No more progressive lenses, I’m switching between readers and distance glasses.
Have you ever wanted to dance at a doctor’s office? Kiss and hug your doctor? Weep for joy with thanks and gratitude at your doctor’s office? Inside I wanted to, recently, but I could tell by Dr. Romero’s reserved demeanor that I should keep the displays of emotion to a minimum. I simply ended with, “Tell your wife to give you a big hug and kiss.” My happiness was because the doctor gave me a clear and concise explanation for the double-vision and migraines that have been troubling me for the past couple of years. I had a micro-vascular stroke during a severe migraine at that point in time (2.5 years ago) and it caused a palsy in the oblique muscle of my eye, resulting in double vision. Eureka! It all made sense now….
In more simple terms, a killer migraine caused a “short” in the nerve that goes to my eye muscle, causing it not to work properly, so that I now have double vision. That causes a vicious cycle of more migraines and other complications. I’m pretty happy with this news. It doesn’t really change the circumstances, but it does affirm what I’ve been telling doctors and everyone who will listen for quite a while now. My takeaway…we know our own body better than anyone. Except for our Maker. And boy, are we wonderfully and intricately woven together!
Walk by faith, not by sight. These words have a more profound meaning than ever before to me, because without my glasses, I see everything double! Even with my glasses, my eyes fatigue very easily and sometimes I can only do half of what I’d planned in a day. That used to really frustrate me and make me so mad. Kicking and screaming mad inside. Feeling sorry for myself mad.
Recently walk by faith, not by sight means when I don’t have sight, quite literally, because of fatigued eyes, I must rest. Rest can be active, you know. That’s something I’m learning. When I am not sleepy at all and it’s only 1:00pm in the afternoon, but my eyes must rest, I am forced to close them. I have choices in that moment. I can be really frustrated at my situation, and obsess on what I’m not able to do at that time, or I can simply take the time to be still.
Funny how not seeing well is helping me to see some things better. My friend asked how I was seeing today, the kind of “How are you?” where she really wanted to know, and I told her that my vision isn’t good today. But I feel good and my outlook on life is good. It is well with my soul. I didn’t say that last part, but sometimes I say it out loud when asked how I’m doing.
Not because I want to be churchy or a throwback to an 1873 hymn (yes, I looked it up) but because it IS well with my soul. I get what Mr. Spafford meant as he penned these words. My circumstances are lame at times, as far as my eyeballs are concerned. I’ll have a couple of good days in a row when I can drive myself around in freedom, then a few bad days when I have migraines and have to call on friends to take me to work or errands. My short-term memory is almost always on the fritz. It annoys my family and it’s often embarrassing when people who don’t know the situation are repeating a conversation because I ask what looks like a stupid question. Again. Even so, it is well with my soul.
How can that be? I hate weakness. I am learning not to abhor it. I am uncomfortable being weak and helpless. But God is allowing me to be weak right now in this season of life. I choose to depend on Him in my weakness and allow Him to be my strength and my peace. If I didn’t do that, I would only be a very angry, bitter and sad, weak person. Instead, I am a weak and joyful person, being strengthened, day by day, and growing in perseverance.
Do you see the beautiful paradox? I am still weak. I am still sad. I grieve that I don’t have the “normal” carefree experience that I “deserve”. But because I choose to lean into Jesus daily, I am stronger than EVER because of him. He is my strength when I cannot do anything but cry and feel sorry for myself. He is my hope when I can’t imagine a future and don’t know what’s going to happen the next day with my plans. He is the one thing that I know of for certain in my life. That is why I can say, it is well with my soul.
Y’all may think I’ve gone a little crazy, but this is what I’m doing and it’s setting me free like never before. Embrace Weakness. This is upside down from the “pull up your bootstraps” mentality that is so prevalent in this culture. I tend to shun weakness and pretend that I don’t have any inadequacies. (chuckle) That is worth a loud snort because we all have frailties in our life.
My eyes aren’t working the way I want them to. As a result, I’ve had severe double vision for the past two and a half years. There are periods of time that I just can’t drive myself around to and fro the way that I’m used to. I have to call or text friends or ask my kids to take me to the grocery store, or to run errands, or to go to work. For a time, I was so fed up with asking people for help that I hired a college student as a driver for a couple of months. She is very sweet and was a blessing to us during that time. I wasn’t embracing my weakness. I was kicking and screaming and throwing a fit about it.
I kicked and screamed for about two years. I researched on the internet. I had several MRI’s, countless blood tests, doctor visits and went to the incredible Mayo Clinic. Suddenly, over the past few weeks, my vision is getting worse. My heart, however, is becoming more and more free. How? By embracing my weakness. I am weak. I can’t fight it. Well, I guess I can, but it’s just plain exhausting and fruitless. I have been angry at God, mad at my own body for betraying me and not behaving the way I want it to, and finally, I am done fighting.
I accept that I am weak. But Jesus is strong. He is my strength. I have tried to be strong my entire life and put up a persona of a strong woman, and I don’t have to do it anymore. It’s so relaxing and peaceful. Embrace weakness.
When I was a single mom of a little baby boy and had to prove to the world that I could do this, I was strong. When I was a young girl who was sexually abused and I promised myself I would never be a victim again, I was strong. I don’t have anything to prove now. I’m embracing my weakness, embracing Jesus and His peace. And it feels good.