On my Twitter feed today (see it over there in the right sidebar) I wrote:
Allow yourself to be surprised. TRUST the process.
A year ago I was in a situation that I most definitely had to trust the process. My diabetes has wreaked havoc on my body over the course of more than 35 years. I’ve written a little about my kidney failure and need for dialysis. Diabetes is also the cause for me losing vision in my right eye 25 years ago. (WOW! I never think about how long it’s been and to write those numbers is pretty amazing!)
Anyway, vision in one eye means a loss of dimension. So, for example, I count steps everywhere I go because sometimes they can meld into each other and look to me like a flat surface. Or, when collecting papers from my students, I used to hold my hand out and wait for them to place the paper in my hand because inevitably, I would reach above or below where the actual paper was being handed.
Vision in one eye also means I have no peripheral vision on my right side. So you can be sitting right next to me and I can’t see you. I have often found myself sitting at meetings and jump when a person next to me asks me a question because I had no idea that person sat down next to me.
So back to a year ago . . . .I contracted a cancer that rested on the very corner of my left eye. My good eye. My only seeing eye. After multiple doctor appointments, it was determined that surgery was the only way to rid the cancer, but that of course meant trauma to my eye. And very possibly losing vision in that eye.
Devastation was an understatement when I received that news. First thoughts through my head were how would I work? I wouldn’t be able to drive anymore. What would I do? How would I be able to live in my home? How was I going to make a living? And so on and so on . . . .
As time grew closer to my surgery and this horrid concept became more and more frightening for me, some different thoughts started to flood my mind . . . .I would never see my family and friends again. Sunsets and sunrises were a thing of the past. How would I be able to write those letters and text messages of encouragement to my friends and family that I so love to do? My mind was just in constant motion thinking of all that I could very possibly lose.
One day, in utter desperation to escape my own thoughts, I drove to a lake about an hour from my home. I sat and stared at the water for an hour or so and had a serious conversation with God. I reassured Him that I knew how very much I had been given in my life and I thanked Him over and over again for all my blessings . . . . “but PLEEEEEEASSSSSSEEEEEEEE God, not my vision!!!” And I would sit, staring at the water, trying to envision what my life would be like if I did lose my vision.
And this amazing thing happened. My mind would go blank. Completely empty. No thoughts of anything were in my mind. Just the motion of the water and a calming effect came over me. It was two hours later that I finally “came to.”
As I drove home and processed what had happened while I was at the lake, I came to the realization that it was God’s way of telling me that I didn’t have to envision what my life would be like without my eyesight. He was going to take care of me and everything was going to be okay. I just had to TRUST THE PROCESS and Him.
So I did. The morning of my surgery I took with me all the things that no one can ever take away from me . . . the sound of laughter with my friends, the memories of all the adventures with my nieces and nephews, the warmth of a hug, etc. and the belief that no matter what the outcome, God was going to take care of me.
I will never forget the feeling of just awakening from my surgery and the nurse asking me how many fingers she was holding up . . . .”one finger! ONE FINGER!!!!! I CAN SEE ONE FINGER!!!!!!!!!!!”
It took awhile but my vision has returned to normal . . . .in fact, it is even better than it was before the surgery. I used to need reading glasses for everything. Now I only need them occasionally.
I am in constant awe of the miracles in my life. I am forever profoundly grateful for them. I just need to TRUST the process and Him. I know this. But I guess I still need reminders too. Perhaps we could work on the severity of those reminders, God?? 🙂