After getting over the initial shock of Scotty’s total blindness, it hit me like a ton of bricks, I was now the eyes for our whole family. I had to take charge of almost everything our family did; set up dvd players, TVs etc (and this was back in the day when you needed like a million different cords and adapters!), be the sole driver, pay bills, taxes, you name it. It’s all been up to me.
When we had kids, I was mad at God because, in my mind, it made sense that if we were going to have kids in this difficult life we were leading, they would be the sweetest and easiest kids….well we actually got quite the opposite. One day after spending time in the park with my 2-year-old and 10-month-old, I was in tears, the 2-year-old was pushing everyone down the slide because they were not going fast enough and my 10-month-old was wandering everywhere putting rocks, bugs, bark, and whatever else he found in his mouth. I packed them up and headed home and I got in the door and I burst into tears.
I was so mad at God, this all seemed more than I could handle. I took every comment ever made to me or Scotty to heart, simple things like, my car was dirty, my house wasn’t clean, my boys were too wild, whatever it was, I took these on myself, because I was the “eyes for my family.” I thought it meant that I had failed, I had failed to “see” how dirty our house was or how wild our boys were. In an instant just being the eyes for Scotty turned into being the eyes for a tribe of all 4 very rambunctious boys, Scotty included.
I don’t say all this to show you how hard my life is or to make you think I am an amazing person, I want to share it because I have learned some things that are huge when it comes to finding joy in our lives. Firstly, God has created us to be unique, He has given us lives that are perfectly designed for our unique abilities, strengths and weaknesses. He has also made a promise that He never sends us a trial or temptation beyond what we can bear. I can’t tell you how comforting that truth has been to me.
For many years, I drove Scotty to work and picked him up every single day, trying to plan around nap time, dinner times, nursing schedule, etc. I remember one day, I was sick I had been throwing up all night and was still nursing my 6-month-old, the morning came and I was worse, but Scotty had to get to work. I shouldn’t have been driving in the state I was in but what choice did I have? He had to get to work. So we packed up and I drove him to work, when I returned my friend saw me getting out my car and asked if I was okay, without even letting me respond, she took my 2-year-old for the day. It was more of a blessing to me than I could even convey to her, and it’s in moments like that I see God’s grace and provision.
I eventually learned that there were two ways I could look at this, I could be overwhelmed, exhausted, anxious,taking every little comment as a failure on my part or I could rest in peace knowing God has entrusted me with all of this, he created me to do exactly what I am doing and he believes I can do it.
Is it perfect? No, not at all. My car and house are still messy most of the time, which I’ve decided to embrace because it shows that as a family we work hard and play hard, we truly LIVE.
It is a journey, a journey of refinement, a journey of pushing myself to places I never thought possible, a journey of trust, and a journey of hope even when it’s really hard to see it.
On that terrible day in April in 2005, Scotty wasn’t the only one that lost his eyesight, I did as well. Scotty’s blindness became my blindness and together we have navigated this amazing life with one set of eyes. I had no idea how to navigate a world of blindness and I had no idea how I was going to do it all, but the beauty is that He KNOWS, He has carried me, and given me the courage and strength to get up each time I fall, HE has empowered me to seek, learn and grow.
Where do you feel blind in this life? We are all in unique places in our lives and I don’t expect anyone to understand the shoes I walk in, but that’s what is amazing, we are all walking different paths but we are just where we are supposed to be. Take joy in this glorious fact and realize you are fully capable in whatever situation you find yourself.