson.

Dr. James Dobson: I met you at a conference in California and I just knew you're my kind of lady. And I want to go all the way back to the beginning of your life when you were born, and let's talk about your story, because your story has touched a lot of people and it has touched my heart as well. So is that okay? Can I do that?

Judy Squier: That's great.

Dr. James Dobson: All right, let's talk about your birth then and your arrival in the delivery room, and what happened at that time?

Judy Squier: I think the obstetrician wished that he'd been off duty, because in 1945, there were no ultrasound tests, so he had no forewarning that I would arrive without legs and a deformed left hand. So as I slipped through the birth canal, his knees started knocking because he knew he had to tell my parents that they had a broken baby.

Dr. James Dobson: Didn't he say something like, "She's going to live, which is a shame," or something like that? What did he say?

Judy Squier: Dad would often talk about how the obstetrician stumbled into the waiting room and said, "Reverend Ryder, your daughter is going to live, I'm sorry to say."

Dr. James Dobson: Why would a physician say something like that?

Judy Squier: I never got to ask him, but it just was his gut response. He had no hope or high expectations for my life.

Dr. James Dobson: It shows a lack of appreciation for the sanctity of human life, doesn't it?

Judy Squier: Yes.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. Well, show me your hands. All right. You have one hand that has five fingers on it, four fingers and a thumb, and the other one has two fingers and a thumb. That was part of the deformity too.

Judy Squier: Yes. The left hand was webbed, and so it was always in the background.

Dr. James Dobson: Your mother was not allowed to even see you for three days. How come?

Judy Squier: They were afraid to bring me to her, so she was frantic. What mother wouldn't be when you've just delivered a baby and have not been introduced to her yet? So mom was, I think she bore the brunt of my birth defect, but even that day they brought me in, Mom says that I turned over in the nurse's nervous arms, which gave her hope, and that my big brown eyes jumped out at her and wrapped themselves around her heart.

Dr. James Dobson: Oh my goodness. It was a genetic...

Judy Squier: It was not genetic.

Dr. James Dobson: It was not genetic?

Judy Squier: It was something that happened during the first trimester.

Dr. James Dobson: And nobody knows what?

Judy Squier: Nobody knows what. It still happens today, it's called phocomelia. And God has told me it was not a fetal fluke, it was holy design.

Dr. James Dobson: And you accept that?

Judy Squier: Boy, when you hear that in your spiritual ears, you accept it.

Dr. James Dobson: God made you just the way He wanted you for a purpose, didn't he?

Judy Squier: Right.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. You never bonded a lot with your mother for a reason. Explain why.

Judy Squier: I think she was wounded. I think we also had personalities that weren't easily meshed, but we did bond later in life when she was near her 90s and she was in a wheelchair, and we became pals then.

Dr. James Dobson: After all those years, you connected at last.

Judy Squier: After all those years. It was God's gift.

Dr. James Dobson: You took care of her at the end, didn't you?

Judy Squier: I went back and visited her, my sister took care of her, and it was just a precious gift that we were able to finally connect. We didn't talk about the past, but we were able to connect.

Dr. James Dobson: But you found love and care from your father?

Judy Squier: And from my mother, but my father was the one who was the champion, and that's so rare in families with a disabled child. So often, the father fades out of the picture.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. Talk about the surgeries you had, and there were many, your legs were amputated at one point.

Judy Squier: I was born without knees and just a little stub of a leg, and each little stub had a deformed foot. And Shriners Hospital did all my surgeries and they gave my parents the choice. If I wanted to wear artificial limbs, they would amputate the deformed feet and then I would be able to walk in artificial limbs, and that's what we did. So at age-

Dr. James Dobson: Wow, that was a serious decision to be made.

Judy Squier: I guess. I knew my parents were trustworthy and we had all the faith in the world in the surgeons at Shriners, and so it was a glorious day when we got the call that I would be admitted. And I was in there for six months, and walked out on my first set of artificial limbs.

Dr. James Dobson: Now, for some reason, the hospital did not allow you to have many visits with your parents.

Judy Squier: No.

Dr. James Dobson: And when you would have surgery, they got a postcard saying that you were having surgery, but they weren't there to support you. Explain why. I choked up when I read that.

Judy Squier: I have no explanation except they felt like if they pulled the child away from the family, they could be our strength, and it was wonderful-

Dr. James Dobson: That's not the way it's designed.

Judy Squier: I know, but we loved it at Shriners. Once we said bye-bye to mom and dad, they had us in school, and we bonded, a ward full of 16 girls. We had girlfriends for the first time in our lives. So we became a family, and the nurses were my best friends, so it was an outstanding experience. But what would you say as a psychologist? It impacted the bonding relationship that you have with-

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah, the relationship.

Judy Squier: Yeah.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. What were those six months like? Did your parents come at all? Did they come when invited? How often were they there?

Judy Squier: Visiting hours were from 1:00 until 4:00 on Sundays, so they were there-

Dr. James Dobson: Once a week?

Judy Squier: Once a week.

Dr. James Dobson: You could not see them during the week?

Judy Squier: No.

Dr. James Dobson: I don't understand that. I do hope they don't do that now.

Judy Squier: They don't, they don't. It's like any hospital now, the parents can sleep in the room. They've changed it.

Dr. James Dobson: Did you feel lonely?

Judy Squier: I think you felt lonely, especially the night before surgery. You thought, "Oh, mama, where are you?"

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. Judy, I read that your earliest memory was at two years of age. Describe that for us.

Judy Squier: As a two-year-old, I was in a crib in a ward with other children, and I remember looking through the rails of this crib at an empty chair, and the empty chair, I'm sure, made me feel lonely, but as I've written my stories, in His Majesty in Brokenness-

Dr. James Dobson: That's one of your books?

Judy Squier: One of my books.

Dr. James Dobson: That's the first one, isn't it?

Judy Squier: The first book. I recognize that that chair was occupied 24/7 by Jesus Christ.

Dr. James Dobson: But you didn't know that at the time?

Judy Squier: No.

Dr. James Dobson: You found it out later, that Jesus had been with you the whole way.

Judy Squier: And I would say my childhood and teen years were a wilderness. I'm sure He was there, but I didn't recognize His presence. So writing has served me well, because when you write a story, you live it a second time.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah, that's right. Describe for us what your self-concept was in those early years. Did you grieve over the differences between you and children who were not disabled?

Judy Squier: I had a sister three years older, and I watched her do all the things that I couldn't do, so I lived life vicariously through my sister.

Dr. James Dobson: Was there jealousy there?

Judy Squier: I don't think it was jealousy as much as inferiority and feeling like I was the loser.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.

Judy Squier: But even that, God turned that around. While I was watching her have all the fun, she was watching me and saw something in my life that was missing on her social calendar, and so, later on, she became a Christian.

Dr. James Dobson: Did she play a role in you giving your heart to the Lord?

Judy Squier: No, when I became a Christian, she didn't want to hear anything about it. So families are just such a complex mystery.

Dr. James Dobson: Yes. Well, yours was interfered with, from my perspective, and it had to have been a whole lot more difficult than it should have been. Separating a child from mother and dad, that comes with a lot of baggage system in its own way. I want to come back to your relationship with Christ, but first, talk about not being allowed to go to school. Public schools would not admit you. Why?

Judy Squier: Right. Insurance. I was an insurance risk, so there never was even the option of stepping through the door of the school that was three blocks away. So there was an experimental orthopedic program probably 13 miles away, and we all were segregated.

Dr. James Dobson: "We all," meaning other children with similar disabilities?

Judy Squier: The other disabilities. And the disabilities, the fact that we had physical disabilities put us all in the same room, no matter what our intellectual capabilities were. So we had one teacher for third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. And so, if we went in there with any intellectual potential, it died.

Dr. James Dobson: Well, there was nothing wrong with your mind, we can see that now. Were you with mentally disabled children?

Judy Squier: I don't remember them. I think we all were within about 50 points on the IQ test. So I don't know where those children were. There were no Downs children then in that room.

Dr. James Dobson: Yes. Well, that's a sad story in itself, and we will get to that, but there aren't a lot of Downs children being born today.

Judy Squier: I know.

Dr. James Dobson: Because they are aborted, and I grieve for them. Those are some of the most beautiful, wonderful, loving individuals you'll ever want to meet, and yet we're killing them.

Judy Squier: I hear you. Hand over a hanky, I need one on this topic.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah, me too. We'll talk some more about that too. So you were in the orthopedic school for how long?

Judy Squier: From first grade on until eighth grade, and it was housed in the high school, so then we just went on and went to the classes with the able-bodied students, but we struggled because we did not have a good foundation.

Dr. James Dobson: You had the same friends, were the same individuals with you, year by year by year.

Judy Squier: And they're still friends today.

Dr. James Dobson: Are they? Did you make a lot of friends there?

Judy Squier: Well, there were 13 of us only.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.

Judy Squier: And we Facebook and we've had a reunion, but even the teacher admitted that it was a trial program and it was a failure.

Dr. James Dobson: Why?

Judy Squier: Probably because, shortly after that, the disabled were mainstream, not segregated, and because academically, we suffered.

Dr. James Dobson: Because you had a teacher covering too wide a range of topics?

Judy Squier: Yeah, one teacher, no aides. So one teacher for 13 students in a third to eighth grade academia.

Dr. James Dobson: What year was that?

Judy Squier: That was in the '50s.

Dr. James Dobson: A lot has changed for the better-

Judy Squier: Hasn't it?

Dr. James Dobson: ... since then. Judy, if I had interviewed you when you were in the sixth grade, it would go something like this. Let's role play together, okay?

Judy Squier: Okay.

Dr. James Dobson: All right. Judy, tell me who you are. Who are you really?

Judy Squier: I'm a crippled girl.

Dr. James Dobson: Is that what you would've said?

Judy Squier: Yes.

Dr. James Dobson: If I would've said, "What does life hold for you? What do you think the future will be like?"

Judy Squier: I expect to spend my whole life with my parents. Maybe when they go home to the Lord, my sister will take me, but I don't expect to have a life.Dr. James Dobson: Are you sad?

Judy Squier: I'm sad telling you this.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.

Judy Squier: No one ever asked me that before.

Dr. James Dobson: Come on.

Judy Squier: No.

Dr. James Dobson: Nobody ever asked you that? Then or now?

Judy Squier: Ever.

Dr. James Dobson: Judy, those are very reasonable questions. I'm back roleplaying again. Do you blame God for what happened to you?

Judy Squier: I think I did then because I couldn't figure out why I was missing out, but as an adult, looking back, I can see his footprints and his plan.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. I read that some members of the local church came to visit your home and said that this disability had resulted from the sin of your parents. Did that really happen?

Judy Squier: Yes. My dad was the pastor.

Dr. James Dobson: What a cruel thing to say to people.

Judy Squier: I know. He was the pastor and they were his elders, and they didn't come to see the new baby, they came to accuse him.

Dr. James Dobson: Of what sin?

Judy Squier: I don't know. They didn't ask what the sin was, they just said, "You're in big trouble and your child is the consequence."

Dr. James Dobson: Were they saying that repentance was necessary, or that there was some grievous fault, sin, that God is holding against you and your family?

Judy Squier: Dad never told that part, he just told about what the obstetrician said, he told about what the elders said.

Dr. James Dobson: He told you that? That should never have reached your ears.

Judy Squier: Oh.

Dr. James Dobson: You were mismanaged at every stage.

Judy Squier: Hell.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. You needed somebody to put their arm around you and say, "Judy, you're a child of God. You are loved. He has a plan for you. You were allowed to live because He's got a job for you to do. You're not a second class citizen. You are a child of the king." Did anybody ever say that to you?

Judy Squier: I don't think I heard those words until I was 20 when my aunt led me to Jesus. But my family was so wounded.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.

Judy Squier: My dad grappled and shook his fists at God when I was less than a year old, "What do you have in mind for our Judy Ann?" So they were not in any position to be comforted by the Lord.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah, they were struggling, weren't they?

Judy Squier: They were struggling.

Dr. James Dobson: They were reeling. Well, I'm not accusing them either, I'm not-

Judy Squier: I know you aren't.

Dr. James Dobson: ... trying to say hurtful things of them, but they really needed help. They desperately needed somebody that could guide them and somebody that could guide you. The two books that we have referred to that you have written are as follows, His Majesty in Brokenness, by Judy Squier, Finding God's Masterpiece in Your Missing Piece. Have you found it?

Judy Squier: I have.

Dr. James Dobson: You're not bitter?

Judy Squier: Nope, I'm past that. And I don't even know if bitterness was allowed, we had to be stoic. But I've worked it through, and a lot of it has been because of Psalm 139.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.

Judy Squier: You were there, God, while I was being formed in utter seclusion. You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life.

Dr. James Dobson: I mentioned that scripture when you were in my office, I didn't know that was a favorite of yours, I might've guessed it. The title of the second book is Living in the Names of God. We're going to talk again, Judy, next time, and I would like you to tell me what the meaning of that title is. I could guess.

Judy Squier: And it's how 18 Hebrew names of God met me, and they bridged me to our King of kings and Lord of lords, His Majesty. And so, that book is a lot of my adult experiences as a mom with three little children, which I know motherhood is a legs job, and so you can believe that I needed help, not just David Squier who would come home from work exhausted and begin his real day, but from God himself.

Dr. James Dobson: Judy, I said at the top of the program, you are a very special lady, and you are, and I appreciate your being here with us. We haven't finished your story there today because I want to get your views on the sanctity of human life as well, and we will do that next time, but there's still more to your experience and we'll pick it up right here next time.

Judy Squier: I'll be back.

Dr. James Dobson: Thank you for coming all the way to Colorado Springs, and for David being here, he's sitting in the control room. I think he roots for you, doesn't he?

Judy Squier: He sure does.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. You've been married 45 years. You love that man?

Judy Squier: Can't live without him.

Dr. James Dobson: In the early days, he had some doubts about you, didn't he?

Judy Squier: Oh, oh, oh yes. That one.

Dr. James Dobson: We'll talk about that next time too. Okay. Thank you, Judy.

Judy Squier: Thank you.

Roger Marsh: Well, what a remarkable story shared by Judy Squier and our own Dr. James Dobson right here on Family Talk. Can you imagine being a little girl and facing all of those obstacles and roadblocks that Judy had to face? She is certainly a pillar of strength indeed. Well, be sure to tune in again tomorrow, and we will pick up right where we left off as we hear Doctor and Judy talk about her pivotal decision to give her life to Christ once she became an adult.

Now, Judy is living proof that what might appear to be an insurmountable problem can actually be a building block from God, and we can receive and share His love in the process. I'm reminded of these words from 1 John 4:7, in the new international version, we read, "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." Love one another indeed. Well, Judy Squier is certainly an extraordinary woman with a beautiful message that the love of God is available to all. Now, a topic that has been surfacing recently, especially as our culture gives it more attention, is the attack on gender, and this is one area where we certainly see the enemy at work as well. How do Christians effectively engage with and address this rising tide of transgenderism in our culture? Well, Dr. Owen Strachan has a unique understanding of the complexities involved. He's the author of a book called What Does The Bible Teach about Transgenderism? And his insights can help deepen your perspectives on this crucial issue. Now, in collaboration with Dr. Strachan, our team here at the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute has compiled a wide range of helpful resources for you on this topic. You can access them easily right now when you go to That's If you enjoy listening to Family Talk each day, why not consider partnering with us to help strengthen families? One great way to do that is with a financial contribution. It helps us keep on the air every day, and every dollar you donate enables us to equip parents, educate kids, and strengthen marriages and families literally worldwide. Now, if you are led to donate online, simply go to and you'll find all the information there. That's It's a very secure homepage that you can donate on. Now, if you'd like to donate over the phone, simply call our customer care team at 877-732-6825. They're standing by ready to speak with you, to receive your gift, and to pray with you and pray for you, if you need that. Again, the number to call is 877-732-6825. And if you'd like to send a donation through the U.S. Mail, simply write to our ministry mailing address, which is the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, PO Box 39000, Colorado Springs, Colorado, the zip code 80949.

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I'm Roger Marsh, and on behalf of Dr. Dobson and the entire team here at Family Talk, thanks so much for listening today. May God continue to richly bless you and your family as you grow deeper and stronger in your relationship with Him. And be sure to join us again next time right here for another edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.

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