I accomplished something today: I went to the library at AU by myself and checked out a book. A few years ago this would not have been so extraordinary. But when I moved back in with my parents in 1998, I discovered that I was losing my small bit of vision. Shortly after making this discovery, we moved from Houston, Texas, to Anderson, Indiana. Although I went to Anderson University for a couple of years [in 1990-1992], I did not know much about the town as a whole. I was depressed about my vision loss [after moving here] and hoping that a surgery which was scheduled for December of 1998 would restore the vision. Then, I told myself, I would worry about learning where things were.
The surgery did restore some vision, although not as much as I hoped for. I am beginning to understand why now, but that is another topic. I did not start learning my way around town in 1998 or even 1999. I moved into my own apartment three months ago, and only since then have I had any interest in going places as independently as I did before. My self-imposed dependency bothers me, and I attribute much of it to my perceptions of the role I am expected to play in the family. I don't know or really believe that anyone else expects me to play the role of a dependent child. It is a role that I alone believe I must adopt when I am with family members. This is still another topic that I hope to explore in this journal, but now is not the time.
Now that I can go to the library by myself and live close enough to get there by walking, I have adopted a new project. I am trying to read one book every day. If I do this, then I have an excuse to exercise--I have to go and check out another book. No checking out three books at a time! I need the exercise, and so does Dori, my wonderful Seeing Eye dog! If I don't do it for myself, I should do it for her, because she loves to walk and be out in the fresh air. Of course, I have plenty of reading here for rainy days or rare days when I am not feeling well. But I really need to start getting out more, and this is a good start.
The book that I chose today is called "Child of Grace". It is about a mother's process of coming to terms with her daughter's mental retardation and its effects on her life and faith. She describes becoming a Christian because of wanting healing for her daughter. This part of the book is very difficult for me to read. I cannot tell how many times I have prayed for healing for myself. Instead of being made well, I have become sicker, lost more vision, sustained more eye and optic nerve damage. Why is God punishing me, I want to ask? I feel like I have been slapped in the face and asked, "How dare you ask for something like that?" I am not to hope in the healing but in the Healer. What kind of statement is that? God doesn't always give me what I want--it's not always best for me or others.
I have found myself doing something I thought I stopped doing a long time ago. I have been hiding that desire, trying to convince myself that I really don't want healing. If I can't get what I want, then I shouldn't want it. That's the logic I use. I should find some other way to get close to Jesus. But how? How do I get close to a God who seems not to care about what I want most? Not only that, how do I get close to a God who, it seems, spites me for asking for a blessing?
Yet the Bible says, "What father, when a child asks for bread, will give him a stone?" I feel like God gave me a stone. I wanted to see. Not only did I not get to see better, but I don't even get to keep seeing what I could see then. What I would give just to see a sidewalk, green grass, dirt--things that let me know where I am in the world. I can't even comprehend seeing a bird or a sunset! I can't comprehend reading a sign across the street! I'd just like to read big letters on a page. But I can't. I haven't for seventeen years. Why did God let this happen? What does it mean to keep hoping in Him? What does it mean to have faith? How do I know He promised this when He so often doesn't heal? Maybe He didn't promise me anything. Maybe it was just wishful thinking that made me believe He would heal me.
As much as I hate this, it is probably the one thing that could reach through my hardened heart and draw me back to Him. I have been praying for this for some time and thinking that either God wasn't going to do it or I must be a very bad person. Now here I am, crying about something I thought was long solved. No, I haven't stopped wanting healing. No, I'm not content to live as ablind person. I want to know and see that God heals today, and I want Him to heal me, in my eyes. Oh, I want healing for the rest of me, too. I CAN say that I have reached that point. But I especially want healing for my eyes.
"Blessed are those who mourn; for they shall be comforted."
If You won't heal me, then comfort me... Why not both? Are You a God who heals or not? I am afraid that I am not one of those who is blessed and believes even though I have not seen. Lord, help my unbelief. Please?