This is my story. I hope that it will bring you encouragement.
My Walk in Faith
As a small child, I thought that church was just something Christians do once a week. We prayed before dinner to thank God for our food. We also gave thanks for every day.
I didn't really "know" The Lord at the time. To me, He was just an invisible power that looked down on us. Kind of like an observer. One day, when we were at church, the pastor called up anyone who wanted their sins washed away by water baptism. He said that anyone who called upon God as their savior, admitted they have done wrong, and asked for forgiveness are saved. So, as each person was baptized, I became saved for the first time. I said a silent prayer and told Him that I believed in Him. I was 8 years old and excited to be saved.
Satan Brings The Darkness
At age 10 we found out that I had a brain tumor. It made me completely blind. During these dark and scary times, Satan tried to fill my head with dread. He tried to make me lose hope. During these times, I learned that God wasn't just an unseen element. I saw Him guide my eye doctor to the discovery of the tumor. I saw His angels all around me during the numerous MRIs, tests, and surgeries. I even saw His hope, love, and joy shine through people. His presence gave me hope and strength.
After I became blind, I started to just talk to Him. My lack of vision cleared away all of the distractions that the devil had wedged between us. We were able to talk, like father and daughter.
I remember singing to Him at night in the darkness and stillness of my room. My parents even said that I would sing in my sleep!
Ever since then I have been able to hear Him more clearly. Just four months ago, while visiting our friends for praise and worship, I saw an angel leaning against their tree. It was just outside their front door. He was listening to our prayers, praise, and worship.
Following surgery, I encountered both negative and positive reactions to my blindness.
For example: During my teen years I attended a summer culinary arts program. Everything was going wonderfully...
Until they found out I was blind.
Once the director heard of my disability, I was assigned an "aid". She was supposed to be there for my safety. My aid was a nice elderly lady who liked to talk- ALL the time. The situation ended up causing much frustration, distraction, and embarrassment. She couldn't keep up with the speed needed in a commercial kitchen. I remember standing around at my station, waiting for her to meander over. Boy did it take patience! It took frequent prayer and a boatload of patience to get through the summer. At the beginning of the program, I was excited to learn how to become a chef. Instead, I came out learning an even better lesson: Patience is a virtue.
Through this experience God showed me that people don't understand blindness. Just because one cannot see does not mean they can't be safe and successful.
After some time, we found out that the brain surgery (meant to remove the brain tumor) was not entirely successful. It turns out that a small piece of the tumor still remained. The doctors discussed many options for treatment but decided on Gamma-Knife Radiation.
I remember thinking that, "God must have a reason for this" that, "Maybe I was meant to inspire others who were going through this". Through every treatment, I asked them to play Christian radio to feel closer to God. Despite this treatment, the tumor came back stronger. As Satan crept his way into my thoughts, so did the tumor grow. We did more radiation- no improvement.
My faith in God remained. However, my confidence faltered.
I remember crying, "Why me?" and "haven't I gone through enough?" into my pillow. I remember asking Him to heal me so many times; "Take away the tumor and bring back my vision!" I knew that Satan was testing my faith, but when would it end?
After completing the third round of radiation, we waited...
Wait Upon The Lord
After numerous check-ups and waiting, we found that the radiation was yet again unsuccessful. But there was still hope. Yes, I had my share of tears, let my pillow be the witness. However, I still prayed and talked to Him through it all. Finally, just two years ago, a final(If it is His will) surgery was completed. This surgery, to our knowledge, has been successful. My vision has not returned yet, but I will never lose faith in the power of God. Just think of all of the blind, immobile, and sick people Jesus healed. One women just touched his cloak and was healed. What faith! To this day, I strive to have as much, if not more faith than I did at age eight in the church that Sunday morn.
I will continue to update this story to the best of my ability as I have memory loss issues due to the tumor. As I remember more, thus more shall be added.