June 19, 2020
Were there dreams or nightmares that waited for me and my family in the U.S.? The ophthalmologist shined a bright light into my eyes. “She did inherit it,” he said to my parents and me. “You need to be prepared. There is no cure.”
He leaned back on his chair. “There’s no treatment or surgery. She’s only 13, She’ll not notice any effects till she reaches 60 or so.”
He was wrong.
At the very same time when I turned 30 and my father 55, bit by bit, the retinal disease robbed our sight.
In a matter of 18 months, our vision closed in completely, leaving us in darkness with no trace of shadows, color…only a dark gray nothing.
My world crumbled as a black curtain fell, stopping my life, covering me with fear and destroying the dreams for my future as a Mom to my 3-, 5-, and 7-year-old sons. And uncertainty about tomorrow kept me tossing in bed at night.
Perhaps like you, many are in that same bed of discouragement. Without warning, all changed. We’re stunned and blinded from seeing what tomorrow will bring. We ask over and over again how will we pay our bills? Will this pandemic ever end? And wonder if we will we ever show a smile instead of wearing a mask of gloom.
We will, and we can. I learned from my earthly father how to move forward, remove obstacles and conquer fear using the white cane of courage.
The lesson began a couple of decades prior to my father’s blindness. We still lived in Bolivia, our native land.
We sat at the table in our tiny, dark kitchen with a window overlooking the Andes Mountains. My uncle leaned toward my father. “You must be crazy to want to go to the United States,” he said, “you don’t know anybody and you don’t even speak English.”
He was right. But although my father didn’t speak English, he spoke the language of faith and tenacity. He left La Paz with an old suitcase, big enough for some of his second-hand clothes. And, with U.S. immigration documents in hand, he entered the Miami airport.
But he didn’t realize he was also entering into a life filled with days and months of hardship, ridicule because of his inability to speak the language, humiliation and intense loneliness.
But he pressed on. He worked night and day in manual labor and managed to save enough money for airline tickets for my Mom, my younger brother, 11, and me, 12. In 1964, we arrived in the land of opportunity where dreams come true. And while we emptied our suitcases, we filled our hearts with gratitude for the privilege of living in the U.S.
Decades swept by, my father is now in heaven, with full sight and with never-ending joy. And today, with my own joy, I celebrate his life.
We can all do the same.
With boldness, we can celebrate God, the heavenly Father who teaches what faith, courage and trust can do. He gives His word for victory and in the midst of a pandemic, He gives these four promises.
- Even while the virus of anxiety spreads. In the darkness of the situation, God, like a good father provides the promise that He will be a lamp to our feet and the light for our path (Psalm 119:105).
- Even when the economy fails but we don’t fail to bring our first fruits to him, He, promised to fill our baskets until they overflow (Malachi 3:10).
- When fear attacks, He gives the path to overcome it (Psalm 27:1-3).
- And when troubles pile up, He reassures He overcame all so victory is ours (John 16:33).
During any pandemic, living with joy is a daring attitude, but doable in all aspects. Although we cannot overcome the circumstances, we conquer what goes on inside us. We don’t see the problem; we gaze at the possibilities instead. We don’t dwell in the negative, we dive into God’s pure hope.
We can because even when we’re blinded by painful adversity, we can still set our eyes on His promises that are worth remembering, embracing and worth celebrating this Father’s Day.
Father, thank You for lifting the blinders from my eyes. Thank You for showing me what You are capable of doing even in the midst of the pandemic of fear and virus of discouragement. We praise you because in You, we’re more than conquerors. In Jesus name.
How about you, if you know Christ, do you dare expect a new, fresh, beautiful tomorrow?
Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.
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