Many years ago, I was told I had an eye disease. The prognosis was unclear as they really were not sure what it was I had. Thirty-five years later, it is still not known what I have. Doctors have diagnosed and re-diagnosed what the disease might be. This of course leaves me out of any research or treatment options. If there is no diagnosis, how does anyone know which research project or treatment plan to put me into? So off I went, down the unknown path of blindness. It is a difficult road to travel but there is so much that I have learned on this journey. Blindness is a thieving disease. It robs you of a childhood of “normal” experiences. I didn’t play soccer or softball. It robs you of independence. I would never get my driver’s license. It robs you of adult events like seeing your future husband’s face as he awaits his bride to join him at the altar. I think one of the most difficult things was sitting at a public poolside with friends and all of our children splashing around and jumping in the deep end for the first time. All the kids were calling out to their respective mom’s to “watch me!” Oh how it broke my heart to hear my kids call out “hey Mrs. So-and-so, watch me!”
My children knew I couldn’t see them do their tricks and see their bravery in trying the deep end. It took me some tears and time to come to terms with that one. I questioned God’s plan for this condition. It was simply too painful for me to miss out on the new experiences my kids were having. The joy and excitement I heard in the other mom’s voices as I listened to them affirm their children with “good job” or “that’s great”. The heart of a mother knows another heart of a mother in these situations even if she can’t fully understand the loss. My friends would try to describe what trick or new attempts my kids were doing. It helped to get at least a picture in my mind but it was still painful.
But I learned through the process of trying to identify my eye disease, that I had something much worse. I had an “I” disease. My focus was on what I wasn’t able to do instead of what God could do through my blindness if I would allow Him to. It became all about me instead of all about Him. Friends, there is no “I” in Jesus. There is no “I” in joy. There is no “I” in peace. There is no “I” in love. There is no “I” in mercy. There is no “I” in hope. These are the characteristics of God. Our faith is not built on the things we can control, it’s built by relinquishing that control to the one who already knows the end from the beginning. I had to learn that God had a greater purpose for my vision than I would ever be able to see with good vision. “We walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
Although the eye disease I have is incurable, the “I” disease I was suffering from was curable by God, the greatest physician there could ever be. I am choosing to find gratitude in my blindness so that other people can be drawn to Jesus through it. I will be rid of this eye disease one day in heaven, but for now I can be rid of my “I” disease here and let God show me all the ways to see Him. We don’t have to suffer blindness to have an “I” disease. No doctor, no medicine, and no hospital can cure that fatal disease. It can only be God who heals us of that. Whatever we may face in this life, if we let God use it for good, He will. “and we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good. For those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
God has a plan complete with road maps. You will find no greater glory than letting God have your heart, life and love.
BTW— I had our camera man at the wedding zoom in on my groom’s face when I began walking down the isle so I could watch it later on video and sit close enough to see it. I am not totally blind yet but if I someday find myself in those circumstances, God will still be my vision.