Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pearl of the Day: Turning Our Mess Into A Message

 "It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal." ~Helen Keller

Good Tuesday to you my friends!  I hope your week is starting off to be a good one!  Yesterday I talked about how each of us has our own unique challenges, or obstacles, that we go through in life.  I shared a little about some of the challenges my older daughter, Brittany, has faced already in her young life.  I would like to take a few minutes in today's message to tell you a little more about those challenges.

Brittany told me one day when she was eight years old, "Mom, I can't see the cow clock."  The way her bed was positioned in her room, she could see the cow clock on the wall in the dining room if she were laying on her bed with her door open.  At first I wasn't sure what she meant, so I asked, "What do you mean, you can't see it?"  She said it was all blurry and she couldn't see it.  She had never had any vision problems up to this point, so this all came as a surprise to me and my husband.  This was the beginning of our journey with these vision problems.  Her vision got so bad that she could not read anything at all, unless I re-typed it in the largest font, which was a 72, and even then it was still difficult.  I am so thankful we were homeschooling, which allowed me to make adjustments to suit our situation.  The vision problems improved slowly over the course of a year after they started, but even after the improvement, her vision did not go back to the way it was before.  She is able to see most things fairly well, but will probably never be able to drive at night, nor can she see in the dark.  She wears glasses to watch t.v. and see things far away, and even then, some of those things still aren't totally clear.  After all the doctors, exams, and tests she went through, and there were many, not one of them could tell us what was wrong or why she was having those problems at the time.  Brittany went to see my optometrist for a yearly eye exam a few years ago, and he seemed to think that the problems she had came from a bout of optic neuritis.  He actually asked us if anything had ever happened with her eyes while he was examining her because he could tell that something had happened.  Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to repair what damage has been done, but I will however, continue to pray for the Great Physician to heal and restore her vision.  He is my Hope, even against all the odds.

As far as the hearing loss I spoke of earlier, that has been a whole other story.  If you've never been through a similar situation, there is no way for me to explain the pain of seeing your child struggle with something like this.  I have wished, more than one time over the years, that I could take the hearing loss on myself and give her my hearing, so she could have normal, healthy hearing.  I have prayed, and prayed, and prayed over the years for God to heal and restore her hearing, all to no avail.  After all that she went through with the vision problems, I felt very angry that God would allow this to happen to her.  I have cried many, many nights because I felt so helpless to be able to help her or to make things better for her.

After many years of struggling with this situation and trying to understand why, I finally came to the conclusion that God has a greater plan for my daughter than what I can see.  Things are not always as they seem.  He can work in and through her situation regardless of the challenges she lives with every day.  He would not have allowed these things to happen, if it were not for her good, and for the good of others whom she may be able to encourage and help one day.  I will continue praying for her hearing to be healed and restored, but I'm also praying that God will use what she has/is going through for His glory.  I want Him to do something beyond our comprehension with these challenges she deals with on a daily basis.  I want what she has gone through to be an encouragement for someone else who may be feeling discouraged and forgotten.

I know I'm her mom, and my opinion may be biased, but I think she is pretty darn amazing in the way she has handled these challenges.  She told me something not too long ago that really made me stop and wonder how in the world she could say that.  She said, "I don't think I would want my hearing back even if I could have it back."  I just looked at her and said, "What?!?!" "Why would you say that???"  She told me that if she had not been through what she had, with the struggles she faced every day, she would not have the understanding and compassion for others who struggle with similar problems.  She would not know how they feel or what it's like to have those challenges in life, if she had not walked it out herself.  She is very passionate in her stand against people being bullied and teased because they are different, no matter what that difference may be.  It bothers her a lot when someone is made fun of or picked on.  She knows how it feels to have someone make fun of you. She knows what it feels like to be ignored.  She knows what a struggle it is to feel left out because you can't hear and keep up with a conversation.  She has handled all of these things so much better than I have.  She inspires me and encourages me.  I am excited about the things that God is going to do in her life.  I know He must have some really big plans for her because of all the challenges she's been through so far.

I will close here today my friends.  Please be sure to stop by tomorrow for Brittany's guest post.  She will share what it's been like to personally walk through this journey so far.  Never underestimate what God has planned for you.  Even when it seems that things are at their worst, God can cause something good to come from it.  He can take our mess and turn it into a message.  Until next time my friends, be blessed!

"Adversity is like a strong wind.  It tears away from us all the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are." ~Arthur Golden 

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