“Get your husband on the phone. I need to talk to him.”
This isn’t the type of news you like to hear when the doctor walks in the room after numerous tests have been run and you’ve been sitting alone, and half-blind.
“This is either a brain tumor or multiple sclerosis. You need to go to Emory now and you can’t leave until your husband assures me that he’s taking you there.”
Okay. Got it. So….I don’t need some sort of eye surgery?
The truth is I knew. I knew more than Ryan. He was shaken to the core while I calmly packed a bag at home because I knew it would be a few days’ stay.
As this week marks the 5-year anniversary of my diagnosis and I’ve got some writing goals, I decided to write 3 MS-specific posts in a row. I shared last time about walking, resting, and recovery, and next time will share about a community being formed by suffering.
Rewind a couple of weeks…
I began memorizing Ephesians 1 and prayer journaling about it, asking the Lord to “enlighten the eyes of my heart that I may know the hope to which He has called me, the riches of His glorious inheritance and His immeasurable power toward me.”
The next day I started going blind in one eye. I kid you not. There are no coincidences, only the hand of God in all things, gently leading, prompting, and keeping His beloved children. What a precious gift He gave me in the knowledge that whatever was happening was in His control.
It was IN my physical blindness that He gave me the gift of seeing.
Paul goes on to say in Ephesians 1 that God put all things under Jesus’ feet. All things in subjection to him. Jesus led me to meditate on those verses before I started to go blind so that my confidence in His power, authority, and love would grow. Because Jesus’ perfect life, death, and then resurrection was Plan A – from before time began – not plan Z – I can trust that blindness, pseudo-seizures, pain, my leg not working, whatever, is not a surprise to Him. It is not plan C or Z. It’s plan A.
Over the next few days…
*Neuro – Opthamalogists studied my eyes
*I laid silently and alone in the loud MRI machine,
*friends showed up with food and to pray (multiple times)
*I was put on 1,000 mg of solumedrol for 3 days (read: major steroids – like the prednisone that you take 10 mg pills when you have a bad sinus infection and it makes you think you should go jump off a cliff… I digress).
*I was stabbed in the back with a huge needle for a spinal tap (lumbar puncture) and I don’t heal from those so I received a reverse lumbar puncture the next day (this is a long story)
*Doctors came in with words that made no sense
*God gave us the gift of a sweet nurse who prayed over me, answered every question I had, and brought me flowers.
*Ryan read the bible aloud to me since I couldn’t see well enough.
*Then, suddenly, I started to be able to see shapes, and then colors, and then words and I cried so much I couldn’t see anymore.
*I listened to and proclaimed “far be it from me to not believe, even when my eyes can’t see…it is well, it is well, with my soul.” (Bethel Music, Kristen DiMarco)
A new way to see has started…
There’s something about suffering and living in the mystery that makes us see Jesus more clearly and know Him more deeply – only pain can bring this, right? I couldn’t develop a spiritual sight like that and in my trusting that there aren’t interruptions to His plan, I knew He dimed my physical sight so that my spiritual sight would be more clear so that I could realize the hope to which I had been called.
The resurrection – God raising Jesus and as the author of Hebrews says, putting everything in subjection to Him and left nothing outside of His control – this means the He is in charge of my story, my pain, my suffering, and what has happened to my body, and what will continue to happen to my body… And I’ll be honest, I can’t always see that everything is in subjection to Him, in fact, I often see dimly and have more questions than I want to have. And yet, I get to see more of Him and can literally say – both physically and spiritually – I was blind but now I see – along with Bartimaeus who said it first (Luke 18, Mark 10).
We drove home from Emory a few days later – still pretty fragile and not knowing exactly what this meant for us – and as we drove I had this strange feeling of everyone else’s lives moving on and mine had stopped for a few days. Everything looked different – like looking through a foggy window. Yet, I was coming to know with a greater depth the One who could see all things clearly and wouldn’t let anything touch me that hadn’t first passed through His hands.