Last Thursday, I began to lose sight in my left eye. It just so happened an eye doctor was in our little town for three days. I saw him that day. And then the next day, when my sight deteriorated further. And again the next day when the darkness continued to creep in. It was nothing to worry about…just a little inflammation. No work was allowed, just rest and a drop in the eye.
Somewhere in one of the quiet moments of rest, the Lord planted a seed in my heart. “This is a gift,” was all He said. No explanation. No pretty package portraying what kind of flower would bloom from this seed He had carefully buried in my heart.
And then, the gift was everywhere. It was the sweet things I saw with my right eye. A smile. My husband working tirelessly. My sister-in-love laying on the bed with me to talk. It was the sweet things I heard. The laugh of two sweet redheaded boys, a prayer said over me, text messages pouring in from concerned friends. And it was what I felt. Blessed for the chance to slow down and appreciate all I have been given.
By Sunday afternoon, my eye sight had continued to deteriorate. We packed up the house and prepared to head to the capital for a second opinion. Friends were already praying, making appointments, and providing a safe and loving place for my children to land.
And the gift was love. Always much love.
Monday. Oh, how long ago it seems. We arrived to the capital in amazing time considering the fact that the drive shaft dropped out of our car a short way into the journey. A friend quickly loaned us his car and we arrived, dropped the kids off to a saint of a woman, and made our way to the clinic.
The appointment with the ophthalmologist led to an MRI. What at first seemed like wild video game noises, led to a migraine and tears, but still…this was a gift, right?
Yesterday, how strange it seems to type that word for it could have as well been a year ago, I awoke to complete loss of vision in my left eye. I noticed that when the light flicked off, a strange desperation filled my heart to flick it back on as soon as possible. A bit of fear finally settled in my heart. Tears waiting to fall, I opened to the Words of Life. “For when our sufferings increase, so does our consolation.”
This time the gift looked a bit less becoming, more foreign to my eyes, for the gift was suffering, a greater chance to know the immeasurable depth of His consolation.
Calmed, we headed out for another day of pokes and prods and questions. Our attending physician speaks perfect English, strange comfort since I feel at home in Spanish, and the other is a world-renowned Retinologist.
“I can’t promise you that you will regain any sight, but we must act quickly to protect the other eye,” they warned stoically. Prepared to receive a diagnosis of a virus or even MS, I had not allowed myself to entertain the notion of the permanent loss of my sight.
That of course, is still to be determined. The door is not shut. For in these days, the Lord God of the universe has at His step another persistent widow. She bears the face and speaks with the voice of a thousand friends around the world, unceasingly begging for grace and peace and if it would please Him, the restoration of sight.
I too pray. Mostly, mostly for the ability to see the Gift. To accept whatever should fall from His hand as something beautiful and perfectly chosen for me, be it blindness total or partial, be it complete healing and a life much unchanged. And I pray that this tender green shoot of faith, which I hold onto for dear life, will be a gift back to Him as well. For there is no offering too large to be placed on His altar, especially the altar that birthed the Gospel, of which we came to speak.
Currently, I am undergoing a series of high dose intravenous treatments. After but one night hospitalized, I was allowed to come to be with my family, to wade through these murky waters together. I would be a fool to deny that we feel the threat of flood, but we are not afraid for we hear His voice echoing, even in the unknown closets of our hearts, “when you walk through the flood, I will be there.”
And that, for today, is the gift
I will likely be unable to post regularly for some time. Even now, this is a stolen moment, a forbidden one, but I had words which needed escape. I hope God will speak to you through them and that you too will take on the face and the voice of the persistent widow on my behalf!