Seeing with new eyes

Posted on April 11, 2011


There is a book on our shelf called, “Seeing With New Eyes.” I haven’t read it yet, but I think John has. Regardless, the title seems to aptly describe my life these days. I feel as though I am seeing the world with new eyes.

There are moments in our lives when a darkness seems to descends on your life, and like a heavy curtain drawn in front of your future, all your hopes and dreams come to a grinding halt.

That happened last month, and what emerged as my new reality will change my life forever. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

I can still remember the inner trembling that I tried not to let come across in my voice as I talked to the Neurologist on the phone after my MRIs, and he said those two powerful little letters. M. S. The next few days were a whirlwind of tears and questions without answers. Would we still be able to go to Kenya? How severe was the disease? What about treatment? How long before I ended up in a wheelchair?

Some of those questions are starting to get answers, though we are learning how to live in uncertainty realizing that nothing in life is really certain anyway….it just so happens that our little illusion of certainty has been shattered. So here are the things we do know right now:

  • There is still a strong likelihood that we can move forward with going to Kenya (unless my condition worsens).
  • There are some good medications out there (though to the tune of $30,000 a year), and additionally there are some major dietary changes I am making that have shown to help many people from degenerating.
  • And  we can depend on the paradox that God’s plan are always good, even if they are not pleasant, that there is joy amidst pain, and security among the unknowns.  And even in all this we can know with certainty that God will not cease to be prodigal in his grace.

I am thankful that I actually feel pretty good right now. I have some numbness on the lower half of my body and I seem to get tired a little more easily, but other than those symptoms I’m feeling quite well. And for that I am thankful.

I am amazed at how easily I can go through life, living each day as though tomorrow is certain. I recently picked up a book I had already read and was perusing some of the parts I had underlined to discover these lines. (As you might expect they have taken on a whole new meaning for me.)

…Difficulties become more difficult when we naively assume that troubles won’t come our way. God never promised that his children would escape a fallen world. In his wisdom, he has chosen for us to live in the middle of the brokenness. Whether it is weeds or disease, rejection or corruption, war or pollution, disappointment or danger, we are all somehow touched every day by the fall. We shouldn’t be surprised when suffering and difficulty come our way; in fact, we should probably be surprised when they don’t.

(How People Change, Lane and Tripp, 101)

There is much wisdom here, and I am hoping that it begins to truly sink down into my soul; however, I fear it will be a cyclical, life-long lesson.