"I once was lost, but now am found.
Was blind, but now I see." -Amazing Grace
I won't sugar coat it: Having eye problems my whole life has not been easy. Over and over again I heard the phrase, "Hey, it could be a lot worse. You could be completely blind, or not have eyes at all!" Yup, I agreed every time and I still do because in reality it could always be worse. But sometimes, in my moments of eye pain or frustration I find it really hard to pretend it's not there or not "bad" enough to cry over.
One of the only joys I've really been able to find from this life-long trial is the fact that I have huge glasses, so when I pull them away from my face it makes my eyes huge and makes other people laugh (especially my baby sister).
2 years ago my life was so different, and my eyes took a bad turn for the worse. I woke up on the fourth of July, 2012, with red eyes that I could barely open. Sunlight was torture and any bright light was agonizing. For once, I felt what it would be like to be completely blind because I tried keeping my eyes closed as much as possible. I remember that morning falling on my knees, begging for a miracle for my eyes to be healed, but to no avail. What was once a prayer for help, became a prayer of grief. My heart broke as I prayed for what seemed like eternity about my eyes and how hard it was to live with them.
Because it was a holiday, mostly every single eye-doctor wasn't at work. My pain was worsening throughout the day and my frustration was growing because I was so confused on what was going on with my eyes. I kept praying for a miracle that a doctor could be working, and for the first time that day my prayer was answered the way I had hoped. I was able to go to an appointment at LensCrafter while they examined my eyes. They discovered a huge ulcer on the top of my right eye and the beginning of another one on my left. Some makeup had gotten on my contacts, and when I accidentally fell asleep with them in, the makeup scratched my eyes. I remember walking out of the appointment that day completely discouraged, closing my eyes I began to pray.
There are some trials that are hard enough individually, that imagining the fact that "it could be worse" doesn't actually help you feel any better. But there is something that does make us feel better, Jesus Christ and His Atonement.
Mark 10: 46-53 tells the story of Bartimaeus, a blind man in Jericho. The story goes that as Christ was passing by he began calling out to him for mercy and help, even though the other handicapped people surrounded him rebuked him. Jesus hears him, and then stands still. He then asks others to bring Bartimaeus to him. When he arrives, Jesus asks him what he desires and he asks for his sight. In vs. 53 it reads, "And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way."
As I studied this story in my New Testament, this old 4th of July experience played back in my head. As I was closing my eyes, that I began to pray to know that Jesus knew how I felt, and I felt so much comfort and peace that I knew that He went through all of this eye pain so that he could truly love and help me.
That moment reminds me of the end of the story of Bartimaeus. No, my eyesight was not completely cured like Bartimaeus but that day my eyes were completely opened. Christ tells Bartimaeus to go his way and what does he do? He makes his way Christ's way as he follows him. I believe that we have 2 main choices in life that effect everything: If we will go our own way, or Christ's. I believe that the choice I made that day to trust that Christ knew how I felt changed my life forever. I'm not perfect at it, and it will be something I will work on my whole life, but I found solace that day by applying the atonement of Jesus Christ in my life.