On November 22, 2018 I typed this in a note on my phone:
“I’m sitting in the Eye Clinic at the hospital. Something happened in my right eye. I am reading 4 lines [on the eye chart] less than last week and even though my brain says I should be freaking out right now, I’m not. It’s like something is not letting me do so. PEACE. I am at peace. My biggest fear is losing all of my vision! Yet I have peace. It doesn’t even make sense to me.”
I had every reason in the world to be scared that day. I am legally blind and I only have 5% of my central vision. My eyesight is precious to me. Days before this emergency appointment, I had gone for a regularly scheduled appointment with my ophthalmologist and had been prescribed eye drops to deal with a cyst on my retina. In my right eye, I had 20/60 vision that day, with my glasses on.
After the first set of drops, I noticed my vision was blurry but after the second dose, I knew something was wrong. In a panic, I called the doctor’s office, received an emergency appointment and was told to stop the eye drops.
Panic was so tangible that I could almost taste it.
Are my eyes damaged permanently?
Will this clear up?
Is this the time when I will go completely blind?
The questions tormented my mind, threatening to overwhelm me. As fears swept over me, I ran to my heavenly Father and prayed. I tried to give Him every fearful, tormented thought and I begged Him for His peace. What followed for the next 24 hrs was a battle between giving in to the fearful thoughts and fighting to keep remembering God’s faithfulness and goodness and His promises to give me peace. I wanted Him to magically take those fears away but I had to fight with my whole being to surrender the fears and the worst-case scenarios and to grab hold of God.
The next morning, a friend dropped me off at the hospital and I walked in alone to a clinic that still had the lights turned low. As I sat in the waiting room of the Eye Clinic before the secretaries or the first patients of the day even arrived, I realized that something was different within me. The fear was gone. I quickly got out my phone and, using the mega font, I typed:
Peace that makes NO sense.
Peace that I cannot conjure up.
What followed seemed other worldly, it can only be God’s good love and Presence. I had to read the eye chart: 20/100. That was NOT good news. The amazing thing is that the bad news did not rob me of my peace! God was with me. He had calmed my anxious heart, quieted those tormenting thoughts and He had given me peace.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14:27
My eyesight is precious to me, yes, but not as precious as the sweet Presence of God and the peace that surpasses all understanding – the peace He offers even when things aren’t well in my life. This situation ended up being an allergic reaction that did settle down and clear up. I am thankful for that. However, I am even more thankful that God, my heavenly Father, met me in the midst of a scary moment in my life and gave me peace!