I have a tendency to be silly about some things, and my eyesight is one of them. When I was a child, I was VERY proud that I had excellent vision. I loved the fact that I could soar through eye tests with ease. My pride may have stemmed from the fact that I couldn’t breeze through all of the tests I was given in school. For instance, when I was in elementary school, I actually flunked skipping in gym class. I don’t know why skipping was so hard for me—I just couldn’t get the rhythm down. Anyway, I was very proud that passed all my eye tests and didn’t need glasses.
My terrific vision lasted all the way through college and beyond, but after my carbon monoxide poisoning, things began to change. I was put into quarantine, and whether it was the carbon monoxide exposure, the Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, or the fact that I was writing for hours at my computer, my eyesight began to fail.
There’s a picture of cabin with a crooked fence post in my living room. When I realized my eyesight was getting worse, I became obsessed with that cabin. Every day, I would stand in front of the picture and then slowly back up. I measured how far I could back away and still see the crooked fence post. It was horribly distressing when I realized that my distance vision was getting worse and worse. Each day, I had to get closer to the picture to see the fence post clearly. Immediately, I began to pray. I beat against the gates of Heaven, asking God to restore my vision. Just like when I was put into quarantine, I struggled against what was happening. I fought it. I tried to deny it. I tried to ignore it. But believe it or not, some things don’t change just because you want them to.
I hated my new glasses. I hated my failing vision. I was NOT content with the situation. I was NOT grateful that my vision could be corrected. I was miserable that it had to be corrected in the first place. And even with glasses, my vision continued to decline. I was NOT happy with God. I figured if He didn’t heal the big thing (my Multiple Chemical Sensitivity), He could have at least healed the little thing—my eyes. Even after I got glasses, I continued checking my vision against the cabin picture. I kept hoping that maybe things would turn around, but they didn’t.
After several years of mental turmoil, you’d think I would’ve become accustomed to my glasses, but I didn’t. To me, they were a sign of defeat…at least they were until something amazing happened.
When I edit my novels, I do most of my editing on computer, but sometimes I use a printed manuscript. I have a table set aside for manuscript editing. On the table is a cup of red pens and yellow highlighters, and on the rim of the cup is a binder clip.
One day, I was really stewing about my glasses. I stewed about the way my glasses felt on my nose. I stewed about the way my glasses made me look in the mirror. I stewed about how God didn’t heal my vision when He OBVIOUSLY had the ability. Basically, I was acting snotty toward God, and I was spending my day grumbling, and griping, and feeling nasty.
Finally deciding that I’d better get to work on my manuscript, I grabbed a red pen from the cup. The pen hit the binder clip, and the binder clip dislodged from the cup’s rim, sprang up, and hit the lens of my glasses. The impact was so hard that it knocked my head back. It happened so fast that didn’t have time to blink or react.
I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I picked up the binder clip and stared at it.
I’d heard stories about a boy losing his vision when he was hit in the eye by a cookie. The cookie hit with such force that it caused irreparable damage, and eventually, his eyeball had to be surgically removed.
I stared at the binder clip some more. The clip had hit my glasses with incredible force. If I hadn’t been wearing glasses, the clip would’ve hit me square in the eye.
Sitting there, holding that binder clip in my hand, I realized something amazing. My glasses were a BLESSING. Not only were they helping me see better—they had just protected me from something awful. Sitting there, holding that clip, I asked myself a question: Could God have ignored my prayers about my glasses because He knew that if I wasn’t wearing them, I might have lost an eye???? Standing there, holding that clip, I had to admit it was possible.
I don’t know why some things happen. I don’t know why some prayers go unanswered. But one thing I do know—now, when I look at my glasses, I don’t feel angry. I don’t feel upset. I don’t feel cheated. I feel very, very content. I also feel very, very grateful.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9