Guest post – From as far back as I can remember, I have struggled with my vision. I started wearing spectacles at the age of six and I remember the very first day I proudly brought my new apple-shaped glasses home. I stepped out of the car with a ginormous leap onto the pavement and a smile stretched from ear to ear because I could actually see where my foot was landing, for the very first time!
You see, my father had glaucoma – a terrible eye disease which often leads to blindness. As an offspring, not only was I extremely nearsighted with an astigmatism in both eyes, but the pressure in my eyes was abnormally high, making me a high-risk candidate for developing glaucoma myself.
As a Christian from a very young age, I had always prayed to God about my eyes but also always carried around an undesirable guilt that there were far worse problems in the world than a young girl with bad eyesight. I realized, albeit sheepishly, that I was okay with or without spectacles – and I made the decision that my vision would never hamper me from fulfilling my purpose in life.
However, one defining moment seemed to challenge my self-doubt. As an adult, I remember sitting in my home church in Cape Town one morning when our former pastor – who has since passed on – prepared a special sermon on healing. There were four specific conditions that he felt the Lord wanted him to speak about and pray over that morning. I wasn’t sure where the sermon was going or what our dear pastor was going to pray about that day, but I remember a nervous feeling brewing in my belly from the very moment he opened his mouth, and before he even spoke the words ‘glaucoma’ I found myself standing up and weeping before the entire congregation.
I’m not entirely sure what happened in the physical realm that day, but I most certainly felt something lift off me in the spiritual. My follow up with my ophthalmologist confirmed that, after 25 years, my eyes were finally beginning to stabilize and that my eye pressure seemed stable and contained – albeit still higher than the average – but within a safe, normal range.
Four years later, in March 2019, I ventured back to my ophthalmologist for what I thought would be a normal visit for a new spectacle prescription and to check that things were still as good as they appeared previously. Not only had my eyes pretty much stabilized and remained unchanged in the last four years, but for the first time in my life, I was eligible for eye surgery to correct both my nearsightedness and astigmatism.
I carefully listened to the doctor’s every word, completely shocked and humbled by this positive news. In my 29 years of wearing both spectacles and contact lenses, I had never been a good candidate for surgery. The downside of this news was that the surgery would cost R21500 which was not covered by medical aid. Money I simply did not have. A little deflated but ever hopeful, I decided to take the quotation home and pinned it up on the fridge so I could look at it each day and be reminded of how far I had already come.
Over the months that followed, life seemed to go on as normal. As a wife, a mom of two and a freelance writer from home, life has a way of moving forward, whether you’re ready for it or not. However, one morning, my dear husband suddenly had the inclination that I should go back to my doctor and find out about starting the process towards surgery and how we could both pay it off and possibly set a date for the future. I checked my accounts and together we could muster up about half of the costs as a deposit and a future date would give us time to plan and save.
Previously it had taken me almost six weeks to simply get an appointment with my ophthalmologist so at the very least, I could now get an appointment and we could figure things out as they went along.
The next morning, I called the surgery to try and book an appointment in advance and get the ball rolling. To my surprise, the kind receptionist informed me that they had had a cancellation for the next morning and that I could come in immediately to discuss my options. Oh dear… suddenly things were moving at a rapid pace.
I went through all the vision tests for laser and before I knew it, I found myself booking a date that was just four weeks away. That meant that we needed over R10000 in just under a month. Gulp.
I climbed behind the steering wheel of my car as I left the surgery that morning and I immediately turned the radio off so I could have a heart to heart with God. This was my quiet time with Him, and I began to wrestle with God in the car. I told Him that I wanted this surgery; that I had booked a date and that there was no going back now. (Cheeky I know). I told Him that He needed to come through because well, how was I supposed to pay for it all.
I called my husband and we thought for a moment about how we would possibly move around funds but that things would be very tight, if not impossible. I went home and sent out a message to my prayer group to explain the situation and to ask for prayer and guidance. I remember telling them that on the inside I was laughing because I was a little broke, but I knew that God had come through for me many times before.
That evening we sat together at the kitchen table and tried to process the day’s events. At this point, my husband had full confidence that God was leading us to have this surgery and that He would take care of it. Minutes later my phone buzzed. It was a potential client calling about a quotation I had sent through a month previously. He wanted to let me know that they were accepting my quote for a year of service, and if possible, if they could pay me in advance for the year…
I put the phone down and burst out laughing. What had just happened? In one day, God had orchestrated a divine appointment that had otherwise taken weeks to secure, and then He provided every last cent and more to ensure that this surgery was going to happen and that my family would be taken care of.
A few days prior to my surgery, a wise gentleman prayed for me at church and told me that He felt that God was aligning my physical sight to that which He had already begun to unveil in my spiritual sight. I knew then that my decision to wrestle with God was me choosing faith over fear and trusting that He would come through for me.
On 2 October 2019 I walked into the Cape Eye Clinic and I walked out without my spectacles. For the first time in my life, I can now sit and type on my computer with no corrective lenses. I can drive without spectacles. I can read without spectacles. I can do life without feeling like I have been hiding behind glass for most of my existence. The goodness of God leaves me speechless and ever thankful.
My eyes are currently in the process of healing and it may take up to 6 months before they stabilise, but I am trusting that God will continue to do what He said He would. My faith over fear journey is therefore far from over, but each day I’m reminded of where I come from and I look ahead to where He is leading me.
If you’re feeling as though you are unworthy of the fullness of God and His blessings, I am here to tell you that God can and will do infinitely more than you or I could ever hope or imagine.
Now more than ever, the Scripture in Proverbs rings true for me which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight,” (3:5-6).
What are you trusting Him for today?