By: Janet Perez Eckles
Out of habit, I felt for the light switch in our bathroom. I flipped it on, but, the darkness remained. My body shook with terror. Holding on to the cold and slick counter top, I looked toward the mirror and saw a dreary gray of nothing. In desperation, I felt the urge to scratch through the glass into the darkness to find even a slight glimpse of my reflection. Instead, I found the ugliness of my black world.
My blindness entered into my life with a vicious force ripping apart the dreams my husband Gene and I had. Our focus was on raising our three small sons and live the "happily ever after." But the unavoidable effects of a retinal disease with no possible cure turned our joy to bitterness and fear. Motivated by desperation, I began a relentless search for a cure. My visits to fortunetellers, psychics and New Age healers caused my bank account to diminish and my frustration to increase.
My despair touched those around me. A friend called, "How are you doing!" she asked.
"Fine," I lied. The old Jan, with a cheerful personality vanished. Like a candle blown out by a draft, blindness left my world like shapeless wax.
"Well, I didn't know how you felt but our church is having a service you might like," began her invitation. Before I could give her a quick excuse, she added, "Actually, it's a Bible study followed by prayers for healing."
There was my answer-- the place where I'd receive the miracle. "When is it?
I'll go with you!" I replied and caught myself smiling, something rare for me those days.
There was my answer -- the miracle I longed for! I would be certain to be one of those "lucky" people and be healed. I welcomed this invitation as a much-needed intermission for the wrestling match of my emotions. But instead, this experience hurled me with force onto the mat of disappointment. The services proved useless. No healing. No miracle.
"Why, God?" I asked over and over again.
While attending the services, my eyes poured out tears and my mind, irrational thoughts. I wondered ... chances are, everyone present at these sessions was burdened with some degree of personal problems, but I reasoned none could be as bad as mine. I resented all those who attended. Unlike me, all were sighted and were able to jump in their cars and carry on with their lives. They all could see and thus were more than capable of resolve whatever their issues were. They could see! But me? What chance did I have to move forward. My heart became much like the metal folding chair I sat on, cold, hard, and lifeless.
All at once, the first breath of life entered my soul. It stopped the pounding of my heart and with a mixture of power and gentleness, this verse forced me to look up:
"Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33 NIV)
A quick sigh slipped from my lips and momentarily unaware, my sobbing stopped. What I heard entered my heart like a floodlight revealing every detail of the source of my pain-I had been consumed with the desperate desire to see again. This was my priority number one-nothing else mattered, but God instructed otherwise - to seek Him first.
Seek Him first? But how! The answer came in one word: decision. I had a choice: to continue to sink into my sorrow or look up, open my heart and see what God would do.
I chose the latter, I accepted Jesus as my Savior, my Lord and my all. The promise I just heard in this verse warmed my heart like a soft blanket removing the cold shiver of desperation.
The miracle I hoped for was called freedom. Like opening my hand to let go the grip of a helium balloon, I pried my heart open and released my pain, my bitterness and my sorrow. Although I wasn't sure what the next step would be, I saw the evidence of this transformation back home with my little ones.
"Hey guys," I greeted them, "I'm home. Did you behave for daddy?" I tossed my purse on the couch and scooped my three year-old, Joe, into my arms, "I need a big hug."
"Need some help?" offered Gene.
"Nope, I'm home and I'll take over," I assured him, "Come on all of you, its bath time." I rounded them up.
Instinctively, I counted the steps down the hallway and felt for the banister to head upstairs.
My hearing became more acute as I could, with little effort, pick up any telltale sound directing me to correct their mischievous behavior.
My husband's tone of voice also revealed his mood to me. One evening, he came home and said in a singing tone, "I got a surprise for you."
"Oh - should I close my eyes?" We both laughed out loud.
I felt a square object in my hands and ran my fingers to examine it,
"Of the Bible," he answered.
I squealed like a little girl as I clutched them to my chest, "Its better than any gift you could give me, better than a huge diamond!" I hugged him long and tight.
The Word of God nourished my soul and placed a permanent light into my darkness. I gained wisdom to see my family with my heart and care for them with my love.
My vision became clear as I recalled the time I anguished, unable to see my reflection on the mirror. But now with new eyes, I perceived a new image ... a portrait painted with the splendor of God's love, the vibrant colors of His sustaining power, and delicately framed with the golden reassurance of His promises.
Staff Note: Janet Perez Eckles is an inspirational speaker,
ladies' Sunday School teacher, freelance writer, contributor to eight books,
and author of, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming
Adversities in Life."
For nuggets of inspiration, visit her at:
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