Dan and I both just finished reading the book “Hope Unseen.” It’s written by Scotty Smiley, a soldier who became blind while on duty in Iraq. A piece of shrapnel from a car bomb went through his left eye, through his frontal lobe, and damaged the right eye. This book is a story of hope in the midst of adversity, is a true reflection of the struggles of blindness, but again and again offers the hope that only Christ can give. Scotty woke up blind. The last thing he saw was a car bomber. He will never see his wife again. He will never know what his kids look like. He will never see anything again, until He sees Jesus Christ. And for Him he said, it’s worth the wait. He now teaches leadership classes at West Point, after graduating from Duke with a MBA, blind. I am not a reader, but I read this book in almost 24 hours because it was just one paragraph after another of encouragement and determination. Dan knows I’m not really into “war books” but he said I’d probably really like this book – well, he wasn’t kidding!
As I reflect on this book, I can’t help but think about how I view life and how I handle the challenges God has given me. I know Dan and I have a unique situation. I haven’t met anyone else with our exact situation – and sometimes it’s a lonely feeling. On Sunday the pastor was talking about being alone. He was talking about going to the doctor and having them say “well, we haven’t ever seen this before and we aren’t quite sure what to do – that’s a feeling of loneliness.” I had a hard to keeping it together because that is exactly what happened – the doctors told my mom and I that they hadn’t seen my heart condition in someone at 17 years of age, so they weren’t sure what to do. But I realize that we are NOT alone. There are people who go through struggles daily – yes they are different, but what ties us all together is our faith – faith that God has a purpose in all of this – that this is God’s plan. God has something good and exciting planned for us. We must be faithful and believe that God is trustworthy, even when we feel our own trust waivering.
I’ve struggled with why this is all so hard now. When I found out about my heart, and even in preparation for open heart surgery, for some reason (only God-given), I had this immense sense of peace about it all. Yes I cried and cried for a long time, but overall, I just knew God knew what He was doing. When I was going to go into surgery, they wanted to give me a shot to relax me. I told them I didn’t need it and the nurse was taken back by that response, but I wasn’t nervous at all! Well, she gave it to me anyways – right in the tush! Anyways, I want that peace back! I know it’s in times of trials that our faith is deepened and I realize that it’s my own desire to be in control that makes me lose that peace. If a blind man can teach a college course at West Point and be that accepting of his situation, I think I can do the same! This has honestly been a good week (no tears so far) and I know that those good weeks can and will continue. Not to say that everyday is easy, but I feel like I’m starting to let go of the reins and letting God take control again. Instead of a shot to the butt, I need the Bible 🙂
If you ever need a good read, pick up Hope Unseen. You don’t need to like war to enjoy this book. No matter what situation you are in, in life, it’ll change the way you “see” life. You will cry, laugh out loud, and be encouraged. Numerous times I heard Dan just a laughing on the couch – sure enough, he was reading this book :). Let me know if you read it too!